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Graduate Summer opportunity to advance research (G-SOAR) FAQs: 2022

COVID-19 Update: The 2022 NIH Summer Internship Program will be a hybrid with both virtual interns and a limited number of in-person (i.e., on-campus) interns. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 1, 2022. If you are currently interviewing for a position or receive (or have received) an offer from an NIH investigator or program director, please be sure to discuss your preference for an in-person or virtual internship. Some offers may be contingent upon your willingness to work virtually; others will depend on your willingness to come to campus. Note that all interns, both virtual and in-person, will be expected to engage full-time in internship activities, including research, and will receive stipend support from the NIH. All educational programming offered by the OITE, including the 2022 NIH Graduate & Professional School Fair and Summer Presentation Week, will be virtual. The OITE is available to support you as you make decisions about your participation in SIP2022. Please reach out to us. (Updated: 2-28-22)

The summer application will be available in mid-November. To be considered for the G-SOAR program, you must select "G-SOAR" in item 9 of the online application and follow the guidelines on the Graduate Summer Opportunity to Advance Research Program webpage when preparing your cover letter.

Is the G-SOAR Program the same as the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP)?
No. Students participating in the G-SOAR Program will be appointed as NIH interns and considered a part of the NIH SIP.  Although they will participate in some SIP activities, the G-SOAR Program has different eligibility requirements, a different admission and placement process, and a unique summer curriculum.

How can I learn more about SIP?
The NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) is described on the SIP webpage.

I was in the NIH SIP last year, am I eligible for the G-SOAR Program this year?
Yes. Past NIH SIP students are welcome to apply to the G-SOAR program.

Should I follow all of the advice on the video discussing the NIH SIP application process? Specifically, should I be emailing NIH investigators to search for open internship positions?
Applicants to the G-SOAR Program should NOT reach out to NIH investigators regarding potential laboratory placements.  Participants will work with program staff to find appropriate placements; applicants who arrange their own placements, or who are admitted through other NIH intramural internship programs, will not be able to participate in the G-SOAR Program. All other advice contained in the SIP application video DOES apply to the G-SOAR Program.

Is the application deadline for G-SOAR Program the same as the deadline for the NIH SIP?
No. The application deadline for G-SOAR is December 17, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET, significantly earlier than the SIP deadline. You must also ensure that your letters of reference are submitted by December 20, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET to be considered for the program.

I want to work on an NIH campus outside of the Bethesda, MD area. Can I still participate in the G-SOAR Program?
Yes. G-SOAR students are required to attend orientation beginning June 6, 2022, and weekly program meetings. Whether orientation and weekly meetings are virtual or in person will be determined later.  OITE staff will consider requests for students to work with research groups on other NIH campuses.

I am an international student. Can I apply?
No. Only U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents attending colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territories may participate in the program.

What is the minimum GPA to be considered for the program?
There is no GPA requirement for the program.

I am a masters student entering a PhD program in the Fall. Am I eligible for the G-SOAR Program?
Yes. You are eligible to apply with the permission of your PhD program.

Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes. Two letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system. Please provide the email addresses for two recommenders in your application. Once you submit the application, an email will automatically be sent to each person providing further instruction. We only accept letters in electronic format. IMPORTANT NOTE: Both letters must be received by the application deadline.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
We suggest you ask research mentors and/or college professors, especially those with whom you've worked in a science course or lab for your letters of recommendation.

Is an official transcript required?
An official transcript is not required to apply. However, if you are admitted you will be asked to provide an official transcript before final appointment to the program.

What type of research will I be conducting?
Your summer project highly depends upon the research group in which you are placed. The NIH Intramural Research Program includes a broad array of basic, translational, and clinical researchers working in all areas of human health. We welcome applicants in all science disciplines and will work with you to create a meaningful summer research experience.

My university runs on the quarter system, and my finals do not end until after the G-SOAR Program begins on June 6. Am I still eligible to participate in the G-SOAR Program?
Unfortunately, our program starts with an orientation and leadership course; we cannot accommodate students unable to participate in orientation beginning June 6, 2022. We strongly encourage students who attend schools on the quarter system to apply to the broader NIH Summer Internship Program, which has flexible start dates.

Will housing be provided during my stay at the NIH?
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.

  • The Moving Guide prepared by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education provides housing suggestions along with information on virtually everything you will need to know about moving to Bethesda, Baltimore, or Frederick, MD.
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories has created A Guide to Help You Move to Hamilton, MT.
  • Club-PCR Google group External Link is for young scientists in the Bethesda area; to join send an email to You can use this listserv to find housing, sell items, arrange carpooling, or gather information. This Listserv is not associated with the NIH, and you should use an email address other than your NIH email address to subscribe. Please state your name and reason for joining the group when you request membership.

It might help you to known as well, that the NIH is on the Red Line of the D.C. Metro External Link at the Medical Center stop External Link. Getting around via Metro is a very convenient form of transportation.

Will I be paid for my summer efforts?
Yes. Interns participating in the G-SOAR Program will be paid at the same stipend rates as other SIP participants.

How many students are accepted into the G-SOAR Program?
Up to 20 students will be accepted into the program.

Can I take a summer course or work at a part-time job during the program?
No. You may not take courses or work part-time during the program. Furthermore, we are not likely to approve any evening courses or volunteer experiences that are likely to detract from program and research activities.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
Applications will be notified on January 15, 2022.

If I am admitted to the program, what happens next?
We will verify your eligibility and to begin the placement process. All students must show proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status and submit an official transcript prior to the start of the program. You will be guided through the process of contacting investigators and selecting mentors. We will make every effort to place you with a research mentor whose work interests and excites you. However, the quality of the experience is impacted by research environment, so we encourage you to be flexible and accept our guidance during the placement process.