DSRTP Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) through the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination invite students to submit their application for the Summer Research Training Program.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) through the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination invite students to submit their application for the Summer Research Training Program. The overall goal of this 10-week program is to build and sustain a biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social science research pipeline focused on NIDDK mission areas. The NIDDK Diversity Summer Research Program (DSRTP) is particularly interested in increasing students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, including individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, individuals diagnosed with a disability and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups: African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Alaska native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders.

These traineeships are available only in the intramural laboratories of the NIH, in Bethesda, Maryland and Phoenix, AZ.

Yes, students who are selected receive a monthly stipend that is based on education level and experience. 

Small stipend supplement may be provided to cover cost of living expenses in Maryland and Arizona.

Yes, all students are required to make their own travel through our travel agency. Scientific Consultant Group (SCG) will be contacting students regrading travel arrangements. The NIDDK/DSRTP Program will provide up to $700 to assist with travel expenses so students will not be required to pay for airline tickets.

If students choose to use another travel agency you will NOT be reimburse for your airline ticket.

The NIH is unable to provide housing for summer interns. We can offer some information that may help you in finding a place to live. However, any information we provide is just that; it does not constitute advice, nor are we endorsing or approving any companies or services.

Many different hotels and apartments are close to NIH, on an NIH shuttle route, or within walking distance of metro stations, see NIH Clinical Center Visitor website: Hotels and Motels. Previous DSRTP students have stayed at the Monterey Apartment, see NIH CC list for information.

The Moving Guide (PDF, 518 KB)  prepared by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education, provides additional suggests for temporary/short term housing.

Students selected for the program usually begin work between the first week of June through mid-August. The minimum time commitment is ten weeks, 40 hours a week.

No, vacations are not permitted during the 10-week research experience. All vacations must be taken before or after the program start and end dates.

No, students are expected to conduct research full-time (equivalent to 40 hours per week) in a supervised laboratory or clinical facility.


No. Only citizens, permanent residents and noncitizen nationals of the U.S. are eligible to apply to this program.

Undergraduate students who have completed at least 1 year at an accredited institution.

Yes, those who have graduated, within the one year, from a qualifying educational institution are eligible.

No. However, most summer positions are in research laboratories or research groups with a biomedical focus. You should have successfully completed courses in biology and chemistry. That said, research at the NIH runs the gamut from behavioral and social science through computational biology and biophysics.

Students must have a minimum overall GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

Yes. All students are required to submit a copy of their health/medical insurance policy to the program director.

Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, individuals diagnosed with a disability and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups: African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Alaska native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders.

An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as an individual who comes from the following:

  1. A social, cultural or educational environment that has demonstrably and recently directly inhibited an individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop or participate in a research career and/or

  2. A family with an annual income below established low income thresholds. For individuals from low income backgrounds, the institution must be able to demonstrate that such participants have qualified for federal disadvantaged assistance or they have received any of the following student loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or they have received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

Application Procedure

Yes, the application deadline is February 1.

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible after the application site becomes available in mid-November.

All applications and supporting documents must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) on February 1. Applicants will not be able to submit an application after 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1.

No, you will need to reapply and request new letters from your references.

All letters of reference must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1.

  • Academic reference letters from individuals with a science research background who can speak on your skills in the laboratory, creativity, problem solving abilities, motivation, ability to handle complex scientific literature and concepts, etc. Select academic references who are able to explain why you would be a good addition to a research group.

  • Academic reference letters from individuals who can speak from personal knowledge on your academic or professional qualifications for undergraduate study.

  • Reference letters from family members and/or friends are never appropriate.

The system-generated e-mail request for a reference letter may have failed to reach your reference for any one of several reasons:

  • You may have provided an incorrect e-mail address.

  • The message may have been blocked from reaching your reference by a Spam filter.

  • Our e-mail server or your reference's may have malfunctioned at the time the message was being sent.

  • The message was undeliverable due to other circumstances beyond our control (e.g., your reference's mailbox being full).

If your reference did not receive the original message, you should:

  • Check the e-mail address that you provided on your application for your reference and correct it if necessary, then an automated response email will be sent to your recommender.

  • Ask your reference to check the folder to which his/her Spam filter diverts suspicious messages. This folder might be called "Junk mail," "Bulk mail," or "Spam."

If your reference still cannot find the message and you suspect there is a technical problem. Your recommender can email the letter to the Program Director, Ms. Winnie Martinez, letters must include a signature authorization.

No, the online application system will accept only two reference letters to be uploaded.

However, for returning DSRTP students, three reference letters are required. For returning students, the third letter of reference must be email to the Program Director, Ms. Winnie Martinez from their NIDDK/DSRTP Research Mentor.

You can change a reference if the original reference has not yet submitted a letter on your behalf. After a letter has been submitted, you cannot make such a change. If you replace an existing reference, please notify that individual that you will no longer require his/her assistance.

It is your responsibility to let your original reference know that his/her assistance will no longer be required.

Unofficial transcript must be submitted to Ms. Winnie Martinez, by February 1. Official transcript must be (mailed) or submitted electronically from your institute or university to Ms. Winnie Martinez, one week after notification of acceptance.

Please send your official transcript to the following address:
Ms. Winnie Martinez
Program Analyst
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

Yes, official transcripts must reflect all earned credits and grades through December.

Please list all of your completed courses with grades, as well as the courses that you plan to complete by the end of the academic year. Be certain to include an informative course title rather than just providing the course number.

After Applying

Program director will contact you by email.

The NIDDK DSRTP Program Director will begin notifying applicants of acceptance into the DSRTP program by email after two weeks of the deadline, this will continue until all available spots are filled. Accepted applicants will be required to confirm their participation within 3-5 days of notification.

Expectations During Internship

Students are expected to:

  1. Attend student orientation

  2. Attend NIDDK DSRTP Research Symposium

  3. Attend NIH Summer Poster Day

  4. Meet bi-weekly with OMHRC staff

  5. Participate in meetings and seminars in your individual lab

  6. Attend weekly research and career development seminars

  7. Attend summer seminar series with senior NIH investigators who will discuss the latest developments in biomedical research

  8. 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)

  9. Get paired with a post baccalaureate or postdoctoral fellow for informal guidance

Resources For Prospective Applicants

Here is a summary of our advice on resumes/CVs (PDF, 856 KB)

For more information on resources for prospective applicants, please visit:


NIDDK Staff Contact

Ms. Winnie Martinez