Internship Program

Internship rotations complement research training in NIDDK labs and provide fellows with opportunities for career development and professional growth. Fellows are able to develop marketable skills, build their resumes, and expand the scope of their networking contacts. Rotations may focus on scientific review, research analysis, program management, or technology transfer, licensing agreements, and patents.

About the Internship

Host Sites

Fellows can complete rotations in the following offices within and outside of NIDDK:

Who Should Apply

Participants must have excellent communication and organizational skills as well as a sincere interest in working with different offices and facilities. Participation in the Program is not intended to be a path to employment, but rather a chance to develop new research skills and learn broadly about the work and operations across NIDDK and other Institutes and organizations.

Number of Participants

Each internship host site takes 2 to 4 participants per year. The number of participants depends on the office’s needs and ability to accommodate, mentor, train, and utilize rotating fellows effectively.

Duration of Internship

The internship lasts for 3 to 4 months.

Hours per Week

Fellows can work full- or part-time. Hours interning per week are decided on a case-by-case basis.


Participants will continue in their current fellowship appointments and receive the same stipends and benefits during the internship rotation.

Contact Former Interns

Former interns can provide feedback on their experiences in the various rotations. Please email the NIDDK Fellowship Office for contact information.

Application Process

Application Documents

Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Potential applicants should send the following documents to the NIDDK Fellowship Office.

  • C.V.
  • cover letter summarizing career objectives, skills you hope to gain from the Program, and skills you would bring to the Program
  • principal investigator’s letter of recommendation and support
  • signed, written approval from the lab or branch chief

Selection Committee

A Selection Committee will evaluate applications and assign participants to the appropriate host site. Among others, the Committee will consist of members of the NIDDK Fellowship Office, the chief of the Grant Review Branch, and the director of the Technology Advancement Office.

Participation in the Program

Start Date

The start date for the rotation will be flexible, depending on the needs of the fellow and the internship host site. The start date will be selected by the fellow, the host site, and the principal investigator.

Advisory Committee

Overall supervision will be provided by an Advisory Committee comprised of a staff member and the chief from the host site, the principal investigator, and members of the NIDDK Fellowship Office.

Internship Mentor

All fellows will be assigned a formal internship mentor whom they will meet with regularly. The mentor will have primary responsibility for ensuring the success of the rotation. This includes providing training in the mission and goals of the office and arranging experiences that are both varied and appropriate to each fellow's interests.

After 2 months, the internship mentor will discuss the fellow’s work with the Advisory Committee to ensure that the fellow is making an active and effective contribution, and will provide feedback to the fellow on progress and achievements. The internship mentor will discuss the fellow's experience thus far and assess progress made on career objectives. These meetings will provide an opportunity to determine whether the fellow has already gained the experiences sought and would therefore like to return to the laboratory or prioritize experiences needed to accomplish stated goals.

Conclusion and Evaluation

At the end of their rotation, fellows will be required to write a brief summary of their experiences, including suggestions to improve the program. Each fellow will have a final meeting with the Advisory Committee to review the summary and discuss ways to highlight and capitalize on the fellow's internship accomplishments when seeking a position. The fellows will also be presented with a certificate acknowledging this training experience and contributions made to the host site.