Questions and Answers
The Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships for HIV Prevention in Communities of Color are conducted at the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention which is a division of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As such, they are part of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Research Participation Programs.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the way this post-doctoral fellowship program is conducted and administered, both by ORISE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Q: Who is eligible for this particular fellowship?
A: Applicants must have a doctoral degree (PhD, ScD, DrPH) in the behavioral sciences, social sciences, epidemiology, public health, or MD/MPH (or expect their degree by December 31, 2013). Applicants with documented research expertise or experience in communities of color (African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, American Indian/Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders) are preferred.
Q: What are the guidelines for travel?
A: Branch Chiefs grant approval for travel. Expect 1 or 2 professional trips per year for your advancement (presentations at conferences, training workshops). Your mentor will assist you in determining which trips would be most advantageous. In addition, the trips that directly relate to your specific project will be covered by CDC subject to availability of funds.
Q: Are there funds for obtaining books and articles?
A: Limited funds are available for the purchase of books. Books that are purchased become the property of CDC. CDC has a literature search service that will provide fellows with copies of requested articles free of charge.
Q: Is standard research software available on our computers?
A: Available software includes Adobe Acrobat, Word 2010, Outlook, CDC Intranet, CDC computer support, Internet Explorer, Excel 2010, Cisco IPTV Viewer, Windows Media Player, PowerPoint 2010, and PKZIP for Windows. Statistical and other software can be made available upon request.
Q: Is there access to phone/printer/photocopy/office supplies?
Q: Will I be able to have business cards?
A: Fellows may purchase their own business cards.
Q: Will my office space be near my mentor or with other fellows?
A: Branch chiefs will do their best to provide office space that is close to your mentor.
Q: Where can I find out about developmental opportunities such as CDC seminars, conferences, and work-groups?
A.: The CDC website contains much of this information. In addition, you will receive regular email updates about upcoming seminars and other educational activities.
Q: Where can I learn about courses at CDC and Emory?
Q: How are Fellows reimbursed for training fees, conference registration fees, or tuition?
A: A Request for Payment form is available from ORISE. This form is completed by fellows, approved by your mentor and fellowship director, and can be faxed or mailed to ORISE for payment. This form is available on the ORISE Web site. From the home page, select "Current Research Participant," then select "Forms."
Q: What travel services does ORISE provide?
A: ORISE has travel agents who handle reservations for airline, hotel, rental cars, etc. Travel forms are available from ORISE. Approval by your mentor and fellowship director is required before submission of these forms. The forms are available on the ORISE Web site. From the home page, select "Current Research Participant," then select "Forms."
Q: What is the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education?
A: The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) was established by the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake national and international programs in education, training, health, and the environment. ORISE and its programs are operated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Established in 1946, ORAU is a consortium of colleges and universities.
Q: What is the address of the fellowship offices (for my housing hunt)?
A: The research fellowship offices are located at Corporate Square, Building 8 on the 5th Floor. The office address is: 8 Corporate Square, N.E., Mail-Stop D-21, Atlanta, GA 30329-2013. (Near North Druid Hills and Buford Highway.)
Q: Does the CDC ORISE fellowship qualify for deferment of student loans?
A: Yes, the fellowship qualifies as education, and therefore fellows may request deferment. The lending institution sends a form to be completed by ORISE which is then sent back to the lender for deferment.
Q: Is health insurance a requirement of the program?
A: Yes, the Terms of Fellowship Appointment require that fellows have coverage under a health insurance plan.
Q: Is health insurance available through ORISE?
A: Yes, all fellows are eligible for ORISE health insurance, or they may purchase insurance elsewhere. Inclusion of insurance as part of your stipend payment depends on your CDC research program.
Q: How much is ORISE health insurance, and what does it include?
A: Please see http://www.orau.org/healthinsurance/participant.htm for additional information.
Q: How soon does the ORISE health insurance become effective?
A: If a fellow does not have coverage at the start of the appointment, the effective date will be the first day of the fellowship appointment. If this is a change from another insurance company, then the effective date will be the day after the other insurance ends unless a fellow requests an earlier effective date.
Q: When are health insurance cards mailed?
A: It takes about two weeks to get the insurance card in the mail.
Q: Why would two insurance premiums be deducted from a fellow's first stipend?
A: This depends on when in the month the coverage takes effect. If the coverage takes effect during the first 15 days of a month, the fellow must pay for the current month and the next month, since premiums are paid in advance. However, if the coverage begins after the 15th, then the fellow only pays the one premium for the next month.
A: When ORISE receives approval from CDC for the appointment, an appointment package is sent via email to the applicant.
Q: What is the best way to get the signed appointment documents back to ORISE?
A: Send the signed appointment letter, Terms of Appointment, and other documents directly to ORISE.
Q: Is there any flexibility in start and end dates for fellows?
A: Yes, but only in emergency situations. Start and end dates are firm unless there are serious extenuating circumstances. All such emergency requests are subject to approval from the research mentor, and the fellowship director and must be confirmed in an appointment letter to the fellow from ORISE.
Q: Are fellows considered to be employees of the CDC or ORISE?
A: No. Research fellows are research program participants and are NOT in an employer/employee relationship with either CDC or ORISE.
Q: Do fellows get paid vacation or sick leave?
A: There are NO benefits such as vacation or sick leave since fellows are NOT employees of either CDC or of ORISE. However, mentors will help design a schedule that is mutually agreeable. The fellows are not expected to be present on days that the CDC facility is closed for holidays. If a fellow needs time off for any extended period of time and cannot make up the lost time, then the mentor, at his or her discretion, will notify ORISE and the fellow will be put on leave-without-pay status until he/she returns.
Q: How do fellows receive their stipends?
A: A stipend check is paid according to a prearranged schedule for fellows. Direct deposit of stipend checks is highly encouraged and is available by completing an EFT Authorization Form. Pay dates are generally the last business day of each month. The first payment will be made after all required paperwork is returned to ORISE and after the CDC has returned the Certification of Start Form.
Q: What is a fellow's tax liability for stipends received during the appointment?
A: Since ORISE participants are not employees or contractors (and receive stipends, not wages), they do not receive W-2 or 1099 forms. ORISE does send a Statement of Payments that you may use in preparing your tax return. Please be sure to inform ORISE of any changes to your mailing address, even after your appointment has ended, so that you will receive this information. Some foreign nationals, depending upon their tax treaty status, will receive 1042-S forms from ORISE. For more information on the tax implications of stipends, please see the ORISE Web site. From the homepage, select “Current Research Participants,” then select “Stipend Information.”
Q: Can stipend checks and other ORISE payments be direct deposited?
A: Yes, ORISE uses electronic fund transfer (EFT) to make stipend, travel reimbursement, and other program-related payments. EFT is a safe, proven, and effective method of payment, and almost all financial institutions are able to accept EFT. Stipend payments are credited to the account on the pay day with funds available immediately on that day. Travel reimbursements can be credited to the account as soon as the travel expenses are audited by ORISE. Complete the EFT Authorization Form for this service.
Q: How do you sign up for direct deposit?
A: It’s easy! Just fill out the EFT Application form at the ORISE Web site. From the homepage, select "Current Research Participants," then select "Forms." After completing the form, fax it to ORISE at 865-241-5219.