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Stipend Information

You will receive a stipend to provide support during this energy fellowship. Stipend rates are determined by the MLEF program.

Stipend Schedule

Stipends are distributed according to the schedule provided to you in your appointment letter. You should be prepared to cover all expenses for the first 30 days of your appointment.

Stipend amounts are based on your academic status:

  • A weekly stipend of $600 for undergraduate students
  • A weekly stipend of $750 for Master's students
  • A weekly stipend of $850 for Ph.D. students and graduates

In addition, you may be eligible for:

  • Housing allowance based on appointment location (not provided during Technical Forum; see your appointment letter for additional information). Please note that the housing allowance will not cover the full cost of your housing but should help to offset this expense
  • Travel reimbursement to/from the host site and Technical Forum

Direct Deposit

ORAU strongly encourages you to sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), i.e., direct deposit, for stipend distributions. Stipends may only be electronically deposited to one account and not to separate accounts.

EFT requires you to have a U.S. bank account; ORAU cannot transfer funds to foreign institutions.

You will receive information on an online service (Doculivery) that will allow you to access your stipend payment information and annual Statement of Payments for tax filing.

Other Sources of Income

The primary focus of the program is the educational benefit of the appointment; therefore, you may not provide services for compensation to a third party that conflict with your appointment. Awards, prizes, scholarships, Veterans Administration benefits, and other payments may be accepted, provided they do not represent dual payment for the same activity.

Taxability of Stipends

For information on tax liabilities and how to file federal tax forms, please contact a licensed tax professional in your jurisdiction. We recommend that you provide your tax preparer with a copy of the most recent Terms of Appointment.

Federal Income Tax

All stipends distributed by ORAU directly to you are considered taxable by the U.S. federal government, meaning it is your responsibility to report these payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Because you are not an employee, your stipend is not considered wages and should not be reported as such. Stipends are provided in order to help defray living expenses while you are engaged in the program at MLEF. For IRS purposes, these payments are considered non-qualified scholarships and fellowships (not tuition and fees). For information on how to report this amount on your federal tax return, refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, which can be downloaded from or requested at 1-800-829-3676.

You will not have federal taxes withheld by ORAU from your stipend and will use the online payment statement service, Doculivery, to access information on your total payments to prepare your U.S. Federal Income Tax Return.

Other Taxes

Since stipends are awards (not wages), ORAU does not withhold Social Security or Medicare taxes. You are not self-employed, and therefore do not pay self-employment taxes. ORAU also does not withhold state income tax.