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A large part of feeling comfortable in your work environment is having a community with whom to share the experience.  The NIH is a big place; we can almost guarantee that you will be able to find a community that will make you feel at home.  Here are some groups you may want to consider. IMPORTANT NOTE: This list is not exhaustive; it includes NIH groups of which the OITE is aware.  Please feel free to contact us if you know of or have an idea for a new group.

Groups Facilitated by OITE

Network of African-American Fellows at the NIH (NAAF)
NIH - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-Fellows and Friends (LGBT-FF)

The NIH-SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science

Fellows of All Abilities (FAAb)
Veteran and Active-duty Members of the U.S. Military

Additional groups

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)
Orthodox Jewish Mincha Minyon Notice
Orthodox Jewish Women (OJW) Support Group
The Women of Color Research Network
NIH Black Scientists and Friends Network
Bethesda Campus Christian Fellowship
AWIS (Association of Women in Science)
NIH American Muslim Professional (NIH-AMP) Group
Additional Contacts for International Scholars at the NIH


Groups Advised by OITE

Check out the 2022 summer community group virtual lunch schedule.

Network of African-American Fellows at the NIH (NAAF):
The mission of this group is to create an environment of support for African American scientists during their tenure at NIH. To fulfill this mission the network will focus on creating opportunities for professional development and personal connections amongst fellows, informing and exposing fellows to biomedical career options, and providing mentoring and support to incoming fellows. All summer interns, postbacs, grad students, postdocs, senior scientists and others who support the mission are welcomed to join. To become a member of the network, please Join the NIH-NAAF listserv. If you have additional questions, contact Erika Barr, the OITE advisor to NAAF.

NIH - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender- Fellows and Friends (LGBT-FF) helps its members thrive in their professional and personal lives by addressing issues unique to the LGBT community. LGBT-Fellows and Friends organizes seminars and workshops to educate the general public on LGBT issues, provides professional development opportunities, and offers social and networking events to develop professional and personal networks. LGBT-Fellows and Friends is open to straight and LGBT identified NIH fellows, from postdocs to graduate students, postbacs, and summer interns. If you would like more information about LGBT-Fellows and Friends, contact Jenn Wiggins, the OITE advisor for LGBT-FF. Join the LGBT-FF listserv to learn about up-coming LGBT-FF meetings.

The NIH SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native American in Science) Chapter:
The SACNAS mission is to foster the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists - from college students to professionals - to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. The NIH-SACNAS Chapter serves students and professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and a place where NIH trainees and staff from different science disciplines can meet to network, share successes, and strategize about future goals in a supportive environment. The chapter holds monthly meetings and events throughout the year and focuses alternately on scientific communication, networking, and career development. If you want to be a member of this chapter, please sign up for the list-serv (NIH-SACNAS). You may also want to join our LinkedIn group (The NIH SACNAS Chapter). External Link For more information contact Elena Hernandez-Ramon, the OITE advisor for the NIH-SACNAS Chapter. Read more about the national organization.External Link

Mom-Dad-Docs aims to provide a supportive community for NIH postdoc, clinical/research fellow, and graduate student scientists who are also parents. We explore the joys and challenges of juggling parenthood and a scientific career. Monthly lunch meetings provide an opportunity to meet other postdoc/clinical fellow/graduate student parents while learning more about topics such as time management, career advancement strategies, and general parenting issues. Guest speakers present topics, insights, and resources. The Mom-Dad-Docs group welcomes all individuals with children (or thinking about having children). If you would like more information about Mom-Dad-Docs, please contact Ella Ulrike Klenke of the OITE. Visit the OITE Web site to learn about upcoming Mom-Dad-Docs meetings, activities, and networking opportunities. Whenever possible, we will make the meetings available via Webinar. Please see the new parenting webpage, Resources at the NIH for Trainees Who Are Also Parents, for additional support.

Fellows of All Abilities (FAAb):

The mission of this group is to foster a community of awareness and support for individuals of all abilities including people with emotional/cognitive or physical disabilities or with chronic illnesses and their allies. We hope to discuss issues unique to individuals of all abilities both within and outside of science. We will hold monthly bring-your-own lunch gatherings to share concerns about and strategies for navigating the intersection of science and ability. You can join the FAAb listserv at Please contact Laura Marler for additional information.

