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Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP) 


COVID-19 Update: At this time we expect that the 2023 NIH SIP will be in-person.  We will continue to update this page and notify applicants with any changes as they occur. 



IMPORTANT NOTE:
  SIP is only for college, graduate school, and professional (e.g., medical, dental, pharmacy, etc.) school students.

  •  If you are a high school student, please apply to High School SIP (HS-SIP), HiSTEP, or HiSTEP 2.0.
  • SIP subprograms organized by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (CCSEP,
    C-SOAR, V-SOARAMGEN, G-SOARGDSSP and M-SOAR) are described at the end of this page. Be certain to take a look and see if any of them interest you. 
  • You can also apply directly to two additional summer subprograms using the SIP application: the Biomedical Engineering Internship Program (BESIP) and the NIDDK Diversity Summer Research Training Program (DSRTP) for Undergraduate Students.
  • Subprograms are “exclusive”. If you apply to one of them, your application will be visible only to the selection committee for that subprogram until their selections have been finalized. If you are not selected, your application will be released to the general SIP application pool.
  • Finally, several NIH Institutes and Centers run their own summer programs. You can find a list of these programs here. All of them require that you complete the general SIP application, but they may have other requirements or eligibility criteria as well. Please contact the programs directly if you have questions.

The application period for the Summer 2023 session is now open! The application portal will close Wednesday, March 1st at 11:59pm ET. Apply Here


 
Applying to the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP): Webinar and Q&A

  • November 30, 2022, 3:00–4:00 pm (ET)

  • January 10, 2023, 3:00–4:00 pm (ET)

Both events above have passed. Email Summer_Postbac_Questions@mail.nih.gov with any questions.

Program Description


Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research (At the NIH "biomedical research" includes everything from behavioral and social sciences, through biology and chemistry, to physics, mathematical modeling, computational biology, and biostatistics). The NIH consists of the 240-bed Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center and more than 1150 laboratories/research groups located on the main campus in Bethesda, MD, and in the surrounding area as well as in Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; Phoenix, AZ; and Detroit, MI.  NOTE: the number of positions in Hamilton, Framingham, Phoenix, and Detroit is limited.

Internships generally cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students arriving at the NIH in June. The NIH Institutes/Centers and the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) sponsor a wide range of summer activities including an orientation to help interns get off to a good start, Summer Lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, wellness activities, and Summer Poster Day.

To increase your chances of being offered a position, please do four things:

  1. Watch the Applying Successfully to the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) Video.
  2. Read the SIP FAQs carefully.
  3. Read our suggestions for creating a successful SIP application.
  4. After submitting your application, if you applied to the General  SIP Program, contact NIH investigators with whom you would like to work and explain why you would be a good addition to their groups. (IMPORTANT NOTE: applicants to SIP subprograms should NOT contact investigators.)  You can identify NIH investigators with projects that interest you by searching the NIH Intramural Annual Reports. Use the text search feature to find project descriptions that contain the keywords you enter. You can also visit the NIH Intramural Research Program website for a list of investigators organized by scientific focus area.  You can then find contact information for the investigators in the NIH Enterprise Directory.

Eligibility


The 2023 Summer Internship Program is for students who

  • are 17 years of age or older on June 15, 2023,
  • are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, AND
  • are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college (including community college) or university as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional school student at the time of application*, OR
  • have graduated from high school, but have been accepted into an accredited college or university program for the fall semester.

*Individuals who are U.S. permanent residents must be attending or have been accepted into institutions in the U.S.

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been underrepresented in health-related sciences; Students with disabilities; students who are Pell Grant-eligible; students who are enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); students who identify as LGBTQ; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including recent natural disasters, are encouraged to apply.

Background Check: All fellowship offers are 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 questions about a variety of topics including your citizenship, criminal history, and other personal information.  One specific question you will be asked is “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 oite@nih.gov (please put “Eligibility Inquiry” in the subject line).

Stipend Information


The stipends for trainees are adjusted yearly; the level depends on education completed prior to starting at the NIH. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page. The Institute/Center (IC) in which you work, or your research group, pays your stipend.

Application Procedure


Prospective candidates must apply online. The application is available from November 15 to March 1. It requires submission of

  • a curriculum vitae or resume,
  • a list of coursework and grades (please note: we do not need a transcript at this time),
  • a cover letter describing the applicant's research interests and career goals, and
  • the names and contact information for two references.

Candidates may also specify the general subject areas, scientific methodologies and/or disease/organ systems that interest them.

Selection


The NIH Summer Internship Program is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from November through April by scientists in the Institutes and Centers of the NIH.  Individual scientists select their own summer interns and provide their funding; there is no centralized selection process, and the OITE plays no role. Our data indicate that applicants who submit their materials in the first two weeks have a success rate almost 3 times greater than those who submit during the 2 weeks just before the deadline.  For additional suggestions on how to increase your chances of being offered a position, please read the SIP Frequently Asked Questions. You can find a YouTube video entitled "Finding an NIH Mentor", which demonstrates how to use NIH investigator databases, on the OITE YouTube page.

Candidates will be informed of their selection by the hiring Institute or Center, generally by May 1. Successful candidates will be required to submit the following documentation to their Institute or Center prior to beginning their training:

  • Official college or graduate/professional school transcripts
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. U.S. citizens may submit a copy of their birth certificate or passport. Permanent residents will need to provide a copy of their permanent resident (green) card.

