Work/Life and Benefits

NIDA’s work-life programs are designed to foster diverse and supportive workplaces.  These environments promote discovery and research while ensuring that institute scientists, medical staff, administrators, and support staff enjoy quality work lives in which each employee may reach his or her full potential.  Work-life programs are critical management tools as we strive to maintain an excellent, engaged workforce.

Flexible Work Options

Flexible Work Options are valued tools for supporting employee efforts to balance the demands of work and personal life.  These approaches involve the use of nontraditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures and flexible work arrangements.  Participation in these programs is a matter of management and supervisory discretion.

  • Telework:  Allows employees to work at a place other than the official duty station.
  • Compressed Work Schedules:  Allows employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 working days.
  • Flexible Work Schedules:  Allows employees to work outside of the NIH standard of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


The NIH offers a multiple leave programs give employees flexibility to address personal or family medical needs.

  • Annual Leave: Employees typically are allowed to carry a maximum of 30 workdays (240 hours) of annual leave from one year to the next.
  • Sick Leave:  Sick leave can be used for personal illness, care of sick family members, adoption, and medical appointments.
  • Family & Medical Leave Act: Entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
  • NIH Leave Bank:  Offers income protection to eligible NIH Leave Bank members who are affected by a personal or family medical emergency or condition.
  • Voluntary Leave Bank Program: Enables employees to contribute annual leave or restored annual leave to a bank.  The leave from this bank is made available to Leave Bank Members who are projected to go into a non-pay status of at least 24 hours because of a personal or family medical emergency.


The federal government offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and retirement savings.

Work Life

We acknowledge that in order to perform at their highest level, employees have to keep their life in balance.  For this reason, NIH/NIDA’s programs and policies support flexibility, health, and wellness.