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FAQs Regarding Training: For NIH Staff and Administrative Officers

Is there anything I need to know about bringing high school or college students on board ?
The policy currently in effect states

  • Student IRTA/CRTAs and Special Volunteers who are in high school or college may be appointed ONLY if they are able to complete all of their work remotely. Remote activities that may be appropriate for student IRTA/CRTAs or Special Volunteers include assisting in literature reviews, on-line research, data analysis that can be completed remotely, and coding. 
  • Student IRTA/CRTAs and Special volunteers who are in graduate or professional school may be considered for on-campus work if there is a clear safety plan in place and if approved by the OITE.
  • No high school or college students should be appointed to perform on-campus work in an IRP office or lab using other mechanisms (contractor, FTE) until further notice.

Is there anything I need to know about on-boarding other IRTA/CRTAs?
We allow the remote onboarding of postbac, predoc, and postdoc IRTAs and CRTAs. However, before asking a trainee to move at this time, all new trainees should be offered a delayed start date. Trainees who are onboarded remotely have the same telework flexibilities as other trainees at this time. When trainees are remotely on-boarded, the Administrative Officer should email so that the new trainee can be oriented and provided with access to NIH resources for trainees.

Please direct questions to Sharon Milgram at

What about onboarding Visiting Fellows?
The Division of International Services (DIS) will process new case requests for prospective trainees (non-FTEs) in the Visiting Program who are currently overseas. Please refer to our Checklists for document requirements. It should be noted that prospective trainees abroad may experience delays in arriving to the U.S. due to travel restrictions and the suspension of routine visa processing by the Department of State. Remote on-boarding will be NOT an option while new trainees in the Visiting Program are overseas.

For new trainees (non-FTEs) in the Visiting program who are in the U.S. and able to onboard  OR when trainees confirm they are able to enter the U.S. and complete the remote onboarding process, DIS allows remote onboarding. However, we strongly recommend that all new trainees be offered a delayed start date before they move to this area.

  • The Administrative Officer should follow the instructions on the DIS Remote Onboarding Website.
  • The trainees should work with their Administrative Officer on completing the necessary steps for onboarding.
  • Please also email so that the new trainee can be oriented and provided with access to NIH resources for trainees.

Is there a good way to reach DIS?
DIS has advised that all inquiries be sent to them via their general inbox or by phone at 301-496-6166. From there they will assess which immigration specialist is most appropriate to respond. With the changing immigration procedures they have communicated this is the best way to manage requests while on telework.

You can also visit the new DIS webpage.

Do we have any new information on badging?

You can find the most recent (9-23) update on badging services in Building 31 on the NIH campus in Bethesda here.

The following information was sent out by DPSAC on Wednesday, July 29th.

Due to a recent increase in requests for enrollment and badge issuance appointments, the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) will open daily via appointment scheduling, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in Building 31, Room 1B03.

The Clinical Center South Lobby location (Room 1C52) will be open daily via appointment for high risk customers, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Walk-ins will not be allowed as DPSAC continues to take steps to increase capacity to minimize wait times and to help prevent the spread of disease and reduce the risk of exposure to its staff members as well as individuals who need to visit a DPSAC office.

Availability of daily appointments will begin August 3 at these two locations. Also, staff will be available to respond to phone inquiries and email during work hours. The DPSAC email is and the help desk phone number is 301-402-9755.

Badging Services at Other Locations

Badging services remain suspended at Fisher's Lane and Medical Center Drive ('Shady Grove'). Badging services at Ft. Detrick, Baltimore, Research Triangle Park, and Rocky Mountain Laboratories continue under normal operations.

Patient Badging Services

All patient badging services will remain suspended indefinitely. Patients and authorized family and caregivers are encouraged to enter through the Cedar Lane patient entrance for processing and visitor ID issuance.

The following locations will remain open and are ready to assist NIH personnel:

DPSAC Implementation of Mandatory Safety Precautions:

  •  DPSAC urges visitors to be mindful of the guidance that has been posted on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to kindly not visit a DPSAC office if they are sick, have a fever or are displaying any symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • DPSAC is also encouraging NIH staff to call (301-402-9755) or email DPSAC ( for general inquiries or badge status requests as opposed to visiting a DPSAC office. DPSAC encourages the community to visit a DPSAC office only if they require an in-person service such as enrollment or badge issuance.
  • Individuals are required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the DPSAC office and prior to completing their enrollment, fingerprinting or badge issuance.
  • Individuals entering the DPSAC office will be required to stagger themselves and maintain a distance from other individuals. DPSAC staff will be onsite to coordinate appropriate distancing between customers.

What paperwork should trainees who want to telework complete?
Trainees are encouraged to telework. No paperwork is required.

My traineee doesn't have an NIH-issued laptop; is telework still possible?
Yes, trainees can complete literature reviews, watch current or archived seminars, participate in IC- and OITE-sponsored career workshops, etc. All trainees will continue to receive their stipend during this period.

Can my trainees access the NIH Coronavirus Intranet page without VPN?
NIH trainees and staff who have PIV cards (OR PIV card credentials, i.e., the user name and password associated with their NED entries) can now access the 
NIH Coronavirus Intranet page without having to connect to VPN.  They can  just select the COVID-19 Guidance for NIH Staff link listed under Federal Resources on the public NIH Coronavirus webpage, and log in with their NIH PIV card credentials when prompted. Please advise them to contact the NIH IT Service Desk if they need assistance.

NOTE: The link to upcoming Town Halls is right at the top of the NIH Coronavirus Intranet page.

How will trainees without an NIH computer and VPN access NIH email to get information from the NIH?
CIT has provided a secure process that allows trainees to access NIH email (and other Office 365 apps) from their personal computers. Your trainees should contact the OITE for directions.

How can my trainees get help from CIT?
301-496-4357 (6-Help) (local)
866-319-4357 (toll free)
301-496-8294 (TTY)
NIH Service Desk Website Web:

How can my trainees access the NIH Library?
Your trainees can access NIH Library resources by going to and clicking on “Log In” located in the upper right of the webpage.  This will reroute them to They should then select “NIH – National Institutes of Health” under Agency PIV Card/Credentials (i.e., the user name and password associated with their NED entries) Log In and enter the latter to access NIH Library resources.

Some of my trainees are asking about extending their time here at the NIH to compensate for their telework during the coronavirus outbreak. Does the NIH have a policy?
Please direct your trainees to the website on extensions.

Are trainee eligible for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) call for civilian deployments related to the on-going COVID-19 response?
The short answer is NO. This is because, as non-FTEs, they may not be covered by HHS for tort claims if an issue arises – and DOJ has come down strong recently on not defending non-FTEs. For Visiting Fellows, this is even more complicated with the visa prohibition of patient contact activity and non-fellowship activities. 

Will trainees' FAES insurance cover Covid-19 testing and telemedicine visits?
FAES has explained Covid-19 coverage in several recent emails.