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2023 Medical Student Summer Opportunities To Advance Research Program

COVID-19 Update: At this time we expect that the 2023 NIH SIP will be in-person. We will continue to update this page and notify applicants with any changes as they occur.

The application period for the Summer 2023 session is now open!  Apply Here

The NIH OITE in collaboration with UNITE is pleased to announce a new summer internship designed specifically for 1st year medical students with a focus on translational research. M-SOAR students will spend the summer working at the NIH with some of the world's leading clinician-scientists, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. During their internships at the NIH, M-SOAR students will perform research with a mentor in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). They will be immersed in a culture of translational science and explore elements of the basic, translational, and clinical research enterprise. To explore 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 to develop a deeper understanding of the biomedical research environment with a focus on translational and clinical research.
  • Participate in a leadership development program focused on self-awareness, resiliency, conflict management, effective mentoring relationships, and understanding emotional intelligence competencies critical for career success
  • Engage the broader NIH community in discussing cutting-edge research through participation in the summer lecture series, journal clubs and other community-wide activities.
  • Present their research at a closing MSOAR program meeting for trainees, mentors and other members of the NIH community.

The M-SOAR Program will begin with a one-day orientation to the NIH IRP; students will meet with OITE and NIH mentors for program activities throughout the summer.

During their internship at NIH, scholars will receive a monthly stipend. The stipends for trainees are adjusted yearly; the level depends on education completed prior to starting at the NIH. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page. Trainees also 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 campus.


The NIH M-SOAR Program is a summer research immersion experience that seeks to expose a cadre of medical students to biomedical research. This program is designed for first year medical students, especially those interested in deeply exploring careers as a clinician-scientist and those committed to integrating a strong understanding of clinical research and translational approaches into their healthcare career.

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been underrepresented in health-related sciences; Students with disabilities; students who are Pell Grant-eligible; students who are 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.

In addition, applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Be enrolled for Fall 2023 in a MD or DO program at a university
  • Must be in good standing and have written permission from their medical school program/university to participate in the program.

Application Process

Applicants should complete the standard NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) for 2023. Students must choose 'M-SOAR' in Item 9 to be considered by the M-SOAR program.

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 M-SOAR will assist in achieving the stated goals
  • Commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community within the biomedical research and healthcare enterprise
  • Leadership experiences in school and in the community
  • Research areas of interest

Students selected to participate in M-SOAR MUST apply through the SIP application portal. The full application package, including reference letters, must be completed by January 6, 2023 at 11:59 pm for applicants to be considered for the program.

How the Program Works

Individuals who are selected to participate in M-SOAR will work closely with OITE staff throughout the mentor selection process. M-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 M-SOAR must available full time from May 22, 2023 to June 30, 2023. Students will join their research groups on May 23, 2023 and the program will run through June 30, 2023. Summer internships are full-time positions; interns are expected to devote ~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.

NOTE: If a qualified applicant cannot join during these dates because their medical school calendar prohibits it, but can join later than May 22, 2023 or must leave sooner than June 30, 2023, please apply- and make note of those restrictions in your application.

Table comparing the M-SOAR Program with other summer programs at the NIH