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Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Programs


Do you have classes?

Yes, we run many classes in the biomedical sciences and biotech workshops throughout the year.

How can I set up a student account?

You can set up an account following instructions on this page:

When does registration begin?

Registration for fall semester graduate courses usually begins in mid-July and registration for spring semester graduate courses usually begins in November. Registration for our workshops is ongoing throughout the year.

What courses do you offer in the fall, spring and summer?

Course list is usually published in July, November and April for our Fall, Spring and Summer terms respectively. Please check back then.

When is the new catalog available?

Our academic catalog is typically published online in the beginning of July each year.

When is your Open House?

We typically host these events late August and late January each year, and we have several virtual Open House events throughout the year. Set up a student account and you will be informed via email.

What is your schedule of classes?

It is online at and during registration and at the beginning of the semester, there are copies of the schedule at the front desk.

How do I get a transcript?

You can request a transcript online at 

Why doesn’t my GPA appear on my transcript and will my credits transfer to another institution?

The FAES Graduate School at NIH is a non-accredited, non-degree-granting postsecondary institution operating with the approval of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  FAES courses do not currently lead to degrees and there is no cumulative GPA calculation for a student’s coursework at FAES.

FAES courses are credit bearing, however, and we have heard anecdotally from students who have received credit from other institutions for their FAES courses. If you are interested in receiving credit from another institution, we suggest you contact the admissions office or department chair where you are applying to inquire about the likelihood of credits transferring.

We also have a handful of transfer agreements with area universities. For details go to:

Do you have nursing classes?

We do not offer nursing classes but we do have classes that might meet the pre-req for nursing school.

Do you offer a grant writing course? No, as of now, we do not however, we do offer GRAD500 – Writing and Publishing a Scientific Paper Workshop.

How do I register for a class? 

New students can create an account and register online here:

Does FAES offer Scholarships?

Anyone, both NIH and non-NIH affiliates can apply for this competitive scholarship for self-funded students. More information is available on our website

Can I take FAES courses if I don’t work at the NIH?

Yes, definitely! FAES course are open to the general public.

How can I view my final grade? In the student portal under Academics/My Academic History. The portal can be reached at the following link and if you need assistance with your login credentials send an email to

Have you received payment for my course from my employer? A student can check their balance via the student portal or if they are unsure, we can check for them. Payments made through the third-party payment portal may take 24 hours to post but if it is urgent an employee can check if a transaction was received on their behalf in Authorize.Net.

How and where can I get my book? Requested textbooks are made available within 24 hours after payment is received pending stock availability. The FAES Bookstore @ NIH will send an email to the student when the book is prepared for pick-up in Building 10. To check if payment was made a student can check their balance via the student portal, contact our office or the FAES Bookstore.

How can my employer pay for my course? A third party can pay with a credit card via our designated portal on our website ( or government administrators can submit an SF182 – Training Nomination Vendor Copy to

What is the Advanced Studies program, and can I do it? More information about all three tracks of Advanced Studies is on our website at:

The curriculum can be completed in a self-paced manner and students are not required to declare they are pursuing completion to begin taking the required and elective courses.




What are workshops?

Workshops are lectures and laboratory based courses that examine current and upcoming processes and methodology that are used in life science research.

Who can attend these courses?

Current and future researchers, including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, post-doctorate, MD and PhD level, would benefit from taking one of our hands-on training courses.  Participants are usually active in the sciences and come from government, private industry and academic research institutions from around the United States and the world. The program is open to the general public.

How do I sign up for a course?

Signing up for a course is easy. Here is step-by-step instructions for registration.

  1. Visit the Workshops & Conferences Calendar
  2. Click on the workshop that you want to register for
  3. Click on the “Register Now!” tab and pay on our secured online platform which also gives you a confirmation email
    Click on the "Contract: SF-182" tab to reserve your seat in a workshop while your SF-182 is being processed

Where are the courses located?

The courses are offered in Building 60 which is located at the National Institute of Health’s headquarter in Bethesda, Maryland. The location is known as the “NIH campus” to the local community. For more information on the NIH campus, click on the map below.

Is there transportation available to the NIH campus?

Access to our campus is available through the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) commonly called “the metro”.

Metrorail service is available from Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport  (Yellow line) and from Union Station (railway). Metro Red Line comes directly to the National Institute of Health’s campus. The station's escalators takes you up directly to the NIH campus. Take any of the NIH campus shuttle buses which provide service to Building 60 and stops at the Metro station every 15 to 20 minutes.  You may go to the NIH campus site to find more information on transportation to and from the campus at:

I am not from the DC metro area. Where should I stay?

For those that are visiting, there are several places that offer accommodations ranging from luxury to economical. The area hotels are close to the NIH campus and some of them offer additional discounts to NIH patrons. A few of these hotels offer free shuttle service that will take you directly to building 60 on the NIH campus.

