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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.

Planning your move

If you are moving to Maryland (including the Bethesda, Frederick, and Baltimore campuses) or the DC area, the OITE Moving Guide can help with your transition. The moving guide contains information on a variety of topics to help you quickly settle into your new community. You may also want to check out the housing database maintained by the NIH & NOAA Recreation and Welfare Association External Link.

Information on moving to the NIEHS in Research Triangle Park and information on moving to the Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton MT is maintained locally.

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.

Getting Connected

Your Institute/Center (IC) Training Office can assist you with joining appropriate listservs within your IC. In addition, the OITE maintains three 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 three listservs are:

  • OITE-POSTBACS: for NIH trainees who are participating in a postbaccalaureate research program, including Postbaccalaureate IRTA/CRTAs, NIH Academy members, Technical IRTAs, 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 .

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 External Link, a social listserv for the NIH postbac community, post housing or carpooling requests or items to sell here
  • MEDICALmysterionExternal Link, a social listserv for the NIH postbac community that supports social events, volunteering, sports, and having fun
  • POSTBACC_L to learn about volunteer opportunities and activities organized by the Postbac Committee
  • GSC-GRADS to learn about social activities organized by the Graduate Student Council
  • FELLOW-L, which disseminates information on social and community outreach opportunities and requests for reagents and meeting roommates

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 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. You can pick up a hard copy of all but the summer handbook at an OITE orientation or at our offices in Building 2 (second floor).