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Application Frequently Asked Questions

~ General application information

~ Submitting an application for admission consideration

~ Unofficial transcripts

~ Reference and recommendation letters

~ NIH-university admission committees

~ Interviews at NIH




Am I eligible for admission? 

Use the UGSP Eligibility Wizard to determine if you are eligible for admission consideration.

I recently changed my name, but my transcripts have my previous name, what should I do? 

In your application provide all aliases in the Additional Information field.

How will I know that my letters of recommendation have been received? 

You will receive a confirmation email message when each letter of recommendation is uploaded into your application.



When should I submit my UGSP application? 

Applications for the 2023-24 academic year should be submitted between January 4 and April 4, 2023.

How do I demonstrate Exceptional Financial Need (EFN)?

Students must provide their financial aid office email address in the appropriate section of the application. Your EFN form will then be submitted to your university financial aid office using the email you provided.  The EFN form will disclose your first and last name, email address and university student ID number to your financial aid office. By providing an email address for your financial aid office and submitting this form to them, you are authorizing the NIH UGSP to disclose the above-mentioned information to your financial aid office. Also, by submitting this form to your financial aid office, you are authorizing your financial office to disclose your financial aid and financial need information to the NIH UGSP.  

Notice: You may be asked to sign a release of information by your university. It is your responsibility to comply with your institution’s release of information requirements.

If I am a transfer student from community college or another university, where do I send the EFN form?

All applicants should send the EFN form to the financial aid office where you will be enrolled the following fall. For most students this means you will send it to your current university. However, if you are a community college student transferring to a four-year university, send it to the institution in which you will enroll for the following fall. If you are transferring from a four-year university to another, you should also send it to the institution you plan to attend in next fall.

What is a completed application?

The admission committee will only review applications that are considered "completed", meaning:

  • Application was submitted by the application deadline. No exceptions.
  • The letters of recommendation were received by the reference deadline.
  • The EFN form was submitted by your financial aid officer by the EFN deadline. 

Does the UGSP have an application fee? 

There is no application fee for the UGSP.

Can I apply after the deadline date? 

No applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for admission.

If I made a mistake or left something out of my application after it has been submitted, can I make changes or do I have to resubmit the application? 

Do not submit a new application. Instead, use your login/password combination to revisit your application and make any necessary adjustments. Note, once the application deadline expires you will no longer be able to make changes to your application.

I just finished my UGSP application. When should I begin contacting potential mentors I'd like to work with?

Candidates for the UGSP award should not contact NIH Investigators during the application process. If you are notified that you have been selected as a UGSP Scholar for the upcoming school year, please wait until UGSP contacts you to indicate when it is time to begin your search for a potential mentor. However, if you have also applied for the NIH Summer Internship Program concurrently, you should proceed to contact NIH investigators, but only in the context of your application for the NIH Summer Internship Program.



When and how do I submit my unofficial transcripts to the UGSP? 

The application system allows you to key in your course names and grades as an unofficial transcript.  If you matriculate into the UGSP you will need to provide official transcript(s). 

Does my unofficial transcript need to include my grades from fall semester? 

If you are selected as a semi-finalist, the UGSP will request an official transcript that must include your fall and spring grades for the current academic year.



My reference lost the email containing the recommendation request; can a new email be sent? 

Yes, login to your application and use the letter icon next to your reference's name to submit a new request. 

How long does it take to upload letters of recommendation? 

Letters are automatically uploaded once your reference completes and submits the online form.

Must my letters of recommendation be received by the reference deadline? 

Yes, letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline because application evaluations begin shortly after the deadline expires.



Who are the members of the admission committee? 

The admission committees comprise both NIH investigators and NIH staff. All members review submitted applications and come to agreement on which applicants will be invited to interview for admission.



When will I be notified about interviewing? 

Invitations for a virtual interview for admission are usually made 2-4 weeks before the interview date in mid-July.


For any other questions, contact the UGSP