Suggested Accommodations
The Bethesdan by Hilton Bethesda - Washington DC

What if I signed up for a course but I cannot attend?

We understand that emergencies happen. If you sign up for a course and cannot attend it please note that,

1. 100% tuition refund is available for registrations cancelled 14 or more days prior to the start of the workshop.
2. 50% tuition refund is available for registrations cancelled between 4 to 13 days prior to the start of the workshop. Instead of a partial refund, you may elect to take a full workshop credit, which can be applied to another BioTech program of similar length.
3. No refund is available for registrations cancelled 3 days or less prior to the start of the workshop. However, a full workshop credit will be available to you, which can be applied to another workshop program of similar length.

NOTE:  All cancellations must be received in writing to Carline Coote, Registration Specialist at during normal business hours (8:30 – 4:30 EST). Those received after hours are time marked for the following day. In the case of situation number 2 or 3, you must indicate whether you are opting for the full credit alternative at the time of written cancellation. In both cases, all payments will be processed by the start of the initial workshop.

Will I receive academic credit for the courses?

Each participant that takes a course will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) based on the number of contact hours. Upon completion of a 5-day program, each participant will receive 3.5 CEUs. For 4 or 3-day workshops, 2.8 or 2.1 CEUs will be issued. Upon completion of each workshop program, a certificate from FAES is issued.

Health Insurance Services

Create an account with Trustmark®

Why should I create an account with Trustmark® (

  • You can access your plan information
  • You can print out a temporary member I.D card and request a new card to be mailed to you
  • You can view your explanation of benefits (EOBs) every time you visit a provider

How do I register for a Trustmark® login?

Find a doctor

How do I find a doctor?

To find an in-network Aetna provider for the lowest out-of-pocket cost, visit the Aetna Signature Administrators - Doc Find page.

Find lab services

What do I do if I need to access lab services (e.g. blood work, allergy tests, etc.)?

There are 2 in-network labs with our insurance coverage, LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics. Please visit the links below to find a lab near you:

What happens if I want to use another lab services provider?

Services performed at a facility other than Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp will be considered “out-of-network” and will require higher out-of-pocket costs. If you are having lab work done at your physician’s office and your physician is in-network, then the lab work will be treated as in-network.

Find an urgent care facility

How do I know if I should go to a hospital Emergency Room or an urgent care facility?

Recent data in the last few years shows that ERs are seeing 145.6 million patients per year, but about 4.3% are for non-urgent symptoms. Privately insured patients are unnecessarily visiting the ER 18 million times each year, adding $32 billion per year to national health care costs. It’s important to know your options ahead of time so you can make the right decision when you need to. If possible, we encourage members to utilize urgent care centers since they will save time and money. There are many locations and they often are open late and on weekends.

How can I find an urgent care facility near me?

Finding an in-network urgent care facility near you is easy: just visit the AETNA-Doc Find page.

Generic vs. brand-name drugs

What’s the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?

Generics work the same as brand-name drugs but cost much less.

How much can I save by switching to generic drugs?

The average cost of brand name drugs is 18.6 times higher than the generic equivalent. Generic drugs range from 80% - 85% lower in cost when compared to the brand product. From 2009-2019, the US healthcare system saved almost $2 trillion as a result of generic utilization. Please consult your doctor to determine if you might be able to utilize a generic drug versus a brand-name drug.


You asked...we listened!

Is health insurance required for all Postdoctoral IRTA/CRTA and VF trainees?

Excerpt from the NIH IRTA Policy:

All trainees must have adequate health insurance coverage to receive training in NIH facilities. This requirement may be satisfied by a policy held either in the Trainee's name or in another's name with the Trainee identified as a family member. Verification of health insurance enrollment is required. (

We will be having a baby soon, what do I need to do to add my newborn to the health insurance plan?

If you have a qualifying event to change coverage, we will need the following within 30 days of the qualifying event date:

  • Newborn:
    • FAES change form
    •  Proof of live birth letter or discharge paperwork stating the date of birth of the child
      • Birth Certificate and Social Security Number can be provided later since they may take over 30 days to obtain.
    • If this changes the fellow’s coverage from individual to family coverage, we need update fellowship activation forms.
      • Fellowship activation forms: page 1, 2 and 3
        • The effective date of change should be the date of birth of newborn on page 2
        • Page 1 and 3 signed by fellow
        • Page 1 signed by PI/fellowship sponsor

I am getting married, what do I need to do to add my spouse to my health insurance plan?

If you have a qualifying event to change coverage, we will need the following within 30 days of the qualifying event date:

  • Marriage:
    • FAES change form
    • Marriage Certificate
    • If this changes the fellow’s coverage from individual to family coverage, we need update fellowship activation forms.
      • Fellowship activation forms: page 1, 2 and 3
        • The effective date of the change should be the date of the marriage on page 2
        • Page 1 and 3 signed by fellow

I just arrived at the NIH as a trainee, what do I need to do to enroll in health insurance?

