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Research Training

Community College Summer Enrichment Program (CCSEP)

This program is available to:

An opportunity for community college students to perform a summer research internship in the Intramural Research Program at the NIH.

About this program

This program is for community college students interested in exploring careers in research and healthcare. These are full-time research positions within one of the NIH Institutes and Centers (IC) in the NIH Intramural Research Program. Research groups are located on all NIH campuses, including the main campus in Bethesda, MD.

CCSEP is a cohort program within the broader Summer Internship Program. In addition to having access to the resources offered to all summer interns, CCSEP interns also participate in orientation, leadership, professional development, and well-being programs as part of a cohort or  learning community. Elements of the CCSEP curriculum address successful transitions from community college to four-year colleges and universities.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity strengthens our community. We welcome applications from students who meet the specific CCSEP eligibility requirements and encourage applications from individuals:

  • from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research and healthcare fields.
  • with disabilities
  • who are/were, enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • who identify as LGBTQ+
  • disadvantaged by life circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities.

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for CCSEP, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In addition, you must be enrolled full-time in an accredited community college or two-year Tribal College in the U.S. at the time of application. You must have completed at least two science/math courses and have minimal or no research experience. Students enrolled in dual programs with four-year institutions or high school accelerated programs are ineligible for CCSEP.

CCSEP interns must commit to completing the entire nine-week internship.  CCSEP participants must be on campus from June 3 to August 2, 2024. Summer internships are full-time positions; interns are expected to devote a minimum 40 hours per week to their projects and training.

Applicants with a family member working at NIH should be aware of the strict nepotism policy, which may limit your ability to work in certain NIH institutes, centers, or research groups.

Stipend and other compensation

Stipends for summer interns are adjusted annually and are based on educational level. There is free parking on each NIH campus; summer interns on some campuses may be eligible to participate in the Transhare program.

All summer interns must present proof of health insurance to participate in the program.

Before you apply

The decision to come to the NIH as a CCSEP intern is an important one.  These are full-time research positions, and it is not possible to take summer classes or tend to other responsibilities during work hours.

Research groups are located on several different NIH campuses, including the main campus in Bethesda, MD. The CCSEP curriculum takes place on the main campus; CCSEP interns on other campuses participate in elements of the program virtually. Before you begin your application, we encourage you to learn more about:

Watch this video before applying. It talks about expectations of the program and provides a framework for deciding if the program is right for you. It also discusses the application process.

Also pay careful attention to our extensive FAQs to support you in the application process.

How to apply

Opening and closing dates

The CCSEP application is currently closed.

The CCSEP application closes on Friday, January 12, 2024 at noon ET.
Reference letters are due before Friday, January 19, 2024 at noon ET.

Complete your application

You must use the NIH Application Center to apply for this program.

  1. After you complete the required sections of your profile, you will be asked to select a preferred program. Choose ‘Summer internships for college, professional, and graduate students.’
  2. You must select 'Apply' next to ‘Community College Summer Enrichment Program’ for your application to be considered for this program.
  3. Ensure that you are eligible for this program before clicking 'Start Application.'
  4. To complete your application, import any relevant information from your profile. You must also submit:
  • Coursework & Exams - a list of coursework and grades
  • CV/Resume - a list of your education, experience, and other relevant history
  • References - the names and contact information of two references
  • Letter/Statement - a cover letter broadly describing your research experience, current interests, career goals, and your reasons for applying to CCSEP

5. Review all of your materials carefully before you submit your application

CCSEP applicants should not contact NIH intramural scientists to discuss placements on their own. Individuals who are selected to participate in CCSEP will work closely with OITE staff throughout the mentor selection process and will be matched with NIH PIs who have indicated their interest in hosting a community college student.

The CCSEP application is currently closed.

Selection process

The CCSEP selection committee reviews applications and will notify applicants of final decisions by the end of January.

Have questions?

Check out our extensive frequently asked questions list to support you in the application process.