Policies and Guidlines
The NBBTP was conceived as a partnership between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The program is administered by the Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Ltd (Frontline Foundation).
The NBBTP Fellowship is a two-year program designed to train Fellows specifically to support high containment research environments by acquiring knowledge and skills necessary to meet the scientific, regulatory, biocontainment, biosafety, engineering, communications, management, and public relations challenges associated with the conduct of research in these facilities. NBBTP Fellows do not engage in any primary patient care activities.
The mission of the NBBTP is to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals of the highest caliber to meet the needs of the biomedical emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities through the 21st century.
NBBTP Fellowships are available only to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or nationals of the United States who meet all federal regulations and policies necessary for working with select agents.
- ● U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a national of the United States.
- ● Post- Baccalaureate, graduate or post-graduate with academic degree(s) in microbiology, public health, medicine (human or veterinary), or other allied sciences (industrial hygiene, engineering, etc.).
- ● Microbiology and/or research laboratory experience combined with excellent professional performance.
- ● Outstanding personal, professional, and academic recommendations.
- ● Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- ● Proficiency in the English language (for non-native English speakers).*
- ● Meets all requirements established under federal regulations and policies necessary to work with Select Agents.
- ● Excellent employment history.
- ● Participates in academic, professional, and/or civic organizations.
- ● Committed to the mission and vision of the NBBTP.
- ● Agree to background checks conducted by the NIH Department of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) and be subject to periodic behavioral health assessments conducted by the NIH Biosurety Program.
- ● Submit all required application materials, including references, and academic credentials by the stated deadline.
- ● Must be willing to relocate to the Bethesda, MD area for two years.**
- ● Must be able to travel to participate in multi-week assignments which may require travel and temporary duty station relocation.
*English proficiency - All applicants who are not native English speakers are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language. Proficiency can be demonstrated by the receipt of a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction. All other non-native English speakers must achieve at least a minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test. Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. TOEFL: A minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based tests) or 80 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL information: http://www.ets.org/toefl/ IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 from the International English Language Testing System. IELTS Information: http://www.ielts.org
**Bethesda, MD Area - Due to the demands of the Fellowship training experience, relocating Fellows are strongly encouraged to live within a reasonable commuting distance of the National Institutes of Health located in Bethesda, MD.
The NBBTP Fellowship is a two-year commitment. Fellowships are funded and offered in one year increments. Fellows do not incur a service payback obligation to the NBBTP, NIH, NIAID, or Frontline Foundation upon completion of the Fellowship.
Fellows may be terminated prior to their specified expiration date for scientific or other forms of misconduct, interpersonal incompatibility, failure to comply with terms of the Fellowship or to carry out or satisfy the purpose for which it was made. When termination is proposed for such reasons, the Fellow will be given an opportunity to address these reasons before a decision is rendered.
Fellowships may also be terminated due to programmatic changes, budgetary constraints, lack of funds, or other administrative reasons.
A Fellow may resign from the program with or without cause. In such an instance he/she may retain all awards and materials received from the program to that time; however, any rights to re-enter or otherwise receive additional awards or materials or to complete the Fellowship program are forfeited.
Stipend levels are based on the NIH IRTA scale for pre-doctoral
or post-doctoral students. Relevant experience and completed
education levels are also considered to determine stipend amounts.
A stipend increase for year two of the Fellowship may be granted
within the framework of established NIH/Intramural Research
Training Award Guidelines based on growth, development, and
accomplishments as determined by NBBTP leadership personnel.
Stipends are paid on the last business day of each month. If the last day of the month is a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, stipends are paid on the previous business day. Payments are made by direct deposit. Advance payments are not available.
All NBBTP Fellows must have health insurance coverage to receive training in NIH facilities. This requirement may be satisfied by a policy held either in the Fellow's name or in another's name with the Fellow identified as a family member. Verification of health benefit enrollment is required at the beginning of the Fellow's term.
An approved plan of health insurance is available through Johnson & Bryan Insurance (for VA and MD residents) and through the Washington, DC Exchange (for DC residents). Should fellows elect health insurance supplied by the NBBTP, they are responsible for enrolling in health insurance within the first 30 days of the beginning of the award. Health insurance enrollment will be effective upon completion of the appropriate forms or on the "effective date" of the plan.
