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Academic Internship Program

Program Description

The NIH Academic Internship Program allows high school, college, and university students an opportunity to train in NIH research laboratories, during the academic year. Students will conduct biomedical research at NIH, while continuing their academic studies in their home institutions.

All participants in the Academic Internship Program must be registered with the OITE. AOs, Training Directors, or other appropriate NIH staff, should register their interns here:
You can preview the questions in the registration form here, so you can collect the necessary information before attempting to fill out the registration form on behalf of your trainee.

For questions about reporting your student intern through the survey, please contact Dr. Yewon Cheon ( for high school and college interns and Dr. Phil Ryan ( for masters students.


When registering trainees to the Academic Internship Program, the NIH IC must ensure that the trainee is:

  • A U.S. citizens or permanent residents
    • Permanent residents must attend an academic institution in the United States
  • Enrolled and in good academic standing in a high school, college (including community college) or a master’s degree program during the internship period
    • If a High school applicants the trainee must:
      • Be juniors or seniors during the internship year
      • Attend school within 40 miles of the NIH campus at which they will intern
  • At least 17 years of age on the date they begin the internship
  • In compliance with the NIH Policy on Nepotism: An individual may not be hired, employed, promoted, or advanced to a position in any IC where his/her hire, employment, promotion or advancement has been advocated by a public official who exercises jurisdiction or control over that IC and is related to that individual.
  • Able to pass a federal background check using Standard Form-85
    • Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?”
    • Please note any fellowship offer is contingent on your ability to successfully pass a federal background check, which is required for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems. As part of the clearance process, you will be asked “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?”  This question pertains to the use of controlled substances or drugs as defined under federal law. Please be aware that while marijuana may be legal or decriminalized within your home jurisdiction it remains illegal under U.S. federal law. The use, possession, supply, or manufacture of marijuana may preclude you from obtaining the necessary clearances to participate in NIH intramural training programs, even if you were initially offered a position. If you have questions about this policy or would like guidance on the clearance process, please reach out to (please put eligibility inquiry in the subject line).

Required Paperwork 

  • OITE Registration. ICs can register their interns here:
  • All IRTA/CRTA Application Documents as outlined in the IRTA Manual Chapter, section S OR Special Volunteer documents as outlined in the SV Manual Chapter, section E
  • Master’s Degree Students receiving credit towards their degree for the research performed during the internship, must also complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between their home institution and the research group in which they will be interning at NIH. The template MOU will be provided by the OITE after the trainee is registered.

Conversion between aip and summer interns

Academic Intern appointments will normally begin in the fall or spring and may continue through May 15. Between May 15- August 30, all AIP trainees must be classified as Summer interns.

  1. Summer intern to AIP: (conversion after Aug 30). Individuals who come to NIH as summer interns and wish to remain during the subsequent academic year can be converted to academic interns at the end of the summer, at the discretion of their PI. 
  2. AIP to Summer Intern (May 15-Aug 30): Individuals who wish to extend their time at the NIH through the summer must submit applications and convert to the High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) or the Summer Internship Program (SIP). They must meet the application deadline, the eligibility criteria, and all other requirements for the summer program. NOTE: all summer interns at the NIH must be paid interns, therefore if converting from a Special Volunteer to a summer intern the IC must complete the transfer to an ITA/CRTA as well.

Stipend Information

Stipends can be provided for AIP Interns via the IRTA/CRTA appointment mechanism. For details, see the Student IRTA Stipends page. IMPORTANT NOTE: Academic interns will normally receive a stipend or course credit for their internship; they may, however, receive both, at the discretion of their school/program.

For questions the Academic Internship Program, please contact Dr. Yewon Cheon ( or Dr. Phil Ryan (