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Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Trainee in Aging Research (STAR) Program

Stipends/Stipend Payments

How much will I be paid while participating in the summer program?

Answer: Students receive stipends which are based on the amount of education completed at the time the fellowship begins. View trainee stipends here.

Will taxes be taken out of my stipend check?

Answer: No, taxes are not withheld from your stipend check. Your IRTA traineeship is considered an award for training and not wages for service or employment. Therefore, neither Social Security nor Medicare is deducted from your stipend.

Do I have to pay taxes on my stipend?

Answer: Yes, you are responsible for paying taxes at the end of the calendar year. Your stipend is subject to federal, state and local taxes. Sometime in February, you will receive an IRS Form 1099-G by mail indicating the amount of income you received.  Disclaimer: Interpretation and implementation of the tax laws is the domain of the IRS and the courts. You should consult your local IRS office about the applicability of the current tax code to your own situation, and for information about tax code changes, taxability of fellowship stipends, and the proper steps to be taken regarding your tax obligations. Definitive determinations regarding Social Security obligations and coverage must be made by the Internal Revenue Service. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of the NIH Legal Advisor that Fellows are not considered self-employed for purposes of Social Security Act coverage, and therefore need not make Social Security or Medicare payments on their own behalf.

When will I be paid?

Answer: Stipends are issued at the beginning of each month for work performed in the previous month.  Deposits are normally made between the 1st and the 5th of each month.

How do I receive my monthly stipend?

Answer: Federal regulations require that stipend payments be made via direct deposit. Stipends are paid via direct deposit to your personal bank account. Paper checks will not be issued.

If I start my internship in the middle of the month will I be paid for the entire month?

Answer: No. You are only paid for the time that you work. Your stipend payment will be prorated based on the number of days worked. Monthly stipends are based on a 30-day period. When there are 31 days in any given month, your monthly stipend remains the same.

I don’t have a bank account for my stipend to be direct deposited, can I use someone else’s bank account?

Answer: No. You must have a bank account in your name in order to receive your monthly stipend.

Preparing for My Arrival

How long is my internship? 

Answer: The NIA IRP Summer Program is an uninterrupted 10-week program. You must commit to a minimum of 8 weeks and be able to carry out this commitment uninterrupted.  Students are strongly encouraged to plan vacations and other summer activities before or after the dates of the program.

Do I really need to send my official school transcripts?

Answer: Yes. Electronic delivery of your official transcripts is preferred and must be emailed to . If sending via the postal service, please have your registrar send your official school transcripts to:

            Ms. Arlene Jackson
            NIA IRP Summer Program
            251 Bayview Blvd., Room 04B409
            Baltimore, MD 21224

Are travel expenses reimbursed to me once I arrive?

Answer: No, students are responsible for their own travel expenses to and from the program.

I am driving my car to campus. Do I have to pay for parking? 

Answer: No. Parking is a fringe benefit of your participation in the NIA IRP Summer Program. However, students working on the main campus in Bethesda are encouraged to take full advantage of the expansive public transportation system. Students who choose to drive to the main campus must use off-campus satellite parking and take a shuttle to the main campus.  Visit Driving to NIH for directions to the NIH Main Campus.

Is housing provided for the duration of my internship?

Answer: Unfortunately, NIA does not provide housing. Each student is expected to locate and pay for housing on their own. A summer intern class list is circulated to all interns so that you may connect with one another and identify potential roommates for the summer. Program contacts are available to provide general, unbiased opinions. Email is the best way to discuss housing concerns. We will provide as much information as possible. Our comments are not intended for advertising or other promotional purposes, nor does it represent an endorsement or guarantee by the National Institutes of Health of the availability, price, or condition of any of the listings. Please contact Ms. Arlene Jackson with your questions about housing. 

During My Internship

Do I have to work weekends?

Answer: Although weekends are not required, you should prepare for long days and short weekends. The NIA IRP summer experience is rigorous and intense, therefore we strongly encourage that you not take academic classes or hold other employment during the internship. The NIA IRP Summer Program requires a full-time commitment.  

I will need to take off during my fellowship, is this allowed?

Answer: Students are expected to carry-out their commitment uninterrupted and are strongly encouraged to plan vacations and other summer activities before or after the dates of the program. The NIA IRP Summer Program requires a full-time commitment.

Will I be paid for the time I take off?

Answer: No. Students will not be paid for periods of absence from the lab. Students are excused with pay ONLY for Federal holidays, ill-health or personal emergencies.

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