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Research Training

College Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (C-SOAR)

This program is available to:

An opportunity for college students lacking substantial research opportunities during the school year to perform a summer research internship in the Intramural Research Program at the NIH.

About this program

This program is for college students interested in exploring careers in research and healthcare who lack substantial research opportunities during the school year. 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.

C-SOAR is a cohort program within the broader Summer Internship Program (SIP). In addition to having access to the resources offered to all summer interns, C-SOAR interns participate in orientation, leadership, professional development, resilience, and well-being programs as part of a cohort or learning community.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity strengthens our community. We welcome applications from individuals who meet the C-SOAR eligibility requirements and strongly encourage applications from individuals:

  • from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research and healthcare fields.
  • people 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 C-SOAR, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In addition, you must be a full-time student in an accredited U.S. college or university at the time of application. You must have completed at least two science/math courses and have minimal or no research experience. Preference will be given to college sophomores and juniors.

C-SOAR interns must commit to completing the entire nine-week internship from June 3 to August 2, 2024. Summer internships are full-time positions; interns are expected to devote 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 C-SOAR 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 C-SOAR curriculum takes place on the main campus; C-SOAR 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 C-SOAR application is currently closed.

The C-SOAR 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 ‘College Summer Opportunities to Advance Research’ 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 CSOAR

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

C-SOAR applicants should not contact NIH intramural scientists to discuss placements on their own. Individuals who are selected to participate in the C-SOAR Program 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 C-SOAR student. Every effort will be made to match your research interests with ongoing projects in the research group.

The C-SOAR application is currently closed.

Selection process

The C-SOAR selection committee reviews applications and will notify applicants of final decisions by the end of February.

Have questions?

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