Fellows must maintain an existing policy or purchase a personal
policy until they are enrolled in the NBBTP-selected health
insurance coverage. The costs for health coverage are provided by
the NBBTP on behalf of the Fellow and paid either directly to the
health insurance company, the State Exchange, or reimbursed to the
fellow, not to exceed the coverage costs provided by the
NBBTP-selected plan. For a policy other than the selected plan,
NBBTP will pay or reimburse for a policy issued in the Fellow's
name in an amount not to exceed that of the selected
fee-for-service Preferred Provider Option, individual or family
coverage, as appropriate.
The NBBTP provides funds for dental insurance through Blue Cross Care First. Dental coverage is optional for NBBTP Fellows. Fellows may elect to participate in the fee-for-service Preferred Provider Option Dental insurance. For a non-selected policy, NBBTP will pay or reimburse for a policy issued in the Fellow's name in an amount not to exceed that of the selected Preferred Provider Option, individual or family coverage, as appropriate.
Fellows do not earn annual or sick leave. However, they are
excused on Federal Holidays occurring during the Fellowship period.
The Fellowship Director may, at his/her discretion, excuse the
Fellow for reasonable cause such as ill health, personal
emergencies, or vacations (generally up to two weeks per year). The
Fellowship Director may exercise discretion in granting additional
short absences (less than a week per year) as he/she deems
Six weeks of unpaid, excused absence may be granted for the birth or adoption of a child and other family health care. In addition, a maximum of six weeks excused unpaid leave per year may be granted to accommodate a trainee's military obligations, e.g., active duty, active duty training, and inactive duty training.
Travel costs to the NIH Bethesda, MD campus area for NBBTP Fellows, their dependents, and movement of household goods and temporary storage of household goods not to exceed $3,000 are provided only at the discretion of the Executive Director and with the approval of the Contract Office. No allowance for return travel is authorized.
The NBBTP pays 100% of registration, material fees and reasonable and customary travel costs associated with attending scientific meetings or off-campus training programs required by the NBBTP. All travel cost reimbursements are limited to amounts consistent with federal employee travel regulations.
Fellows seeking to attend non-required scientific meetings or off-campus training programs must submit this request in writing to the NBBTP Program Manager. Reimbursement, if any, is subject to the availability of funds and the discretion of the NBBTP Executive Director and/or Program Director.
NBBTP Fellowships are considered awards for training rather than wages for services, and, therefore neither Social Security nor Medicare is deducted from stipends.
However, NBBTP Fellowship stipends, including the value of health and dental premiums, may be subject to Federal, State, and Local income taxes. The Frontline Foundation does not withhold taxes from the Fellow's stipend. The Foundation's accounting department provides NBBTP Fellows with an annual Form 1099-misc, a copy of which is provided to the IRS. Fellows are individually responsible for all tax-related matters.
Fellows may not engage in paid activities outside of the NBBTP.
The publication and presentation of scientific research by NBBTP Fellows are governed by the same policies as applied to other scientists, either employed by or in training at NIH. (NIH Manual Chapter 1183 - NIH Publications and Audiovisuals: Preparation, Review, Approval, and Distribution)
Fellows are bound by all provisions of Executive Order 10096, as amended, 45 C.F.R. Part 7, and any orders, rules, regulations or memoranda otherwise issued there under as if Fellows were government employees who conceived an invention or first actually reduced it to practice while participating in the NBBTP at the NIH. NBBTP Fellows will disclose promptly to the NBBTP Executive Director and NBBTP Program Director all inventions of which they conceive or first actually reduce to practice during their NBBTP Fellowship, and sign and execute all papers necessary for conveying to the government the rights to which it is entitled by virtue of Executive Order 10096, as amended.
Records must be maintained in accordance with Privacy Act System Notice: 09-25-0158-Administration: Records of Applicants and Awardees of the NIH IRTA Program, HHS/NIH/OD/OIR/OE.
Fellows must provide documented evidence of their U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or status as a U.S. National before their Fellowships may be activated. NBBTP Fellows should be prepared to provide originals or copies of two documents from the following list:
- ● United States Passport (Current or Expired)
- ● Certificate of United States Citizenship
- ● Certificate of Naturalization
- ● Certificate of Permanent Residency with photograph
- ● Proof of U.S. National Status.
Other Officially issued identifying document that provides proof of U.S. citizenship, permanent residency status, or status as a U.S. National may be acceptable at the discretion of the NBBTP Program Director.