Alternative Careers and NIH payback agreements

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Wed Sep 3 12:13:09 EST 1997

Dr. Paula J. Schlax (pjschlax at JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU) wrote:
: As a graduate student, many members in the lab were on NIH training
: grants with payback agreements (at least 20 hrs a week teaching or doing
: science) I realize that most training grants have gotten rid of the
: payback agreement, but, for those who had them, do alternative careers
: meet the requirements? (NIH Postdocs still have a one year payback- you
: need to be a postdoc at least 2 yrs... )

My first position after finishing my Ph.D. was to work as a writer/editor
in marketing communications for a biotech company. This seems like quite
an alternative job, but the NIH accepted it for my payback. On the other
hand, NIH was not quite so accepting of my taking almost one year off
between my Ph.D. and this marketing job to take care of my newborn baby. I
received several letters and communications from them saying they would
start expecting me to give them some money back unless I started working.
I guess being a fulltime mother was just too "alternative" for them.



Megan Brown
mbrown at
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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