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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. Offer the person the catalog and schedule of classes if available.

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 and in print 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  If the person has specific questions, refer them to Lesley.

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, I 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.  Refer them to the catalog or to Lesley/Anna.

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:

Is the FAES Graduate School accredited?

No, because we are on government property to operate as a non-degree granting secondary education facility and our faculty are members of the NIH. Our credits are widely accepted, and we are a part of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

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

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?

Go to Register > Participant > Create Your Account

Find a doctor

How do I find a doctor?

To find a AETNA provider with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, 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.)?

In order to reduce out-of-pocket costs, your insurance plan requires that you use a Quest Diagnostics facility for any lab services.  Find a Quest Diagnostics Facility 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 labwork done at your physicians 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?

About 17% of all emergency room (ER) visits in the U.S. could be treated at retail medical clinics or urgent care centers, potentially saving $4.4 billion a year in health care costs.  It’s important to know your options ahead of time so you can make the right decision when you need to. 

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 

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?

On average, members can potentially save around $200-$360 per year by using generic drugs. Ask your doctor if a generic drug could work for you.

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

Yes, health insurance is required for all Postdoctoral IRTA/CRTA and VF trainees. The NIH will pay for low-option individual or family coverage available through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). If you are already insured on another policy, you will be allowed to remain on that policy if you provide evidence of coverage. If the policy is in your name, and you can demonstrate that you are the individual who makes the premium payments, you will be reimbursed by the amount the NIH would have paid for FAES coverage. (Source:

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

Once the baby is born you have 30 days to add your baby to your insurance. You will need to email us two documents if you already have family coverage with us:

Change Form - Fellows

Proof of Birth (If you do not have a birth certificate yet, we can use discharge papers that indicates the babies name and date of birth. 

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

You will need to submit:

New award forms from your institute showing family coverage (please make sure pages 1,2 and 3 are signed)

Change Form - Fellows

Proof of marriage

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

All NIH trainees must have health insurance coverage. If you elect FAES health insurance, all required documents must be submitted to the insurance office within 30 days. The effective date of FAES health insurance is the same date as award period start date on page 1 of the FPS form.

Your IC will cover the cost of individual or family. Here’s how to get started:

Provide FAES with NIH Fellowship Activation Forms obtained from your Administrative Officer (AO). The forms must be signed by your sponsor. FAES requires pages 1, 2 and 3 of the 6 pages of the NIH Fellowship Activation forms.

You must also complete the FAES Election Form.

Email, Fax, or deliver the completed NIH Fellowship Activation Form and completed FAES Election Form to FAES Insurance

Location: Building 10 (South Side,) Room 1N241
Secure Fax: 301- 480-3585

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

Your institute will be paying the monthly premiums to FAES, this premium does NOT come out of your stipend.

I am being renewed here for another year, to make sure my health insurance plan doesn’t stop, what do I need to do?

Health insurance coverage is NOT automatically renewed. Fellowship Award forms are valid for 365 days or less. Please provide FAES with the NIH Fellowship Activation Forms obtained from your Administrative Officer (AO). The forms must be signed by your sponsor. FAES requires pages 1, 2 and 3 of the 6 pages of the NIH fellowship activation forms. Forms can be obtained from your Administrative Officer.

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 Once received, coverage will be terminated at 11:59 pm on the last day of pay status. For ex: if the last day of pay status for a fellow is 09-06-2018, then benefis will be terminate on 09-06-2018. Trustmark® will send follow-up information on how to continue health insurance coverage through COBRA.

Please note: If you are enrolled in a dental plan, you will be required to terminate that on your own. The FAES insurance department cannot cancel your dental plan on your behalf.

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 lose 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?

Since you are the primary on the account, the cards will only indicate your name on the card.

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

A FAES Insurance representative will try to provide you with a temporary ID card within 5 business days of processing your application.