Skip to Content

Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP)

Program Description: The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) hosts the Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP), which is designed to bring PhD graduate students to the NIH Intramural Research Program for dissertation research. Participants enjoy the academic environment of a university, the extensive research resources of the NIH, and the breadth and depth of the research programs of both the host university and the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). The goal is to create a different kind of graduate experience, one that focuses on training the next generation of scientific leaders by emphasizing communication and collaboration skills, integration of information, and interdisciplinary investigation.

At the NIH, graduate students work in a highly collaborative research environment with leading scientists and clinicians. They share the NIH campus with the largest translational research hospital in the nation. They explore areas such as bioinformatics, biophysics, epidemiology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, health sciences, structural biology, sensory and communication neuroscience, molecular pathology, biobehavioral research, and developmental biology.

All graduate students at the NIH are part of the GPP and can take advantage of the graduate student community as well as career and professional development services supported by the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE). Graduate students come to the NIH in one of two ways:

Eligibility:  There are many NIH-University partnerships available to US citizens, US permanent residents, or international graduate students. Review the partnership descriptions to determine which pathway, partnerships, and online application form are most appropriate for your admission consideration.

BACKGROUND CHECK:  In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Stipend Information: The stipends for graduate students at the NIH are adjusted yearly; the level depends on prior research experience and number of years at NIH as a graduate student. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page.

ADMISSION Procedure:  The GPP utilizes an Application Center to help prospective students navigate to the appropriate application for admission consideration. Carefully review the information on the two pathways and associated partnership descriptions prior to creating a MyGPP account. Your MyGPP account will grant you access to one of the following applications, based on responses to specific questions about your educational status and intentions:

  • Registration for an Individual Partnership - used by currently enrolled PhD graduate students that are creating an agreement between the NIH and their PhD graduate program.
  • Registration for an Institutional Partnership - used by PhD graduate students that are already enrolled in an NIH-University Institutional Partnership that did not require the GPP application for admission consideration.
  • Application for Institutional Partnerships - used by students wishing to enroll in a PhD graduate program that requires both a university and a GPP application for admission consideration.  This pathway requires submission of a complete GPP application including three letters of recommendation.