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GPP Individual Partnership

Graduate students currently enrolled in a PhD training program come to NIH laboratories to enhance their dissertation research by developing an Individual Partnership. Many of the Individual Partnership students come to the NIH because they learned about the various opportunities through existing collaborations between their university mentor and an NIH faculty member. Other students discover the NIH independently of their university mentor because of the availability of research resources at the NIH. Currently, graduate students in partnerships are representative of more than 100 national and international universities.

Students wishing to create an Individual Partnership should follow these steps for admission into the GPP.

STEP ONE - Your first step in arranging an individual partnership is to discuss the possibility of performing PhD dissertation research within the NIH Intramural Research Program with your university mentor and department. You must obtain permission from your department to perform dissertation research at the NIH.

STEP TWO - Your second step is to identify an NIH Investigator willing to host you in his/her group for dissertation research, visit the Finding a Mentor section for assistance. In your discussions with your university mentor and your prospective NIH mentor, ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of to the financial and administrative aspects of the agreement, as well as the length of time that you will be performing your research at NIH. Before you proceed to the final step you must obtain written communication between you and the NIH investigator for dissertation research that indicates an offer of admission has been extended. The GPP will contact all investigators listed within your registration to confirm the offer.

STEP THREE - Your third step, once items one and two have been completed, is to complete the required documentation to finalize the creation of the Individual Partnership.

  • Complete required elements as identified by your department or program chairperson
  • Complete the appropriate GPP form for admission: GPP Registration (Short Form)
  • Complete the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). An MOU must be completed for each PhD graduate student performing dissertation research within the NIH IRP for six-months or greater. The MOU must be completed and filed in the GPP office prior to arrival. The MOU must be signed by the student, NIH mentor, Institute-Center Scientific Director, appropriate representatives of the student's university, and the GPP Director. Upon submission of the GPP Registration, a copy of the MOU template will be sent to the NIH investigator for dissertation research; confirming an offer to train has been extended.
  • Obtain appropriate Visa or permission from International Office (if required)

The OITE has developed a number of workshops, seminars and courses to enhance your experience at NIH. These events are designed to help transition you from student to colleague and give you the necessary tools and skills to take that next career step; whether it is in academia, industry, administration, science policy or any of the various paths that an advanced degree in the biomedical sciences can take you.  Review the Events section to learn more about these opportunities.  Matriculants should register for an Orientation for Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Students upon arrival.


Additional Information

  • There is no registration deadline for the Individual Partnership.
  • There is no registration fee.
  • Standardized Examination scores are not required for admission consideration.
  • NIH Investigator for dissertation research determines admission into the GPP.
  • YouTube Video - GPP Individual Partnership