Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NIH summer internship onboarding checklist

Resources to help you onboard and be ready to start when your first day comes.

Welcome to the NIH!

Welcome to the NIH Summer Internship Program!  We are thrilled that you will join us.

Read this onboarding list thoroughly. Each step outlined is important for your onboarding process. If you skip or fail to complete some, you may not be able to move forward. Read carefully and complete all steps to ensure a smooth start to your NIH SIP experience.

Before you arrive

Download the NIH Summer Handbook

Have a question? Chances are, the 2024 Summer Internship Program (SIP) handbook has the answer. Download this document and use it to learn more about NIH, prepare to start, and explore the resources available to you.

  • File size: 1.3 MB

Connect with your research group

Before starting, connect with your research group supervisor about your project and to discuss daily expectations for your internship. Your research experience will include reading scientific literature, observing others, learning techniques, and analyzing data. Our summer mentors are excited for you to be here, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions.

Complete your Background Investigation

You will receive an email from with instructions.

For more information, visit the Division of Personnel Security & Access Control (DPSAC).

Enter your personal information into the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED)

You will need to provide:

  • Full legal name (first, middle, last)
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (city, state, country)
  • Country of citizenship

Look for an e-mail from ​with instructions. Check your spam folder.

Get fingerprinted

This can be completed at an NIH campus. If you live more than 50 miles from an NIH PIV Card Issuance facility, you may request to use a local FieldPrint office.

Look for an email from with instructions. (Check your spam folder.)

For more information, visit the Division of Personnel Security & Access Control (DPSAC).

Start Required Trainings

You will need your HHS ID number to access the following trainings. You will receive an email containing your HHS ID Number after you enter your information in NED.

  1. Introduction to Lab Safety for new interns (refresher course for returning)
  2. Working Safely with HIV and other Bloodborne Pathogens new interns (refresher course for returning) (if required)
  3. Information Security Awareness for New Hires
  4. Information Management for New Hires

Access safety trainings 1 and 2 at

Access IT trainings 3 and 4 at

Complete your Medical Evaluation (if needed)

You must complete the medical evaluation if you will do any one of the following:

  • Work in Building 10 (CLINICAL CENTER)
  • Work with patients (any patient contact or work in patient care areas)
  • Work with human blood, body fluids, or tissues
  • Work with human pathogens (infectious agents)
  • Work with select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or acutely toxic chemicals
  • Work with animals

Submit Documentation of Immunization form.

If you are under 18, you must complete and submit the Authorization for Treatment of a Minor form. NOTE: It is recommended that all minors submit this form even if a medical evaluation is not required.

Once NIH has received the completed forms, you will be contacted to schedule the preplacement medical evaluation.

For more information, visit Occupational Medical Services.

Decide your transportation option

You are eligible to receive a public transportation subsidy OR a parking pass.


  • Summer interns can park in in MLP-7 and Lot 41 (campus map)
  • Apply for parking permit online (you will need your HHS ID number and vehicle registration)
  • If the vehicle registration is not in your name, approval from the owner or an insurance card with your name is required.

Transhare (public transportation subsidy)

Any additional NIH paperwork

Your Institute/Center Summer Coordinator or Administrative Officer will email you about any paperwork required for onboarding. This may include:

  • Copy of official transcript
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency

On your first day

Get your NIH ID Badge

Make sure to complete all steps on your background check, NED, and prescreening before you arrive!

You will receive an email from with instructions. (Check your spam folder.)

Bring two forms of acceptable identification to your appointment:

For more information, visit the Division of Personnel Security & Access Control (DPSAC).

Meet your research group

Connect with your supervisor/PI about when and where to arrive on your first day.

During your first week

Attend Orientations

There are two orientations - - one with NIH/OITE and one with your Institute/Center.

  1. OITE SIP or HS-SIP Orientation will cover:
  • NIH organizational structure
  • Research culture
  • NIH-wide resources
  • Tips for success

2. Institute/Center Orientation will cover:

  • Institute/Center-specific resources
  • Administrative details

Attend the Safe Techniques Advance Research Science (STARS) Training

For more information and to register, visit Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS).

Ask your summer coordinator if this is applicable for you.

Take Radiation Safety Training

Required if working with radioactive materials. 

If working in a lab posted for radioactive material, it is recommended to take the Radiation Safety Orientation (RSOR).

Required if you work with radioactive materials:

Take Animal Care and Use Training

Required for everyone working with animals, there are species specific trainings for researchers using animal models.

To access resources and trainings, visit Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU).