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2019 Graduate Summer Opportunities to Advance Research Program

The G-SOAR application for summer 2019 is now closed. 

We are pleased to announce the 2019 Graduate Summer Opportunity to Advance Research (G-SOAR) Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  G-SOAR students will spend the summer working at the NIH 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 perform research with a mentor 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 case studies and group activities to develop communication, critical thinking, career readiness, and leadership skills needed to thrive in interdisciplinary graduate programs and research environments in the biomedical sciences.
  • 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.
  • Have the option to participate in the NIH Translational Science Training Program.

The G-SOAR Program will begin with a two-day orientation and leadership training program followed by an optional two-day symposium on Translational Science and the therapeutic development process. Students will meet with OITE and NIH mentors for program activities throughout the summer.

During their internships at NIH, scholars 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 G-SOAR Program is a summer research immersion experience that seeks to prepare a diverse cadre of young scholars for the rigors of biomedical research so that they excel in graduate school and are highly competitive for future opportunities in the biomedical enterprise. This program is designed for recently matriculated, first or second year graduate students enrolled in a biomedical PhD program, especially those interested in integrating translational approaches into research design. Students completing a master's degree who are transitioning into a biomedical PhD program are also eligible to apply. 

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 G-SOAR.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Be enrolled for Fall 2019 in a PhD graduate program at a university in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or other US territory.
  • Be enrolled in a masters level graduate program with the intention to pursue a PhD upon completion of the master's degree
  • 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 "G-SOAR" 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 G-SOAR 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.
  • Potential NIH investigators with which to work over the summer.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and admission will be granted to outstanding applicants throughout the applications season.  If you would like to be prepared, consider using this guide to help you prepare your application in advance to the SIP application system opening!

The application deadline for G-SOAR has now passed. The full application package, including reference letters, must be completed by January 22, 2019 at 11:59 pm for applicants to be considered for the program.  To increase your chances of acceptance to the program, consider applying early!

How the Program Works
The selection committee will review applications to the G-SOAR Program on a rolling basis. Applicants will be informed of the committee's decisions on a rolling basis, but 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 G-SOAR Program will work closely with OITE staff throughout the mentor selection process. G-SOAR 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 G-SOAR Program 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 G-SOAR Program 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.
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