This Month's Hot Topic

DCSA Issues Directive Requiring Agencies to Transition to New System for Federal Background Investigations

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) issued Federal Investigations Notice (FIN) 23-02 which announced that the government-wide system currently used for requesting federal background investigations, the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing (e-QIP), will be replaced by the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) eApplication (eApp) on October 1, 2023.  Please know that this message is for informational purposes only and no action is required on your part.
eApp will be the new system used to collect and process investigative forms required for the federal background investigation for all government employees, contractors and affiliates. While the new eApp system will ask the same questions as the legacy e-QIP system, eApp is based on modern, simple design elements, making the application process easier for applicants to navigate and provide necessary information. This new system will be more intuitive to use, which may help shorten the time it takes to request background investigations. 
In preparation for the shift from e-QIP to eApp, the Office of Research Services’ (ORS) Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) is currently working with DCSA and the HHS Office of National Security (ONS) to transition NIH over to the new eApp system in a seamless manner with minimal impact on individuals completing the background investigation process. DPSAC has already successfully completed over two dozen background investigation requests using the NBIS eApp, and we continue to increase usage in preparation for the transition.
You may watch DCSA’s 1-minute introductory video, highlighting various aspects of eApp and the differences between the two systems. You may also view DCSA’s eApp walkthrough video and this PDF explaining the transition from e-QIP to eApp. For more information on the NBIS eApp, visit DCSA’s NBIS page.

System Outages Affecting Fingerprinting and Badging Operations Now Resolved

As of September 11, 2023, the NIH Office of Research Services (ORS) Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) is pleased to inform the NIH community that the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) systems outage (referenced right below) has been resolved. DPSAC is now able to submit fingerprints and investigation requests for all request types. DPSAC is working internally to transmit all prior fingerprint submissions and investigation request packages that have been queued.                                                                                                                                     

Technical Issue Affecting NIH-wide Fingerprinting and Badging Operations

Urgent announcement made on September 5, 2023:

Due to a technical issue with Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) IT systems, the NIH Office of Research Services (ORS) Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC) and Division of Police (DP) are unable to submit fingerprints to DCSA starting September 5, 2023 until further notice, which impacts all new employees and the issuance of new ID badges.

This includes individuals with the following types of upcoming appointments:

  • Badge Enrollment (PIV/RLA)
  • Prescreening fingerprints 
  • Remote fingerprinting with Fieldprint 
  • DP Extended Visitor Badging Fingerprinting 
  • Fingerprinting for current staff undergoing a new background investigation (i.e. reinvestigations, position changes, promotions, etc.)

Please note: this will not affect badge renewals. Additionally, individuals who have appointments with DPSAC and DP will still have their fingerprints collected during the appointment. However, the fingerprints will not be submitted to DCSA until further notice. This will mean that any prescreening application or badge application with a scheduled appointment on September 5th and onward will be delayed until the DCSA outage is resolved. When the outage is resolved, DPSAC will work to resubmit all fingerprint submissions that were queued and await the results before we can finalize prescreening and badge applications.  

Please be advised this will cause a delay in people being able to pick up their ID badge and/or complete the prescreening process. DPSAC will work diligently to help people complete the required processes as soon as the systems are back online. We want to apologize for the inconvenience this will cause.

NIH Office of Research Services (ORS)
Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC)
DPSAC Website:

​Policy​ Regarding Marijuana Usage

Please note: Any fellowship offer (at all training levels) is contingent on the fellow's ability to successfully pass a federal background check, which is required for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems. ​Offer letters for trainees (at all levels) should have the following language inserted:

As part of the clearance process, you will be asked: “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?" This question pertains to the use of controlled substances or drugs as defined under federal law. Please be aware that while marijuana may be legal or decriminalized within your home jurisdiction, it remains illegal under U.S. federal law. The use, possession, supply, or manufacture of marijuana may preclude you from obtaining the necessary clearances to participate in NIH intramural training programs, even if you were initially offered a position. If you have questions about this policy or would like guidance on the clearance process, please reach out to (please put eligibility inquiry in the subject line).

For further information, please refer to the IRTA manual chapter “template offer letter" or contact the OITE point of contact, Jackie Newell-Hunt.

Perimeter Security Access

NIH security personnel will ask all daily visitors the reason for their visit, the location they intend to visit, and if applicable, who they are visiting. The intent of the change is to ensure individuals entering our facilities have a legitimate purpose and where applicable are expected by an NIH employee, contractor or affiliate. The visitor and the NIH host should coordinate arrival times to ensure when security calls the NIH host is available to confirm the visit. 

Building Access Control

To enhance the safety and security of the interior of campus, the NIH will convert the following administrative buildings to a "weekend access control" schedule. Buildings 1, 2, 3, 12A, 15K, 16, 30T, 38, 45, 61, T40B and 82RA will transition to this new access control schedule. In order to enter from the exterior of a building, employees will need to use their NIH-issued identification badge with a card reader, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the same procedure used to enter the main campus at any of our employee entrances.