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Undergraduate Scholarship Program

IMPORTANT NOTE: the deadline for applications to this program has been extended to March 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm (ET).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers:

  • Scholarship support
  • Paid research training at the NIH during the summer
  • Paid employment and training at the NIH after graduation

Scholarship support

The NIH UGSP will pay up to $20,000 per academic year in tuition, educational expenses, and reasonable living expenses to scholarship recipients. Scholarships are awarded for 1 year, and can be renewed up to 4 years.

Research Training at the NIH

For each full or partial scholarship year, you are committed to two NIH service obligations. The obligations are actually benefits of the UGSP, providing you with invaluable research training and experience at the NIH.

  1. 10-week Summer Laboratory Experience. After each year of scholarship support, you will train for 10 weeks as a paid summer research employee in an NIH research laboratory. This employment occurs after the receipt of the scholarship award. Each scholar will be assigned to an NIH researcher and an NIH postdoctoral fellow, who will serve as mentors. You will also attend formal seminars and participate in a variety of programs.
  2. Employment at the NIH after Graduation. After graduation, you will continue your training as a full-time employee in an NIH research laboratory. You must serve 1 year of full-time employment for each year of scholarship.

Eligibility requirements

You must meet all of these requirements in order to be eligible for admission into the UGSP.  Please take a moment to use our Eligibility Wizard.

  • U.S.A. citizen or U.S.A. permanent resident
  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited 4-year undergraduate institution located in the United States of America
  • Undergraduate University Grade Point Average of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0-point scale or within the top 5 percent of your class
  • Having 'Exceptional Financial Need' as certified by your undergraduate institution financial aid office (Federal Register: Vol. 79; Wednesday, January 22, 2014 External Link) - see table (updated October 9, 2014).
Persons in Family
(Includes Only Dependents Listed on Federal Income Tax Forms)
Family Income Level
(Adjusted Gross Income)
1 $23,340.00
2 $31,460.00
3 $39,580.00
4 $47,700.00
5 $55,820.00
6 $63,940.00
7 $72,060.00
8 $80,180.00
More than 8 Persons $8,120.00 for Each Additional Person

You are not eligible for the UGSP if any one of the following items pertains to you:

  • You are a high school senior
  • You have been awarded an undergraduate degree
  • You are enrolled in an advanced degree program, such as a master's degree
  • You are unable to fulfill the payback requirements

Application Information

Visit the Application Center to learn more about our application requirements and review the videos "How to Apply to the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program" and "How to Find an NIH Mentor".

Key dates for admission consideration in fall 2014-2015 academic year

(Dates updated December 9, 2014)

  • January 2, 2015 - Application Opens
  • EXTENDED: March 9, 2015 at 11:59pm ET - Application Deadline (updated March 3, 2015)
  • March 16, 2015 at 11:59pm ET - Letter of Recommendation Deadline
  • May 11, 2015 - EFN Form with 2014 Tax Year Information Deadline
  • Mid-June, 2015 - Invitations to Phone Interview Distributed
  • Mid-July, 2015 - Phone Interviews for Admission
  • Late-July, 2015 - Selection of Scholars

This program is administered without discrimination on the basis of age, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other nonmerit factors.

NIH is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from underrepresented minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.  NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.