Interviews for OITE-Administered GPP institutional partnerships take place in March. Details on IC-Administered Partnership Interviews can be found on the partnership web page. All invited candidates interview at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, which is located just north of Washington, D.C. Depending upon the university partnership for which you interview, you may also travel to the university to participate in interviews (Interview Dates). Admissions committees at the NIH and at the university work together when making final decisions about offers of admission.
How will I get there and where will I stay?
We will provide round-trip airfare for your interview (or reimbursement for ground transportation if you drive). If you are also interviewing at the university, we will provide airfare from your home, to the NIH, to the university, and back to your home. The GPP will also provide your accommodation and meals while you are in Bethesda. You will be sharing a room with one other candidate of the same gender at the Hilton Garden Inn. You are also welcome to stay with family or friends in the area.
In February, Dr. Philip Wang will contact you to explain the travel procedure. Then, a member of Education Services Incorporated (ESI) Travel Agency will contact you at least three weeks prior to your interview to set up your travel and accommodation. Please respond to this representative promptly. The ESI representative will have all of the information about your interview agenda and will plan your travel so that you arrive and depart in time to attend all of the meetings on the agenda. Do not purchase any train, bus, or airline tickets at your own expense. We will not be able to reimburse you. You are responsible for arranging your own ground transportation between the airport and the NIH. You will find information about getting to the NIH from area airports at the Visiting the NIH section of the GPP website. After the interview, you will receive reimbursement for ground transportation expenses only.
If you are interviewing with a partner university, you should communicate directly with the university about accommodation and ground transportation during the time that you are interviewing at the university.
What will I be doing?
The NIH interview is a two-day event. We will arrange your travel so that you arrive in Bethesda by late afternoon or early evening on a Tuesday. There is an optional welcome dinner Tuesday evening at your hotel.
On Wednesday morning we will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to the NIH campus just one mile away. At the NIH, you will learn about graduate student life and resources, meet current graduate students for lunch, see labs, meet with faculty whose science interest you, and, of course, interview with NIH faculty. We will send a final agenda to you about one week in advance of your interview so that you have time to prepare. Wednesday will conclude with a dinner at a Bethesda restaurant with current students in the partnership. Dinner is an informal event.
Thursday will continue with a graduate student Q&A panel, more interviews, lab tours, and faculty meetings. Thursday concludes with an informal lunch on campus. Depending upon the partnership, you may return home or continue on to the university portion of the interview.
What is the difference between an interview and a faculty meeting?
During your time at the NIH you will have formal interviews and faculty meetings. Depending upon the partnership, the formal interviews may be one-on-one, a panel, or a combination of both. You should be prepared to discuss your scientific experience and interests, your career goals, and yourself. And remember, you are interviewing us as much as we are interviewing you.
Faculty meetings are not a part of the formal interview. They are your chance to speak directly with NIH researchers to learn about NIH labs and ask questions about the kinds of research available to graduate students. These meetings are an integral part of finding a graduate school that is right for you - we want you to be able to find NIH labs researching the topics that interest you. In January, you will be contacted by a GPP staff member who will request that you submit a ranked list of ten faculty members with whom you would like to meet while you are at the NIH. To create your list, search the Database of Investigators. The sooner you submit the form, the better. We will work to make sure that you have at least 3 faculty meetings during your time here. Although these meetings are not a part of the formal interview process, you should do your background research about the faculty member so that you are prepared to discuss their research. The GPP will give you advanced notice of your meetings so that you are able to do this.
What should I wear?
Dress for interviews is business casual. March in Maryland is cold and can be snowy/icy/rainy/windy. The NIH campus covers 300 acres and you will be walking extensively outdoors so please wear comfortable walking shoes and appropriate, warm clothing.
Whom should I contact when I have questions?
NIH Agenda Questions
If you receive an invitation to interview, you will be contacted by a GPP staff member in February. This staff member will be your point of contact for any question(s) that you would like to ask.
Phil Wang is the GPP point of contact for all travel questions. Phil will put you in touch with our travel coordinator and help you to resolve any travel issues that you have.
University Agenda Questions
For those of you interviewing at the university, please be in touch with your university contact with any questions about the university portion of the interview.