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Doctoral Student & Postdoctoral Fellow Training

Doctoral student and postdoctoral training opportunities are listed below. Applications may be due months in advance.

Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP)

Purpose: The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education hosts the Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) that brings Ph.D. graduate students to the NIH Intramural Research campus for dissertation research. There are two pathways for GPP students.

  • Individual Partnerships are for Ph.D. graduate students already enrolled in a university who wish to create a partnership agreement between the NIH and their Ph.D. graduate program.
  • Institutional Partnerships are for students who wish to enroll in a Ph.D. program at a university that has a formal partnership with the NIH.

Eligibility: There are many NIH-University partnerships available to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or international graduate students. Review the partnership descriptions to determine which pathway, partnerships, and online application form are most appropriate for your admission consideration.

Background Check: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85 (PDF, 204 KB )). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Length of Award: Varies depending on dissertation work and university requirements.

Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Awards (IRTAs)

Purpose: The program provides advanced training and research experience to physicians and Ph.D.-level investigators who are at the beginning stages of their professional research careers. Participants will engage in research studies under the direction of preceptors and apply their newly gained knowledge and enhance their research skills through participation in ongoing research investigations.

Eligibility:

Applicants must

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • have an M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., or equivalent degree in a biomedical, behavioral, or related science, or certification by a university as meeting all the requirements leading to such a doctorate
  • have 5 or fewer years of relevant post-doctoral research experience and up to 2 additional years of experience not oriented towards research (i.e., clinical training for physicians)

Background Check: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85 (PDF, 204 KB)). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Length of Award: Initial appointments may be for 1 or 2 years, with extensions in one-year increments not to exceed five years total. Participants may not be part-time for more than an eight-year calendar period. Intermittent schedules are not permitted.

Visiting Fellowships

Purpose: The program invites foreign postdoctoral junior scientists to the NIH for an interchange of scientific information and training. The program accelerates career and professional development by providing opportunities to use the facilities at NIH and to work closely with leading authorities in all branches of biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Eligibility:

Applicants must

  • be non-U.S. citizens
  • have a doctoral or equivalent degree in the biomedical sciences or be enrolled in a doctoral degree program at a fully accredited U.S. or foreign university

The program is intended for junior scientists who have five years or less of relevant postdoctoral research experience. If a degree was earned more than five years ago and the scientist has more than five years of experience, Office of Intramural Research (OIR) approval is needed prior to submission to the NIH Division of International Services (DIS).

Visas are required for non-U.S. citizens. Visa Classification Information is available on the NIH Division of International Service website.

Background Check: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85 (PDF, 204 KB)). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Length of Award:

  • Postdoctoral – Visiting Fellow initial appointments can be made for two years with a maximum of five years total.
  • Predoctoral – Visiting Fellow appointments can be made for one month to two-year appointments. NIDDK usually approves a two-year initial appointment, unless there is a visa issue limiting the length. Appointments normally may not exceed three years, or until the student receives a doctoral degree. Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellows must be registered with the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP).

Research Fellowships

Purpose: The program provides a flexible mechanism for the temporary employment and professional development of promising research scientists who are non-U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

The program accelerates career and professional development by providing opportunities to use the facilities at NIH and to work closely with leading authorities in all branches of biomedical and behavioral sciences. The program also provides the opportunity to observe an investigator’s performance for an extended period of time.

Eligibility:

Applicants must

  • be non-U.S. citizens
  • have been awarded a doctoral degree in a biomedical, behavioral or related science
  • have 0-7 years of postdoctoral research experience

Individuals with more than seven years of postdoctoral research experience may only be appointed by an exception, approved by the Scientific Director, NIDDK.

Visas are required for non-U.S. citizens. Visa Classification Information is available on the NIH Division of International Service website.

Background Check: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85 (PDF, 204 KB)). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Length of Award: Initial appointments are for 13 months or two years, with one-year extensions reviewed annually, not to exceed five years. Extensions beyond five years require exceptional approval of the NIH Institute or Center (IC) Scientific Director.