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NIH Academy Frequently Asked Questions

When does the 2017-2018 NIH Academy application open? 

The NIH Academy application opens on Monday, May 8th, 2017.

When will I be notified of my acceptance into the 2016-2017 NIH Academy Program?

All applicants will be notified of their status on Friday, September 2, 2017.

What is the NIH Academy?
The NIH Academy offers NIH postbaccalaureate trainees the opportunity to learn about health disparities, enhance their knowledge of gaps in health outcomes, and investigate what is being done to address health disparity issues. The NIH Academy trains future researchers and health care providers to actively engage in promoting a society in which all people live healthy lives and have equal access to health care. Participants can choose between the NIH Academy Certificate Program and the NIH Academy Fellows Program.

What is the difference between the two program options?
Academy participants have two options: they can choose to earn a NIH Academy Certificate or apply to become an NIH Academy Fellow. The Certificate Program is for trainees who are interested in learning more about health disparities but who may not have previous exposure to or knowledge of the field, while the NIH Academy Fellows Program is a more in-depth experience targeted for fellows who are passionate about a career incorporating health disparities.

What are the 2017 start and end dates for the program?
The NIH Academy will begin September 27, 2017 and will end May 17, 2018.

When does the NIH Academy meet?
The NIH Academy generally meets on Wednesday evenings from 4-6:00 PM (participants will be notified of exceptions in the syllabus).

Who is eligible to participate in the NIH Academy?
All current Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awardees (Postbac IRTAs), Cancer Research Training Awardees (Postbac CRTAs) and Technical IRTA/CRTAs at the NIH are eligible to participate in the Academy, as are individuals who have accepted a position as an IRTA/CRTA. If you are not currently a Postbac IRTA but want to participate in the NIH Academy you should apply to both the NIH Postbac IRTA program and the NIH Academy. Please note that although you may apply to the program before you secure a postbac position, to participate you must have been offered and accepted a position by the start date of the program.

When preparing your application, please take advantage of the advice to applicants and FAQs included on the program page. Reading all the information available will greatly increase your success of being offered a position. 

How do I apply to the NIH Academy?
Please complete the online application by clicking on the link in the sidebar, paying special attention to the letter of interest, which should address your interest in health disparities. Include any relevant experience you have working with or learning about vulnerable populations.

What is the deadline for applications?
The NIH Academy application is now closed.  The application information for 2017 is shown below.  The dates for applying in 2018 will be similar.

Cover letters will be accepted May 8th, 2017 to August 2nd, 2017 at 10 AM. Please note you must have an invitation to join a lab by September 14th with a start date no later than September 20, 2017.

What is the selection procedure?
Once you have submitted your online application, an NIH Academy Selection Committee will determine if you are a good fit for the program based on your demonstration of interest and commitment to health disparities.

When will I be notified if I am selected?
You will receive notification of your status by September 1, 2017.

Does the NIH provide housing?
No. The NIH Academy does not have a residential component. Some suggestions that may help you find a place to live include:

  • 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.
  • The NIH Recreation & Welfare Association housing list contains information on numerous rentals convenient to the main NIH campus in Bethesda.

NOTE: the NIH is on the Red Line of the D.C. Metro at the Medical Center stop. Getting around via Metro is generally a good choice.

Are stipends or salaries provided by the Office of Intramural Training and Education?
No, the Institute where the trainee works pays the stipend.

How can I get information about health disparities research being conducted at NIH?
Each NIH Institute or Center with an intramural research program has its own plan for eliminating health disparities. For more information, see http://www.nih.gov/icd/index.html.

What information should I include in my letter of interest?
All trainees interested in the NIH Academy should submit a letter of interest for acceptance.  It is best to highlight your interest in health disparities and any experience that you've had or experience that you would like to acquire.  We would also like to hear about how health disparities may fit into your career goals.  You are encouraged to inform us of which program you are interested in and why.  Lastly, please provide information regarding research that you have done in the past and/or are currently working on (this research experience does not have to be related to health disparities).