A Journal of Postdoctoral Research.
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OPINION : The NRSA Payback Requirement
Peter Hecker, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University
J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA

The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award program was created by Congress in 1974, and has successfully funded thousands of postdocs. The program includes a requirement for postdocs who receive funding from the program to sign a payback agreement. This obligates postdocs to continue performing health-related research or teaching for up to a year after receiving funds, or else pay back the stipend money they received. Economic and other concerns lead me to conclude that the payback requirement should be abandoned. Until that happens, the NIH, the NRSA Payback Service Center, training program directors, and university professors can take measures in administering NRSAs to ensure the fair treatment of postdocs.


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