SIP Subprograms

One of the goals of the NIH is to build a highly diverse and inclusive scientific workforce. Toward that end, the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education welcomes applications for multiple special SIP subprograms. The subprograms target community college students, college students who would not normally have the opportunity to pursue research projects during the academic year, beginning graduate students in the biomedical sciences, and students enrolled in master's programs in data science and computer science. Note that an individual will normally be eligible to apply to only ONE subprogram.

Community College Summer Enrichment Program (CCSEP): In summer 2023, the NIH will again offer a SIP subprogram designed to recruit community college students to the NIH. Students in CCSEP can take advantage of all the opportunities available to other SIP interns. In addition, they will make a commitment to completing an enrichment curriculum. If you are a community college student and interested, please read about CCSEP.

College Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (C-SOAR): The goal of the program is to encourage a diverse group of individuals to consider careers in the biomedical sciences. In addition to performing full-time research in a laboratory or on a project at the NIH, C-SOAR interns will meet each week as a group with students in the Community College Summer Enrichment Program (CCSEP). Together they will participate in workshops and courses focused on the development of academic and professional skills in preparation for careers in health care and in social, behavioral, and biomedical research. Please read more about C-SOAR.

Icon NEW Virtual Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (V-SOAR): We are pleased to announce a new summer internship program designed for a virtual-only learning environment with a focus on genomics research. The Virtual Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (V-SOAR) program encourages a diverse group of college students who are not able to move to one of the NIH campuses over the summer, to conduct genomics research in collaboration with NIH scientists in a VIRTUAL environment. V-SOAR interns will meet daily as group from 10 a.m. to noon EDT to learn about genomics research and approaches and concepts needed to analyze genomic data sets. In addition to daily meetings, V-SOAR interns will prepare presentations, read scientific papers and analyze genomic data sets for group discussions. Each V-SOAR intern will be assigned an NIH mentor who will guide them through these activities. V-SOAR interns will participate in workshops and courses focused on wellness and the development of academic and professional skills to prepare for careers in health care and in social, behavioral, and biomedical research. Please read more about V-SOAR

The Amgen Scholars Program at NIH is a partnership between the Amgen Foundation, the Foundation for the NIH, and the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education. This program is for undergraduates who are interested in learning more about health disparities and the role science, policy, and community engagement can play in their elimination. Preference will be given to students that lack opportunities to carry out independent research during the school year (due to family responsibilities, economic exigencies, or the inability of their institutions to provide such opportunities). Amgen Scholars at NIH will spend the summer working on the main NIH campus in Bethesda. The Program will have four core components: 1) independent research performed under the mentorship of an NIH intramural scientist; 2) roundtable discussions exploring the intersection of research and public policy related to health disparities; 3) career guidance and mentorship focused on the broad array of biomedical careers; and 4) leadership training focused on the skills needed to work successfully in team-oriented global research environments. If you are interested, please read about the Amgen Scholars Program at NIH

Graduate Summer Opportunity to Advance Research (G-SOAR): In summer 2016, the NIH launched a SIP subprogram designed around the unique experiences of graduate students in the biomedical sciences. G-SOAR students spend the summer working on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, or other campuses in Maryland. In addition to working in a research group at the NIH, G-SOAR students will participate in an enrichment curriculum to help them develop critical thinking skills and graduate school survival skills, provide career guidance and mentorship focused on the broad array of biomedical careers, and emphasize leadership training focused on the skills needed to work successfully in team-oriented and global research environments. If you are interested, please visit the G-SOAR Program webpage for more information.

Graduate Data Science Summer Program (GDSSP): This program is a partnership between the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education and the newly formed NIH Office of Data Science Strategy. The GDSSP is designed for master’s students in computer and data science with an interest in the biomedical research enterprise.  GDSSP students will spend the summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the world's leading biomedical researchers. In addition to working in a research group, GDSSP students will participate in a customized curriculum that will help them to explore the many uses of data science in biomedical research and to improve their leadership skills, including self-awareness, resiliency, conflict management, effective mentoring, and emotional intelligence.  The GDSSP is a cohort-based program where students can build peer networks and lifelong friendships.  If you are interested, please visit the GDSSP webpage to learn more about this exciting new program.

Icon NEW Medical Student Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (M-SOAR): The NIH OITE in collaboration with UNITE is pleased to announce a new summer internship designed specifically for 1st year medical students with a focus on translational research. M-SOAR students will spend the summer working at the NIH with some of the world's leading clinician-scientists, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. During their internships at the NIH, M-SOAR students will perform research with a mentor in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP). They will be immersed in a culture of translational science and explore elements of the basic, translational, and clinical research enterprise. Please read more about M-SOAR.

IMPORTANT SUBPROGRAM NOTES:

  1. Although you use the online SIP application to apply for all these subprograms, eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and program curricula vary (view a SIP program comparison chart). Please read each program's description carefully to decide which, if any, will best fit your needs.
  2. If you choose to apply to a subprogram, your application will not be available as part of the general SIP program (and NIH investigators will not be able to see it) until AFTER subprogram selections have been made. If you are not selected for the subprogram, your application will be released to the general SIP applicant pool and you can then begin the process of finding a research group.
  3. Individuals selected to participate in the subprograms will be matched with NIH investigators by the selection committees.