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Frequently Asked Questions by Current Research Participants

My mentor has told me that I have been selected for an appointment. When will I receive notification from ORISE? All ORISE appointments must be approved by the FDA program coordinator. ORISE will send an appointment letter once this approval is received and the funding for the appointment is in place. See Start of Appointment for more information.

Can I relocate before I receive my appointment letter?
We do not advise you to do this.  Only ORISE is authorized to offer you an appointment.  Additionally, if your program will provide financial assistance for relocation, it is important that you work with ORISE to ensure that the moving expenses you incur will be reimbursable.

Can I change the start date of my appointment?
You may delay your start date with approval from your mentor and program coordinator. Please immediately notify ORISE if your expected start date is later than what is specified in your appointment letter.

You cannot begin an appointment any earlier than the date specified in your appointment letter without receiving approval from the FDA program coordinator.

I need to end my appointment early. What should I do?
You should immediately notify your mentor, FDA program coordinator, and ORISE point of contact of your new end date. ORISE will notify you of any paperwork that needs to be completed before your final stipend payment will be released. See End of Appointment for more information.

What acknowledgement do I need to put on my posters and publications?
All published reports, journal articles, or professional presentations that rely on the activities conducted during your participation should carry an acknowledgement such as: “This project was supported in part by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the [Office/Center Name], U.S. Food and Drug Administration, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and FDA.”

How many days of leave do I have?
Participants do not earn annual or medical leave. However, your facility may allow some personal days off each appointment year without reduction in stipend.  Contact your FDA program coordinator for more information.  All absences must be approved in advance by the mentor.

Participants should not be present on FDA holidays. These do not count against personal days, nor will they result in a decrease in stipend.

Time off in excess of the allowed personal days may be permitted on a case-by-case basis as an unpaid absence. Extended time off for serious illness, emergencies, etc., will be unpaid and will require FDA management approval. You must notify ORISE in advance of any unpaid absences.

Eek! It’s snowing! Do I have to report to FDA?
You should not report to FDA when your facility is closed for holidays, emergencies, etc. Such closures will not affect your stipend.

It’s February. Why haven’t I received a 1099 form from ORISE?
Since ORISE participants are not employees or contractors (and receive stipends, not wages), they do not receive W-2 or 1099 forms. We do send a Statement of Payments that you may use in preparing your tax return. Some foreign nationals, depending upon their tax treaty status, will receive 1042-S forms from ORAU. For more information on the tax implications of stipends, please see Stipend Information.

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.

Can you tell me how much funding is left in my travel budget?
ORISE does not track funding for travel separate from other appointment funds. We can, upon request, let you know how much you have already spent on travel.  All travel expenditures, regardless of budgeted amounts, must be approved by your mentor and FDA program coordinator.

Can I defer payments on my student loans while I am a participant in the ORISE program?
You may be able to defer your student loan payments, since the ORISE FDA program is an educational/training program. Please contact your lender to obtain the necessary forms, and send them to your ORISE point of contact. We will verify your appointment for the lender.

Do I qualify for student loan forgiveness?
This determination will be made by your loan provider.  We suggest that you provide them with copies of your appointment letter and Terms of Appointment, so that they can understand the nature of the ORISE program and whether it falls under their guidelines for loan forgiveness.

What should I do to change my banking information?
You will need to fill out a new Authorization Agreement for EFT and submit it to your designated Program Specialist.

Can ORISE provide me with business cards?
No, we cannot pay for or reimburse you for the cost of business cards. And since ORISE research participants are not employees of ORISE or FDA, any personal cards that you may have printed must reflect your accurate status at FDA; you should always list your title on this or any other literature as “ORISE Research Participant.”