Stipend rates for Scholars Professionals are based on the participant’s conferred degree level at the time of application. SPs receive a compensation package that includes: 1) Base stipend amount; 2) Leave Benefits; and 3) Healthcare Benefits. Scholars Professionals (SPs) are not employees; therefore, there are no employment-related benefits such as unemployment compensation.

Base Amount

The base stipend award includes funds the participant can use towards retirement benefits. USRA will provide our broker’s contact information so SPs can invest on their own. No retirement benefits will be offered directly by USRA.

  • Bachelor’s Degree starting at $82,000 per year
  • Master’s or Doctoral Degree starting $100,000 per year

Leave Benefits

Scholars Professionals (SPs) may be excused from AFRL research activities for brief periods due to personal emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances. SPs receive 26 days of paid time off which allows participants to take time away in case of illness or vacation. SPs also receive paid time off for 11 federal holidays.

Healthcare Benefits

During the term of appointment, SPs are required to have health insurance coverage. USRA provides health insurance for SPs through Aetna. SPs will also have the option to enroll in dental and vision benefits. If the participant chooses to enroll in a healthcare plan, the monthly stipend payment will be adjusted based on the estimated out-of-pocket health insurance, dental and vision costs.

SPs must enroll in USRA's Aetna health insurance plan, unless you have alternative healthcare coverage (for example, through your spouse's work). Participants with alternative healthcare coverage, must provide proof of this coverage to USRA prior to the start of their appointment.

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