STEP-UP Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements for High School & Undergraduate Students

Please read the eligibility requirements carefully, as they may differ from other NIH funded programs.

Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent resident
  • Be 16 years of age or older and either be enrolled in high school or an accredited U.S. college or university, or plan to be enrolled in the fall
  • If a high school student, be in their junior or senior year of high school, during the application period
  • If an undergraduate student, be currently enrolled as a full-time student at a U.S. accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university
  • Undergraduates who will have graduated prior to the start of research in the summer of 2021 are not eligible
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale), although exceptions may be granted
  • Have personal medical/health insurance coverage throughout the duration of the program (exceptions will be granted for students living in the Pacific Islands)

Applicants must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Come from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in biomedical sciences on a national basis
  • Have been diagnosed with a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Be the first generation in their family to graduate from a four-year college or university and/or come from a disadvantaged background as defined by annual family income

The following income levels determine what constitutes a low-income family for determining economically disadvantaged students:

Family Size (includes parents and dependents) Annual Family Income (AFI)
1 $21,780
2 $29,420
3 $37,060
4 $44,700
5 $52,340
6 $59,980
7 $67,620
8 $75,260

For additional questions regarding the eligibility requirements, please visit the STEP-UP FAQs or contact the NIDDK STEP-UP Program Staff.

NIDDK Staff Contact

Rob Rivers, Ph.D.