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Dealing with the coronavirus outbreak means managing our stress and then making good use of our telework time. The mission of the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) is to help NIH trainees develop the skills they will need to become leaders in the biomedical research community. To do this, we focus on six core competencies: career exploration and job search skills; communication (writing, speaking, grant writing); teaching and mentoring; leadership and management; the responsible conduct of research; and wellness. You can work to develop many of these skills from home.

We plan to use this page to share resources developed by our office with trainees outside the NIH, beginning with wellness activities. We hope you will check back regularly for new posts. We would also welcome your input regarding topics you would find of value.

Dear Students and Friends,

The 2020 Virtual Summer Enrichment Program has come to an end (although many of the workshops survive on the OITE YouTube channel). Thank you so much for spending time with us this summer!

And NOTE: the Wellness Challenge will continue, but on a monthly basis.

2020 Virtual NIH Graduate & Professional School Fair Update

The Fair is now over, but you can watch videos of the panels and interviews on the OITE YouTube channel.



August 17 – 21:  Cooking for Wellness: There is no doubt that social distancing and lockdown restrictions have impacted and disrupted many aspects of our life. And yet, it has also given the space for many to learn new things, develop new skills and let our creativity unveil. And what better way to keep your creativity going than in the kitchen. As many start to transition back to work while juggling other responsibilities, maintaining healthy eating habits can be challenging. Cooking can be a great way to stay engaged and healthy. It can boost your self-esteem and confidence, improve your psychological well-being, strengthen connection with others and even relieve stress. This week’s challenge is to tune in to the chef in you and enjoy the many health benefits of cooking. Whether you are a pro at cooking, a beginner, or want to try new recipes or a special dish, put on your apron, let your creativity unveil and let us know how you have fun cooking.

  1. by Twitter – be sure to tag OITE (@NIH_OITE) and use the hashtag #OITEWellnessChallenge – or
  2. by email Submit your responses by August 21st.




There are no new workshops for the week of August 17th.

Becoming a Resilient Scientist Series (9 weeks)

Navigating school, the career exploration process, research environments, and the stress of national/international news can seem overwhelming and lead us to doubt ourselves just when we need confidence the most. Through workshops and group discussions in this series, we will work to identify attitudes and behaviors that can help us be more resilient as we navigate difficult situations in school, work and life. Each workshop will highlight emotional intelligence competencies needed for success in research and healthcare careers and will provide strategies for developing these competencies as part of your educational journey. While you may participate in any of webinars, it is best to participate in the entire series as the material relates and concepts will be developed throughout the series. The five workshops and four group discussions in the series are:

Week 1 – 6/10/2020: I. An Introduction to Resilience and Wellness
Week 2 – 6/17/2020: Group Discussion 1
Week 3 – 6/24/2020: II. Exploring our Self-Talk: Cognitive Distortions and Imposter Fears
Week 4 – 7/1/2020: Group Discussion 2
Week 5 – 7/8/2020: III. Self-Advocacy and Assertiveness
Week 6 – 7/15/2020: Group Discussion 3
Week 7 – 7/22/2020: IV. Feedback Resilience
Week 8 – 7/29/2020: Group Discussion 4
Week 9 – 8/12/2020: V. Building Mentor Networks

Have you missed an OITE workshop and want to watch the recording? We have been posting the archives here and on our YouTube Page (when they have been closed captioned):

Special Event: NIH Career Symposium - At Home Edition

The 2020 NIH Career Symposium is "gone, but not forgotten!" Relive the entire event on the OITE YouTube channel.

While we wait for captioning of the live Career Symposium sessions, you can access them here:

Opening Welcome from the OITE & “Hello” from Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH

Panel 1 (Life as a Faculty Member)

Panel 2 (Careers in Science Administration)

Panel 3 (Careers in Industry R&D)

Panel 4 (Careers in Industry  non-bench)


Self-Advocacy for Scientists (4-13-20)

Sharon Milgram, PhD, Director, OITE

Learning to advocate for yourself is a skill that all scientists should acquire. We will discuss how to set boundaries, communicate expectations, and assert yourself in research groups.

Strategies and Tools for Dealing with Stress during the Coronavirus Pandemic (4-14-20)

Laurie Chaikind McNulty, LCSW-C, Wellness Advisor, OITE, NIH

Join us to talk about resilience in this time of stress and uncertainty. Topics covered include shifting and rebuilding routines, dealing with loneliness and distance from our support networks, balancing demands of family and work, news coverage overload, and handling uncertainty and worry about our work and science goals.

