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FAQs FOR NIH INVESTIGATORS AND STAFF

I can't seem to login to the OITE online application system. What's wrong?
Access to the system is restricted to NIH investigators and staff who have been given accounts to access the system.  Your login credentials for the OITE application system are your NIH login credentials.  Either you are entering credentials for some other system or you have no account.

How can I check to see if I already have an account?
Contact your IC Program Coordinator.  If you already have an account, this individual will send you instructions for accessing the system.

How can I get access to the OITE online application systems?
To request an account that will permit you to access the OITE applications systems, please contact your IC Program Coordinator.  That individual will first determine whether you already have an account.  If so, he/she will ask the system to send you your login credentials.  If not, he/she will create an account for you.

How do I submit a postdoc ad?
As of August 2011, the NIH has discontinued use of its online application system for postdoctoral positions.  You are welcome to submit ads for available positions to the OITE for inclusion on its Web site on a page listing Postdoc Positions at the NIH.  Please use the OITE Template for Submitting Postdoc Ads and submit the document to Pat Sokolove.  Also note that ads should

  • State clearly what application materials are to be submitted
  • Include contact information for the individual to whom the materials are to be submitted
  • Include the statement: "The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs."
  • Include the statement: "This position is subject to a background investigation." if the ad is for a position in the NCI.

I have selected a summer intern (postbac IRTA/CRTA) and the individual has agreed to join my lab/project.  Now what do I do?
Open the potential intern's application in the OITE database.  Click on "Select Applicant" in the left-hand column.  Review the notification e-mail and use the "Attached Note" field below to provide additional information.  Clicking "Send" will inform the applicant officially that he/she has been invited to join you.  It will also send a message to your Training Office, which will accept the applicant in the OITE system.  Other interested PIs will then be able to see that the applicant is "taken".

I would like my postdoc to look through the online applications and identify some potential summer interns.  Can I share my login credentials?
Disclosing your login credentials to another individual is an unauthorized use of the online application system.  Please ask your IC Program Coordinator to create an account for the postdoc.

My child (or niece or neighbor's child) has applied to one of the intramural training programs.  Is there anything wrong with my taking a look at the application?
Accessing the application would be an unauthorized use of the online application system unless the action is required for the performance of your official duties.

I am interested in hiring a summer intern to do administrative (or engineering or IT) work.  Can I use the online SIP application database to find someone appropriate? 
The SIP application database contains applications for individuals who are interested in biomedical research. If you are interested in someone to complete other types of summer tasks OR if you are part of the NIH Extramural Program, consider finding potential employees using the HR Pathways for Students and Recent Graduates Program.

One of my trainees has asked me for a letter of recommendation, and I am happy to write in support of the individual. Can I use NIH letterhead and my official title when I write the letter?
An NIH employee can use NIH letterhead and his/her official title to write in support of an individual when

  • The individual being recommended is seeking Federal employment, OR
  • The NIH employee has dealt with the individual during the course of Federal employment

AND

  • The NIH employee has personal knowledge of the ability or character of the individual making the request.

If you are asked to write in support of a grant application, a contractor or vendor, to support a tenure decision, or in support of a visa action, it would be prudent to contact your IC Ethics Counselor for advice.

Source: https://ethics.od.nih.gov/topics/rec-ltr.htm

What if a student I knew when I was a faculty member at University X asks for a letter?
Unless the former student is applying for a position with the Federal government, you may neither use NIH letterhead nor sign your letter using your official title. You may, however, use personal stationery and refer to your NIH position along with other biographical details in the body of the text to establish your standing as a reference.

The aim, in all instances, is not to imply the Government’s sanction or endorsement of your opinion.

Can I write a letter of recommendation for a trainee who has spent time in my research group and is applying to return?
No.