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2021 Amgen Scholars Program at NIH

 COVID-19 UPDATE: We are now able to share information regarding the 2021 NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) and High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP). We held off deciding whether to hold an in-person, virtual, or hybrid program in 2021 as long as possible with the hopes that we would feel safe inviting hundreds of new interns to campus this June. Unfortunately, it is clear that we still face uncertain times with continuing difficulty integrating trainees who started during the pandemic. Therefore, we want to let you know that SIP2021 will be fully virtual this summer.

 If you are selected to participate in the virtual summer program at the NIH, you will be engaged in a virtual project related to your lab assignment. Our goal is for you to learn about the research process and grow as a responsible and resilient scientist. If you join us you will also be able participate in various activities provided by our office, the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE), and/or the NIH Institutes and Centers. We will share further information on the structure and content of the virtual program with you as it becomes available. We look forward to welcoming those of you who are offered positions to Virtual SIP and Virtual HS-SIP this summer. Please send any questions to

We will not be accepting new applications for the 2021 AMGEN Scholars Program at NIH. Students selected to participate in the Summer 2020 AMGEN program that was cancelled due to the COIVD-19 pandemic will be welcome to participate in 2021 and should follow the directions below. We fully expect to accept applications next cycle for participation in the AMGEN program in Summer of 2022.

The Amgen Scholars Program at NIH is a partnership between the Amgen Foundation, the Foundation for the NIH, and the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education. Normally, Amgen Scholars at NIH will spend the summer working at NIH's main campus in Bethesda, Maryland side-by-side with some of the world's leading scientists, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. During their internships at NIH, scholars will be matched with research mentors in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) where they will be immersed in a culture of translational science and will explore important elements of the basic, translational, and clinical research enterprise. (To get an idea of the types of research conducted in the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH, visit In addition to performing full-time research, scholars will:

  • Participate in a customized curriculum that will use journal clubs, case studies, writing projects, and group activities to develop communication, career readiness, and critical thinking skills.
  • Explore the relationship between science and society in evening roundtables that examine the role of science, policy, and community engagement in the elimination of health disparities (for a definition of health disparities, visit the Amgen Scholars Program at NIH FAQs).
  • Participate in a leadership development program focused on self-exploration, building resiliency, understanding conflict, finding mentors, and understanding emotional intelligence.
  • Attend the Virtual Amgen Scholars US Symposium to interact with top industry and academic scientists and to network with other Amgen Scholars.
  • Present at the NIH Summer Poster Day at the beginning of August.
  • Establish an individualized development plan to take advantage of the many workshops and seminars offered for all NIH summer interns. These include our summer lecture series, "Going to Graduate School" series, communication skills workshops, and the NIH Graduate & Professional School Fair.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants to the program should be willing to work on any aspect of their broader scientific interest. Even though health disparities and their elimination are a major focus of the AMGEN Scholars Program at NIH, not all scholars will conduct research related to health disparities.

The Amgen Scholars Program at NIH will begin with an orientation and leadership training program. Scholars will meet weekly for program activities throughout the summer. (For more information, visit the program FAQs)

During their internships at NIH, interns will receive a monthly stipend. Those physically on site are eligible to receive Transhare benefits for travel within the Metro DC area (Transhare is a transportation subsidy provided to individuals who agree to use any form of public transportation and not their car to get to work).


The Amgen Scholars Program at NIH is a summer internship for undergraduate students interested in PhD and combined degree programs in the sciences. Students interested in attending medical or other professional school programs should apply to the broader NIH Summer Internship Program.  Students with experience in health disparities and a keen interest in learning more about the biological, environmental, social, and genetic causes of health disparities are especially encouraged to apply. The admission committee will give preference to students who lack opportunities to perform independent research during the school year. NIH welcomes applications from students in all science disciplines and encourages students from diverse backgrounds to apply.

In addition, applicants must:

Individuals who have earned a baccalaureate degree, students who are not currently enrolled at a U.S. institution, and previous Amgen Scholars are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

Applicants selected for AMGEN in summer 2020 should complete the standard NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) for 2021 and include the word “AMGEN” at the beginning of their cover letter. Applicants should discuss the following important elements in the application cover letter:

  • Research interests and educational/career goals for the future
  • Understanding of, experience with, and interest in learning more about health disparities; we are interested in learning about personal, coursework-related, or community-based experiences that have increased your interest in health disparities.
  • Leadership experiences in school and in the community

Students selected to participate in AMGEN 2020 MUST apply through the SIP application portal.  The full application package, including reference letters, must be completed by December 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm for applicants to be considered for the program. 

How the Program Works

Individuals who WERE selected to participate in the 2020 AMGEN Program and have submitted an application for summer 2021 will be matched by the program with NIH intramural scientists. Every effort will be made to place students in research groups related to their research interests. Applicants should not contact NIH intramural scientists to discuss placements on their own. In addition, they should NOT specify on their applications an NIH Institute/Center in which they would like to be placed.

All interns participating in the AMGEN program must available full time from June 7th to 11th for orientation. Students will join their research groups on June 14th and the program will run through August 6th, 2021. Summer internships are full-time positions; interns are expected to devote a minimum of 40 hours per week to their projects and training. Students should not, therefore, expect to take courses during the daytime. Furthermore, they should not make plans for evening coursework or volunteer activities before speaking to program staff.

Table comparing the AMGEN Scholars Program with other summer programs at the NIH