NIH/AHRQ NRSA Childcare Reimbursement Process

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare and Quality (AHRQ) recognize that the high cost of childcare affects graduate students and post-doctorates funded through Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) fellowships in their ability to successfully complete their training and fully participate in the extramural research workforce. As part of their ongoing efforts to address this, the following guidance was issued:



  • NOT-HS-22-013 (opens in new window): AHRQ Announcement of Childcare Costs Allowance for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellows (F32s)
  • NOT-HS-22-014 (opens in new window): AHRQ Announcement of Childcare Costs Allowance for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Awards (T32) Beginning in FY2022

Eligibility and restrictions are similar for both award mechanisms.


  • Only full-time NRSA-supported individual fellowship positions are eligible.
  • Costs for childcare must be provided by a licensed (regulated by state or local authorities) childcare provider/service.
  • Supplemental funds cover dependent children living in the eligible fellow’s home until the age of 13, or children who are disabled until age 18.
  • For households where both parents are NRSA fellows, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.


  • Childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.
  • NRSA childcare costs are not tied to payback obligations, nor should it be reported as such.
  • Facilities and Administration (F&A) costs are not assessed on childcare costs.
  • When awarded, childcare costs are generally restricted and cannot be re-budgeted without prior written approval from the awarding agency.
  • In cases of early termination, recipients may not use any unused portion of the childcare costs. It will remain unobligated and will be adjusted by the agency as part of the closeout process.
  • Childcare costs incurred in previous budget periods are not eligible for retroactive reimbursement.

Individual Fellowships

Recipients/departments must maintain the following supporting documentation and provide as needed for reimbursement to the recipient and to NIH/AHRQ officials upon request.

  • NRSA Fellow Childcare Letter of Attestation collected during application preparation as proof of eligibility
    • Available from the CACTAS folder related to the award acceptance CACTAS Agreement
  • Proof that the childcare provider/service is licensed
  • Proof of payment to the licensed provider

New Applications

  • Fellows are encouraged to request childcare costs for all applicable years that the project will be funded.
    • Submit the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form for the first year requested.
    • Submit the R&R Other Project Information Form for any additional years requested.

Continuation Applications

  • Current fellows may request childcare costs for future years via the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

Administrative Supplements

  • Current fellows may request an administrative supplement to provide childcare costs on an existing award.
  • Submit requests using Notice of Special Interest NOT-OD-21-070 (opens in new window)
    • Submit the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form for the first year requested.
    • Submit the R&R Other Project Information Form for any additional years requested.

For more information on applying for, or what to do when you receive, childcare costs reimbursement funding under an NIH/AHRQ NRSA Individual Fellowship or Training Grants, contact the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at [email protected].

Training Grants

Childcare cost reimbursements will be awarded to all training grant funding on or after October 1, 2021. The amount awarded is based on the number of trainee slots requested. The same eligibility and restrictions apply to training grants and trainees as they do to individual fellows. At the time of award, departments administering the training grant will have to identify those trainees who are eligible and collect and retain the following documentation:

Annual Reporting

In Section G.1 of their RPPR, departments will upload a PDF named “Childcare_Costs.pdf” . The attachment must specify the number of trainees who used childcare costs in the reporting period. System enhancements are forthcoming to incorporate reporting of this information via xTrain.

Requesting Reimbursement for Childcare Costs

A MyExpense reimbursement request (opens in new window) must be submitted by the individual fellow, trainee or delegated user to receive reimbursement.

  1. Include the following documentation:
    1. Sponsor approval for the childcare reimbursement including amount allowed (e.g., the award document highlighting the sections that provide the purpose and the amount)
    2. Proof of payment to a licensed childcare provider (e.g., payment receipt(s) or invoice(s)/statement(s) per year)
      1. Must include sufficient evidence of their license
      2. Must include dates of service
    3. The attestation signed when requesting this funding (individual fellowships) or upon awarding (training grants)
  2. Use MyExpense expense type of “Authorized Dependent Care”.
  3. The request will be routed to your departmental regular authorized approver(s).

Reimbursements are considered taxable income and will be recorded in UCPath when applicable and included on annual tax documents. For those who do not receive tax forms from UCSF, this can be requested from Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) Student Services team and will be included in any annual stipend income requests.

Additional Department Responsibilities

Childcare expense reimbursements will post using Account 57254 – Dependent Care. Departments must monitor expense activity to ensure that reimbursements do not exceed the authorized amount.

Departments are required to maintain documentation in case of audit or internal compliance reviews. CGA will review at annual/final closeout to ensure reimbursements are at the authorized levels and appropriate documentation was provided.