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2019 Graduate Data Science Summer Program

 The application for summer 2019 is now closed.

We are pleased to announce a new summer internship program for students pursuing a masters degree in data science.  The 2019 Graduate Data Science Summer Program (GDSSP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The GDSSP program is a partnership between the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education and the newly formed Office of Data Science Strategy.  GDSSP students will spend the summer at the NIH learning how to use their computational skills to help answer critical biomedical research questions that can have significant societal impact.  During their internships, GDSSP students will be working in an NIH research group, supporting existing research projects and learning from mentors within the field.  Students will not only be learning about the biomedical research enterprise, a specific topic and project, they will be providing vital insights into how computational skills and tools can help make new discoveries and solve a broad array of biomedical research problems. 

(To learn about the types of research conducted in the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH, visit In addition to performing full-time research, interns will:

  • Participate in a customized curriculum that will use case studies and group activities to explore the many uses of data science within the biomedical research enterprise.
  • Participate in a leadership development program focused on self-awareness, resiliency, conflict management, effective mentoring relationships, and understanding emotional intelligence.
  • Engage the broader NIH community in discussing cutting-edge research through participation at NIH Summer Poster Day.
  • 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, communication skills workshops, and the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) Annual Scientific and Professional Development Retreat.

The GDSSP will begin with a two-day orientation and leadership training program followed by a two day workshop detailing biomedical research and how it differs from computer science. Students will meet with OITE and NIH mentors for program activities throughout the summer.

During their internships at NIH, interns will receive a monthly stipend and 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 NIH GDSSP is a summer research immersion experience that seeks to prepare a diverse cadre of data science students to use their skills within the biomedical research enterprise by introducing them exciting opportunities within the field.  This program is designed for recently matriculated masters students enrolled in a data science or computer science degree program, especially those interested in integrating translational approaches into research design. 

Students with disabilities; students who are Pell Grant-eligible; students who are or have been enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); students who identify as LGBTQ; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including recent natural disasters, are encouraged to apply to GDSS.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Be enrolled for Fall 2019 in a masters degree program at a university in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or other US territory.
  • Students applying for Fall 2019 admission should apply knowing that participation in the program will be dependent on successful matriculation into a graduate program.
  • Have permission from their graduate school program/university to participate in the program.

Application Process
Applicants should complete the standard NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) application and choose "GDSSP" in item 9. Applicants should discuss the following important elements in the application cover letter:

  • Prior research experience, and current and future research interests.
  • Educational and career goals.
  • How participation in GDSSP will assist in achieving stated goals.
  • Commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community within the biomedical research enterprise.
  • Leadership experiences in school and in the community.

The application for this program for summer 2019 is now closed.

How the Program Works

Applicants will be informed of the committee's decisions no later than January 31, 2019. Applicants who are not selected for this internship will be released into the general pool of applicants for the NIH Summer Internship Program and will be advised about the selection process for SIP to maximize their chances of admission.

Individuals who are selected to participate in the GDSSP will work closely with OITE staff throughout the mentor selection process. GDSSP applicants should not contact NIH intramural scientists to discuss placements on their own. In addition, they need not specify on their applications an NIH Institute/Center in which they would like to be placed.

All interns participating in the GDSSP must be on the Bethesda campus from June 3rd to 7th for orientation.  Students will join their research group on June 10th and the program will run through August 9th, 2019. 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 GDSSP with other summer programs at the NIH


Ensure a Successful NIH Experience

Learn How the NIH Works.
Read more about the NIH Intramural Research Program.
Figure Out How the OITE Can Help.
Find a Link to Career Services.