U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Postdoc Training Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions about NIDDK postdoctoral and M.D. fellowships are answered below.  If you have additional questions please refer to the NIH Postdoc Handbook (PDF, 1.41 MB) or contact the NIDDK Fellowship Office by email.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Visiting Fellows

I am a non-U.S. citizen. What do I need to know?

​Information for visiting fellows is available on the Division of International Services (DIS) website.


Basic Benefits

How do I get paid?

​How fellows are paid depends on the details of their appointment mechanism.  Additional information on income and taxes is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 20-22 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Do I get vacation, sick, and family leave as a fellow?

​Fellows do not accrue annual or sick leave. However, they are excused for Federal holidays, illness, personal emergencies, and vacations when their training periods are longer than 90 days.  Additional information is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, page 27 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Professional Development

Can I attend scientific meetings?

Travel support will come from the fellow’s principal investigator’s budget.  Additional information is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 26-27 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Are there training and professional development activities I can participate in at NIDDK and NIH?

​There are a variety of opportunities for professional development available to NIDDK fellows.  A list of these opportunities can be found in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 29-35 (PDF, 1.41 MB).  Additionally, NIDDK fellows have access to the NIDDK Internship Program, grant writing workshops, and the NIDDK Annual Scientific Conference.


Resources and Services

Can I defer my loans?

NIH fellows are eligible for loan deferment.  Additional information is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, page 23 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Will NIH help me repay my student loans?

NIH research and clinical fellows are eligible to participate in the NIH Loan Repayment Program.  Additional information is available on the NIH Loan Repayment Program website and in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, page 23 (PDF, 1.41 MB).​


What options do I have for child care?

​Child care programs and centers are available for infants, toddlers, and preschool age children.  Additional information on these programs is available on the Division of Amenities and Transportation Services (DATS) website.  Refer to DATS for specific Child Care Programs for Fellows/Trainees (PDF, 36.0 KB).  In addition, the Office of Research Services offers a Nursing Mothers Program.


Are there diversity resources available?

​A number of diversity associations exist at the NIH.  Additional information on these associations is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 39-41 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Are there courses on English as a second language?

NIH offers courses in English as a Second Language.  Additional information is available on the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Graduate School.  Additional resources are available through the Office of Training & Education.


Is there any secondary mentoring available to discuss my career goals?

Yes, secondary mentoring is available for all types of fellows at NIDDK. For inquiries​, email Fellowships@intra.niddk.nih.gov.


When You Arrive

How do I get my security clearance and NIH badge?

Upon completion of your appointment paperwork you will receive notifications by email regarding your security clearance and NIH badge.  Additional information is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, page 13 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


How do I commute to NIH?

​Information on the NIH Transhare Program, parking, and shuttles is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 14-16 (PDF, 1.41 MB).


Where do I go for orientation?

​NIDDK fellows can complete an online NIH orientation, an in person NIH orientation, and an in person NIDDK orientation with the Fellowship Office for Post baccalaureate and Postdoctoral fellows. The NIDDK Fellowship Office will contact incoming fellows for orientation within a month. Information on online NIH courses is available in the NIH Postdoc Handbook, pages 17-19 (PDF, 1.41 MB).