Skip to Content

Planning Your Move

Welcome to the National Institutes of Health and the Intramural Research Program! The staff of the Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) is excited to welcome you to our community, and we look forward to learning more about you, your research interests, and your career goals. We hope the following information will help you plan your move and begin your career at the NIH.

The Moving Guide: Find information on settling in to the Maryland - Virginia - DC area.

The Department of Housing and Community Affairs in Montgomery County, Maryland offers affordable renting options throughout the county. You can find information about the program, eligibility, apartments, and applications on their website

Rocky Mountain Laboratories has created A Guide to Help You Move to Hamilton, MT.

Getting onto the NIH campus

Until you have received your NIH ID badge, you will be required to show one form of picture identification to gain access to all NIH campuses. Acceptable documents include a driver's license or passport.

It might help you to know as well that the NIH is on the Red Line of the D.C. Metro External Link at the Medical Center stop External Link. Getting around via Metro is generally a good choice.

Getting Connected

Your Institute/Center (IC) Training Office can assist you with joining appropriate listservs within your IC. In addition, the OITE maintains five official listservs designed to provide information about campus-wide training events and career development activities. Fellows on all NIH campuses are encouraged to join these listservs as many activities in Bethesda are videocast to all NIH campuses. The five listservs are:

  • OITE-SIP and OITE-HS-SIP are for NIH trainees participating in the Summer Internship Program.
  • OITE-POSTBACS: for NIH trainees who are participating in a postbaccalaureate research program, including Postbaccalaureate IRTA/CRTAs, NIH Academy members, and UGSP Payback Scholars who are recent college graduates.
  • OITE-GRADS: for NIH trainees conducting their dissertation research at the NIH, including students in formal institutional partnerships and students who have established individual agreements. NOTE: all graduate students at the NIH are automatically members of the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP).
  • OITE-POSTDOCS: For all postdoctoral fellows at NIH, including Postdoctoral IRTA/CRTAs, Visiting Fellows, Clinical and Research Fellows, and UGSP Payback Scholars who have completed advanced degrees.

Summer subprograms (like HiSTEP, CCSEP, AMGEN, or G-SOAR) may have their own listservs.

Once you arrive at NIH and get your NIH email address, please contact us to be added to the appropriate OITE listserv.

We also encourage you to join other campus-wide listservs to learn about scientific and social opportunities across the NIH campus. Some of the most useful listservs are:

  • Club-PCR Google group External Link is for young scientists in the Bethesda area.  You can use this group to find housing, sell items, arrange carpooling, or gather information. This group is not associated with the NIH, and you should use an email address other than your NIH email address to subscribe.  Please state your name and reason for joining the group when you request membership.
  • Club PCR Facebook Page: This is a forum to help young scientists in the Bethesda area meet up for social events, volunteering, learning, playing sports, and having fun. Do not use this group to sell items, find housing, arrange carpools, or gather information. Again, this is not an official NIH Listserv. Use a personal email to subscribe. Visit Club PCR Facebook Page External Link.
  • POSTBACC_L is an NIH listserv that shares information on volunteer opportunities and activities organized by the Postbac Committee in addition to reagent requests, BioTech course announcements, and other valuable NIH science-related news or news of potential interest to NIH trainees for which the OITE is not responsible.  Join POSTBACC_L.
  • The Graduate Student Council (GSC) maintains multiple listservs designed to encourage graduate student interactions on-campus and off-campus. Learn more about the GSC ListServs.
  • FELLOW-L disseminates information on social opportunities, reagent and meeting roommate requests, and job postings. It is intended for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Join FELLOW-L.
  • The Visiting Fellows list is for visiting postdocs and clinical fellows at the NIH. It provides information on events and opportunities specifically for foreign postdoctoral fellows at the NIH. The list is operated by the NIH Visiting Fellows Committee (VFC) which is composed of post-doctoral visiting fellows from all around the world. The VFC is a self-governing body serving the interest of visiting fellows in their transition to life in the D.M.V. area (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, USA), by working to make their experience here worthwhile; as well as creating the opportunities for visiting fellows to maintain continuity in their research upon returning to their home countries. Join the visitingfellows list.

Other sources of valuable information are the NIH Inter-Institute Scientific Interests Groups, which will link you with scientists in your discipline across the NIH and the NIH Calendar of Events (better known as the Yellow Sheet). The latter provides the option of signing up to receive a daily e-mail announcing seminars, symposia, and special events for NIH scientists.

NIH employees and trainees use LinkedIn for professional networking. We invite you to join External Link our NIH Intramural Science LinkedIn group. You should also find your IC LinkedIn group and explore other ways of using LinkedIn to expand your professional network. Visit our Career Services Center to learn more about using LinkedIn effectively.


Your research supervisors will help you identify orientations and training programs you must complete to be a trainee at the NIH. In addition to these scientific and Institute-specific orientations, we encourage all trainees to attend an OITE orientation. At the OITE orientation we will discuss OITE services for NIH trainees, share tips on making the most of your NIH training experience, and present an overview of the career planning process. Orientation for graduate students and postdocs is held the first Tuesday of every second month from 8:30 to 10:00 am. Orientations for postbacs are held three or four times a year.  You can find the dates of the next OITE orientations on the OITE Calendar of Events.


OITE summer intern, postbac, graduate student, and postdoc/clinical fellow/research fellow handbooks are available online. NOTE: new postbac and graduate student/postbac handbooks are currently under construction.