ADDICTED2STATS

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I come from a program that is fine with students doing research, but doesn't really encourage or value student research. Now I'm a pretty research oriented student, so I stick out here. Anyway, I recently got an NRSA (for those of you who don't know it's an NIH fellowship that covers tuition/fees, conferences/expenses, and a stipend). I have a clinical placement where I work 16 hours/week and I am paid by the placement. Since I got the NRSA, my director says that my pay at my placement needs to be cut in half. The placement doesn't want to do it, there's no stipulation by NIH that they do it, the department doesn't gain anything by doing it, and I certainly don't want them to do it. The depts rationale: that's what we've done in the past.

So, I work my butt off to secure a prestigious external fellowship from NIH, and as a reward my department forces my placement site to cut my pay in half. Had I not gotten the NRSA I would be getting paid the full amount by the placement. Is this unfair, or am I just being greedy?
 

LM02

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How many hours would you be getting paid for at the placement, if you were to get the full amount?

I ask because, when I had my F31 (admittedly, many years ago now!), NIH stipulated that you could not work more than 10 hours/week outside of the award activities. Granted, there's plenty of flexibility in a clinical student's activities that plenty would fall under the "training" portion of the grant. So I was still able to do a variety of clinical placements, etc, but I only got paid for a few (not all) of those "extra" clinical experiences. When you're getting paid, it's a more delicate balance to strike because there's a paper trail of your hours and it's a federal rule. I know my department monitored it pretty closely.

Just one additional thing to consider - I don't even know if that's still the rule!
 

LM02

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I actually asked an administrator where I work about this, and he confirmed that 10 hours is the max you can work outside of your NRSA obligation. You also need documentation that these 10 paid hours are "outside of your NRSA training plan." Because, really, if they were part of your NRSA training plan, NIH is paying you for them as part of your stipend.

Of course, if you got a job at Starbucks, I'm not sure anyone would really know? But I think the issue is more sensitive when it is related to your activities as a graduate student. With that said, if you are only going to be paid for 8 hours at your placement, you should only be working 8 hours at your placement. It's the rule, after all (and you couldn't argue that the paid 8 hours are outside of your NRSA training plan, whereas the other unpaid 8 hours are otherwise part of your NRSA training plan when it's the same position).

Good luck!
 
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ADDICTED2STATS

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2009
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Psychologist
I actually asked an administrator where I work about this, and he confirmed that 10 hours is the max you can work outside of your NRSA obligation. You also need documentation that these 10 paid hours are "outside of your NRSA training plan." Because, really, if they were part of your NRSA training plan, NIH is paying you for them as part of your stipend.

Of course, if you got a job at Starbucks, I'm not sure anyone would really know? But I think the issue is more sensitive when it is related to your activities as a graduate student. With that said, if you are only going to be paid for 8 hours at your placement, you should only be working 8 hours at your placement. It's the rule, after all (and you couldn't argue that the paid 8 hours are outside of your NRSA training plan, whereas the other unpaid 8 hours are otherwise part of your NRSA training plan when it's the same position).

Good luck!

Thanks for this. In my case the 8 hours was actually part of my training plan, so I guess I should just be happy with my departments current rules. Extra money or not, I feel much better knowing this. Thanks.
 

psych00

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Mar 8, 2007
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I am not sure the answer but when I first read it I was thinking if your program funds students, a lot of times funding from the school can't continue if outside funding makes up for a certain part of a student's costs. Sorry I couldn't answer your question but your post set off a light bulb...wow, I did not know that placements paid students....just have heard of students working outside jobs sometimes. Do you mean practicum placements that your program has an agreement with in order to provide clinical training and supervision for students? Can you count hours you get from a paid placement on the AAPI??
 

Ollie123

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Can't speak for him specifically but I think many/most schools have that setup (stipend can be paid for doing external practicums). Mine does and I think nearly every place I applied did. I'd certainly hope you can count them as hours. As long as it is through your program I don't see why you couldn't, and everyone I know who has done one has counted it as hours. I always thought the concern about counting "work hours" was when it was a job that wasn't formally affiliated with the department and thus there was no way for APA to hold anyone accountable for quality control...