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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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SMG 3121.2




Transmittal Number: 79-18 -- Date: 04/05/1979

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 1. Purpose
 2. Basic Program Concept
 3. Objectives
 4. Eligibility
 5. Application Process
 6. Selection Process
 7. Type of Personnel Action and Entitlement for U.S. Civil Service Employees
 8. Type of Personnel Action and Entitlement for U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps


This Guide provides policy and procedures for the implementation of FDA's Foreign Work/Study Program under the International Health Research Act of 1960 (P.L. 86-610).


Each year, usually in January, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) requests nominations for participation in the Foreign Work/Study Program for the next fiscal year. Foreign Work/Study refers to an overseas assignment of a U.S. Government health professional for work and/or study under a fellow health professional for a period not to exceed one year.

Work/Study assignments are placements which have been selected to meet specific training and experience needs of a particular individual to enhance his potential for contributing to a specific program objective related to the missions of HEW. The program provides educational opportunities and progressive work experiences to employees which enable them to broaden their professional knowledge in the areas of scientific and technological developments in health research and in the delivery of health services. This program should not be used as an instrument for fulfilling advanced degree requirements. Participants should meet the criteria stated above.


The basic purpose of the International Health Research Act of 1960 is to advance the international and national status of health sciences through cooperative research, research planning, and research training. The assignment is overseas because of the existence in a foreign country of special facilities, ecological conditions or highly qualified scientists which are not available in the United States. The assignment is best utilized when a unique research opportunity is identified abroad and when domestic program interests show that our specific needs are met by the execution in another country of a clearly designed protocol. This mechanism provides the Agency with a chance to broaden the view of health professionals in this country.

The Work/Study participant generally learns new techniques, additional approaches to program development, and develops international contacts which provide him/her with a greater exposure in his/her field of expertise. The international contacts provide health professionals with the opportunity to make maximum use of the new techniques and developments taking place in other countries.


U.S. Civil Service employees who are in GS grades 11 through 15 or members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps grades 04 through 06 are eligible to make application for the Foreign Work/Study Program.


Each applicant must submit to his/her bureau or office director the following information:

A. Name, title, and current assignment.

B. Site of proposed assignment; indication of approval of project by host institution; facilities to be provided, etc. Projects should have a single base of activity.

C. Summary or scope of project to be carried out.

D. Justification: Stressing relationship of work/study experience to individual's career development, relationship to FDA mission, and need for assignment to be made overseas rather than in the U.S.

E. Approximate dates of departure and return.


At the appropriate time, nominations will be requested by the International Affairs Staff (HFY-5). The nominations, endorsed by the director of the employee's bureau or office, will be reviewed by the Deputy Commissioner and an Associate Commissioner. Approved nominations will be forwarded to the Office of International Health, HEW. An Ad Hoc Foreign Work/Study Committee will review the nominations submitted by the PHS agencies and recommend the assignees. (The committee is chaired by the Deputy Director, OIH, and is composed of one representative from each of the PHS agencies.) Final approval is vested in the Department of State.


Salary, travel and subsistence costs are provided by the employee's bureau or office. No administrative support is provided by the U.S. Embassy in the host country. As evidence of status as U.S. Government employees, travelers participating in the Foreign Work/Study Program are issued an Official Passport (dependents will be issued an Official Passport stating they are dependents of the participating employee). Entitlement will be based on the type of personnel action (SF-50).

A. Food and Drug Administration personnel participating in the Foreign Work/Study Program for a period of not less than one full year ordinarily will be considered on a Permanent Change of Station from the Official Station in Continental U.S. to the Official Overseas Station and reimbursed as such. The employee will be entitled to:

1. Round trip transportation for self and dependents;

2. Travel per diem for self and dependents;

3. Foreign Transfer Allowance;

a. Miscellaneous expense portion - amounts of $100.00 (employee without a family) and $200.00 (employee with family) payable without receipts or itemization. Larger claims must be supported by receipts for the entire miscellaneous expense claim.

b. Wardrobe expense portion - granted only for transfers between climatic zones. The amounts payable are $75.00 (employee without family), $125.00 (one family member), and $175.00 (two or more family members).

The maximum amounts for the two portions combined are one week's salary for an employee without family and two weeks' salary for an employee with family at a maximum salary ceiling of GS-13, step 10. Receipts should be submitted after arrival at new duty station.

4. Movement of household effects (married employees 11,000 pounds and single employees 7,500 pounds), and temporary storage (not to exceed two months).

5. Or, in lieu of entitlement listed in paragraph (4), air freight 250 pounds for the first person, 200 pounds for the second person, 150 pounds for the third person, and 100 pounds for each additional person) and Non-Temporary Storage (one year or more).

6. Temporary Lodging Allowance to cover a reasonable cost of temporary quarters for a period of 30 days after reporting date (must be included on SF-50).

7. Supplementary post allowance is a supplement to the cost-of-living allowance to defray part of the cost of meals for an employee (single or with family) in temporary lodging status, where suitable housekeeping quarters are not available (must be included in SF-50).

8. Living Quarters Allowance is to cover the annual cost of suitable and adequate living quarters for the average employee and family if government quarters are not provided (must be included in SF-50).

The living quarters allowance cannot be paid concurrently with the temporary lodging allowance.

Educational Allowance is to assist in meeting the uncompensated, necessary, and extraordinary expenses of educating your dependent children while you are serving in a foreign area (must be included in SF-50).

Post Allowance is to comPenSate for serving at a duty station where the cost of living (excluding living quarters and schooling) is substantially higher than in Washington, D.C. (must be included in SF-50).

B. Food and Drug Administration personnel participating in the Foreign Work/Study Program for less than one year will be considered on a training assignment and will be reimbursed as such. The employee will be entitled to:

1. Round trip transportation.

2. Per Diem.

a. First 30 days - per diem of the foreign country.

b. Next 60 days - 66 percent of per diem.

c. Balance of training assignment - 26 percent of per diem.

3. Or, in lieu of per diem, the employee may claim transportation of immediate family, household goods and temporary storage, as long as the total cost does not exceed the total cost of per diem.


Entitlement are included in Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) Sections M-4300 through M-4309.