NIDDK Diversity Summer Research Training Program (DSRTP) for Undergraduate Students

The DSRTP Program provides an independent summer research experience at NIH laboratories to undergraduate students interested in research careers.

DSRTP summer students.

Researching with NIDDK

Research performed by the laboratories and branches of the NIDDK covers an extraordinarily diverse area but is unified by a commitment to excellence in both basic and clinical investigation. The basic science laboratories include outstanding groups in many facets of modern molecular biology, structural biology, including x-ray crystallography and NMR, cell biology, and pharmacology. Systems under study include viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including yeast and mammalian cells. Developmental biology is represented by studies ranging from those on cellular slime molds to those on mouse oocyte development. Several laboratories use the most up-to-date techniques in receptor pharmacology, natural products chemistry, and organic chemistry to study a wide variety of compounds, particularly neuroactive agents. Not only biochemical but also mathematical and physical chemical methods are applied to a variety of fundamental problems.

The clinical branches of NIDDK combine basic science and clinical investigation with patient care. Several branches study endocrine diseases and general aspects of signal transduction, including growth factor and hormone action. Molecular biologic and molecular genetic techniques have been used to elucidate specific gene mutations representing the underlying defect in a variety of diseases, including thyroid hormone resistance, certain forms of diabetes, and other disorders of signal transduction. Several NIDDK scientists have created transgenic and knockout mice models of human diseases.

Program Highlights

  • Conduct independent research in a NIH laboratory
    • 10 weeks starting in June, running through mid-August
    • $2,600 Student Participation Allowance
    • Location- Bethesda, Maryland or Phoenix, Arizona
      • Up to $700 for travel expenses to research location
      • Housing in double-occupancy room (a roommate will be assigned)
  • Career Development and Guidance Opportunities
    • Participate in meetings and seminars in your individual lab
    • Attend weekly research and career development seminars
    • Attend summer seminar series with senior NIH investigators who will discuss the latest developments in biomedical research
    • With preceptor permission, attend formal lectures and symposia, listed in the weekly "NIH Calendar of Events” (only available at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland).
    • Get paired with a post baccalaureate or postdoctoral fellow for informal guidance
    • Meet bi-weekly with OMHRC staff
  • Present your work at the NIH Summer Research Program Poster Day

All awardees will be required to attend courses on Ethics in Research, and on Lab Safety.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Undergraduate students who have completed at least 1 year at an accredited institution
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Health Insurance coverage
  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident status

Application Procedure

Once required documents are gathered, complete the online application. Please note, official transcripts must be mailed from your school’s registrar to the NIDDK.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • From faculty members/advisors who can address your intellectual and personal suitability for the program
  • Personal statement
    • Describe your research interest, career goals, and reasons for applying to this program
    • 2,000 characters or less including spacing, punctuation
    • Double spaced
  • Official Transcript
    • Mailed directly from your school to Ms. Martinez:

      Office of Minority Health Research Coordination
      National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH
      II Democracy Plaza
      6707 Democracy Boulevard, Room 9215
      Bethesda, MD 20892

Application Deadline

February 1, 2018

Application Selection

Priority will be given to students who reside outside of the Maryland/Washington D.C./Virginia areas. Local students are encouraged to apply for the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP).

NIDDK Staff Contact

Ms. Winnie Martinez