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Recommendations for allocating your time and effort throughout your NIH training experience.

3 phases of training

We recommend you make a plan to spend time developing your skills in six core competencies during your training at NIH: career readiness, communication, ethics and responsible conduct, teaching and mentoring, leadership and management, and well-being and resilience.

While your specific goals and skillsets will influence how much emphasis you place on each competency, you should pay attention to all of them. To plan a comprehensive training experience, view your training as having three overlapping, but distinct, phases.

  1. Arrival and integration
  2. Working
  3. Leaving

About each phase

The length of each phase differs depending on how long you stay at NIH, but consider the arrival/integration phase to be ~10-15% of your entire training experience. Research is an element of each phase while your focus on specific core competencies may change over time.

A visual representation


While we used various line thickness in this illustration to make the point about focusing on different core competencies at different times, the illustration is hypothetical and not meant to convey a standard approach for each of you. We encourage you to speak with mentors in your research group, your IC training director, OITE career and educational advisors, and OITE well-being advisors as you make a plan for thriving at NIH and beyond.

Explore each phase for some general considerations as you embark on your NIH training experience.

Next steps

Ready to get started?

Explore Phase 1: Arrival and integration