New Hire Enrollments:  We will need the following within 30 days of the new hire date.

  • FAES election form
  • Fellowship activation forms: page 1, 2 and 3
    • Level of coverage selected on page 2
    • Page 1 and 3 signed by fellow
    • Page 1 signed by PI/fellowship sponsor
  • If they are enrolling dependents (spouse or children)
    • Proof of relationship: marriage certificate for spouse and birth certificate for children
      • If the dependents do not have a social security number, we will need:
        • Copy of their passport with stamped date of arrival (dependents must be in US)

How much of the monthly premium do I have to pay?

Your institute covers the monthly premium to FAES, this premium is not deducted from your stipend.

My NIH Fellowship is being renewed for another year. What do I need to do to make sure my health insurance plan doesn’t stop?

Please provide FAES with the NIH Fellowship Activation Form to renew your health insurance. This can be obtained from your Administrative Officer. FAES requires pages 1, 2 and 3 of the 6 pages of the NIH Fellowship Activation Form. The form must be signed by your sponsor on page 1. The Fellow will need to sign page 1 and 3.

I am leaving the NIH, what are my options?

All Fellows must provide a Fellowship Termination Notification to FAES when leaving the NIH or transitioning to a full-time employment position (FTE) with NIH. The form may be faxed to 301-480-3585 or emailed to

Trustmark® will send follow-up information on how to continue health insurance coverage through COBRA.

What is COBRA?

When any covered member loses health insurance coverage based on a termination of employment or the occurrence of other qualifying events, the member will be eligible to elect continuation of coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Once your termination of health insurance coverage is processed you will receive a COBRA packet in mail from Trustmark®. You will have 60 days to elect COBRA. Once COBRA is elected your coverage is retroactive to the date you lost coverage. There will be no lapse in coverage. Please contact a FAES insurance representative for additional information on pricing regarding COBRA coverage.

Only my name is listed on the health insurance cards, do I need cards for each of my dependents?

The cards will only indicate the primary subscriber’s name. The card will then state “Dependent Coverage: Yes” if you have dependents on your plan.

What if I need to see a doctor before I get my insurance card?

Please check with a FAES insurance representative if a temporary card is available. Cards are mailed within 7-14 business days of the processing of your enrollment.

What can I do if I lost my member ID card?

If you lost your member ID card, you can view a PDF on or on the myTrustmarkBenefits phone app.

I never received my member ID card, what should I do?

Please contact FAES Insurance via email or phone and we can assist with providing a PDF of your card.

Are domestic partners eligible to be covered under the plan?

Domestic partners are not eligible. Eligible dependents are spouse or dependent children. FAES requires proof of relationship for dependents. For a spouse, we require a marriage certificate. For dependent children, we require a birth certificate, legal adoption paperwork or legal dependent status documentation.

Can I terminate my plan at any time?

Subscribers covered under the plan can only terminate at Open Enrollment (usually in September) unless they have a qualifying event. A qualifying event to terminate insurance outside of Open Enrollment would be marriage or newly obtained coverage elsewhere. Fellows have 30 days to notify FAES of this qualifying event to terminate coverage. The renewal of your fellowship does not count as a qualifying event to terminate coverage.

Are dental and vision covered under my plan?

As of November 1, 2020, the FAES plan will include a dental and vision plan through MetLife. The benefits can be found in our 2020-2021 benefit guide.

How do I find a dental and vision provider?

Our dental and vision plan is through MetLife. You can visit and choose our plan (Dental PDP Plus and Vision PPO) to find an in-network provider.

How to register for an account with MetLife Dental and Vision?

MetLife MyBenefits account provides you with a personalized, integrated, and secure view of your MetLife delivered benefits. You can take advantage of a number of self-service capabilities as well as a wealth of easy to access information.

•           Visit

•           Enter Employer Name: FAES

Will I receive a MetLife Dental and Vision card?

No, you will not receive a separate MetLife Dental and Vision card. The MetLife Dental and Vision group number and contact information will be on the back of your Trustmark member ID card.  

Are telemedicine visits covered?

Yes, below is the in-network and out-of-network coverage. Please consult with your provider if they are capable of telemedicine visits.

In-network telemedicine visits:

  • Primary Care Provider: $15 Copayment
  • Specialist: $25 Copayment

Out-of-network telemedicine visits:

  • Deductible then 30%

Additional questions and answers

If you didn’t find the answers to your questions here, the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) provides up-to-date information and resources for all you insurance concerns. If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact an FAES insurance representative:

Hours: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday
Phone: 301.496.8063
Secure Fax: 301.480.3585