Stress Management and Wellness for Scientists (4-14-20)

Michael Sheridan, PhD, OITE Special Advisor for Diversity and Wellness Programs

Learning how to practice healthy self-care has never been more important than it is now during the COVID-19 health crisis.  Every aspect of both our work and personal lives has been affected and we're struggling to figure out how to live as best we can in this "new normal."  This workshop will give you tools for not only managing stress, but also supporting your own wellbeing during this difficult time.  The presentation will cover the importance of recognizing your own stress signals, the difference between responding vs. reacting to stress, and the roles of mindfulness and self-compassion in self-care.  You will also be able to complete a self-care assessment and begin the process of developing an individualized self-care plan.

Supporting Yourself and Your Trainees during the Coronavirus Pandemic (4-14-20)

Annie Scheiner, LCMFT, OITE Wellness Advisor

While we all want to be highly productive during this period of self-quarantine, the reality for us and for our trainees and research staff may be very different. We are stressed, they are stressed, and all of us are dealing with unique issues that impact our ability to be productive at this time.  In this workshop we will provide PIs, program leaders and research group heads with insights and strategies for supporting themselves, their trainees and staff during this difficult time. 


NIH-OITE Wellness Workshop  for All Trainees: Strategies and Tools for Dealing with Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic (3-27-20) 

Laurie Chaikind McNulty, LCSW-C

OITE Wellness Workshop  for NIH Trainees: Managing the Stress and Anxiety around COVID-19 (3-27-20)

Kelly Donahue, PhD
(NOTE: the workshop title on the registration screen is incorrect. Continue to watch this workshop.)

Becoming A Resilient Scientist: Setting Reasonable Expectations And Healthy Boundaries For Ourselves And With Our Supervisors (4-1-20)

Sharon Milgram, PhD, Director, NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education
(NOTE: this workshop doesn't begin until about 4 minutes into the recording.)

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline

is 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: Get Help Today, 1-800-799-7233

If staying home with your partner or family exposes you to mistreatment, or simply high levels of interpersonal stress, call 1-800-799-7233 voice, 1-800-799-7233 TTY. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims/survivors of domestic violence. You can also chat online or text LOVEIS to 22522. Support is available in dozens of languages.

Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (English Version)

This guide is available in dozens of languages.



I am pleased to provide this link ( to a taped discussion I recently had with some of the OITE wellness advisors about trainee health and wellness during the coronavirus pandemic.  Our goal was to address questions raised by faculty and graduate/postdoc program office directors, submitted on-line or during this webinar (®


 Other NEW Wellness Resources


Becoming a Resilient Scientist

Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director, OITE talks about managing the stresses and setbacks of a biomedical career. Watch the video.

Additional OITE Resources for Trainees OUTSIDE the NIH

Videocasts/Podcasts of OITE Workshops

Examples of videocasts you will find on the OITE Web site,, are

  • Communication workshops
         o Creating and Presenting Dynamic Posters
         o Talking Science: Designing and Delivering Successful Oral Presentations
         o Using LinkedIn Effectively
  • Grant Writing I and II
  • Job search skills workshops
         o CVs and Resumes: Essential Job Search Documents
         o Networking! Networking! Networking!
         o Getting the Most Out of a Job Fair
         o Planning for Career Satisfaction and Success

The site also includes series of workshops on the academic job search and the job search in industry, in addition to a series of "How-to" workshops that investigate different science careers available to doctorally trained scientists.

Two series, Getting to Graduate School and Getting to Professional (Medical/Dental) School target undergraduates and recent college graduates.

YouTube Videos from the OITE

Visit this page for a listing of all OITE YouTube videos. They include short videos on research training programs at the NIH, videos on science skills like lab math and attending your first professional meeting, and a recent addition entitled Finding an NIH Mentor that demonstrates the use of NIH databases to identify NIH investigators who work in a particular research area.

Online Resources from the OITE

The OITE has also developed Webinars and guidelines covering a variety of science skills. Some of these, for example, Keeping a Lab Notebook, Attending Your First Scientific Meeting, and Lab Math I and II were designed with young scientists in mind. Others, specifically Guidelines for Writing Professional E-mail and Thoughts on Choosing a Research Mentor, will be useful to a wider audience.


OITE Blog Posts on Wellness

Personality Types While Quarantining and Building Resilience  
Job Searching during Uncertain Times - Ways to Stay Positive and Productive
Managing Stress during Coronavirus
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is a Collective Trauma Experience

KIndness Matters - Now Maybe More Than Ever
Working from Home - Tips & Tricks 
Caring for Your Mental Health during a Pandemic
Keep Stress From Derailing Your Work and Life
Investing in Yourself: Knowing When to Seek Counseling
Interview with Dr. Collins on Wellness
Cognitive Distortions Create Imposter Fears
Don’t Choke – Managing Stress Under Pressure
Handling Holiday Stress
Helpful Tips to Managing Stress and Anxiety In Interviews
Job Stress, Resilience and Support
PhD in Depression?