Veteran and Active-duty Members of the U.S. Military

We know veterans and active members of the United States Armed Forces contribute greatly to the NIH enterprise. We likewise recognize that NIH trainees who are also members of the military community encounter unique challenges as they navigate their time here. They may not, however, be aware of each other. This affinity group will offer members opportunities to share similar experiences an d their individual best practices for traversing NIH culture. You can join the NIH Veteran Scientists listserv at Please contact Darryl Murray for further information.

Additional Groups (provided for your benefit)

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) NIH Chapter

was founded in 1985. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments. FAPAC is the oldest and largest AAPI affinity group for federally employed Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The NIH chapter of FAPAC was established in 2016. The objectives of FAPAC’s NIH Chapter are to assist the NIH in promoting, establishing, and maintaining an effective and equitable participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the work force. We aim to promote overall awareness of the impact of AAPI cultures, contributions, work ethics, and behavior as related to government employment, as well as to promote a better understanding of, and to seek solutions for, the particular problems, including equal employment opportunity, of AAPI in the NIH. Additionally, FAPAC-NIH seeks to establish and maintain channels of communication and goodwill between AAPI and other individuals in the NIH and the community in general. One major tenet of the group is to promote the career development and advancement of AAPI at the NIH. We welcome and encourage those who support our values and goals to join our group as well, even if you are not of Asian/Pacific origin. Please contact or Jue Chen for additional information.

Orthodox Jewish Mincha Minyon Notice. Monday through Thursday a Mincha Minyon (with mechitzah) meets at 2:00 pm on the 7th floor of the Hatfield Clinical Research Center, room 7-1480. This room is called the Auxiliary Chapel and is located off to the far right of the Department of Spiritual Care. For further information contact Hirsh Komarow.

Orthodox Jewish Women (OJW) Support Group. The mission of this support group is to provide a broad range of support for Orthodox Jewish Women (OJW) new to their careers in science. Members will provide support for one another, particularly for those members in the early stages of their careers, and address issues unique to the Orthodox Jewish community, with an emphasis on issues unique to OJW in science. OJW Support Group sessions will create an environment fostering personal growth, exchange of ideas and sharing of difficult situations and their resolutions. Guest speakers and panels will facilitate the exchange of life lessons learned and their applications. Additional sessions will provide general resources and address important skill sets for a successful career in the life sciences. Discussions in the OJW Support Group will encompass how to weave one's spiritual principles into a secular world and the world of science. For interested members who are 1st year interns, the OJW Support Group will attempt to provide post-doc and post-bac mentors (NIH Fellows) if available. The OJW Support Group is committed to finding mentored pathways forward for all members through networking and identification of common barriers and biases still present in the greater world of science. All individuals who share our goals are most welcome to participate. For more information contact Dr. Daniel Edelman. Join the OJW listserv.

The Women of Color Research Network supports all scientists interested in raising the voice and visibility of Women of Color (WOC) in biomedical and behavioral research. This new social media site is for women of color and everybody interested in diversity in the scientific workforce. Visit the Web site to join.

NIH Black Scientists and Friends Network, an informal group dedicated to the mentoring and career enhancement of Black scientists at NIH. Activities, which are open to all who share the group's goals, regardless of race, include a monthly networking dinner in Bethesda and the dissemination of information of potential interest to Black scientists. For more information, contact Dr. Roland Owens.

Bethesda Campus Christian Fellowship: An informal group of Christians who meet regularly to encourage spiritual growth and community. Regular events include a prayer meeting and Bible study. All are welcome! Please contact for further information.

The Bethesda AWIS Chapter is committed to helping women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. The chapter offers numerous networking opportunities, leadership roles, outreach and professional development event and a great community of fellow scientists. Our events and group welcome both male and female STEM professionals that want to engage in helping everyone reach their full potential. To find out more about the chapter and upcoming events, please visit our website: Questions: please contact

The NIH American Muslim Professional Group (NIH-AMP) serves as a means of strengthening brotherhood and sisterhood for the local community as well as serving as a network through which support for incoming or visiting members may be facilitated and information shared. This is all in order to foster spiritual wellness for individuals and the community at large. For questions regarding prayer schedule updates or upcoming events and to connect with other fellows please feel free to contact Dr. Mohammad Aslam Khan at To receive regular updates for upcoming events and connect with other members of the group please join our listserv.

Additional Contacts for International Scholars at the NIH: Scientists from countries around the globe are working and training at the NIH.  To find NIH trainees and scholars from your home nation, visit the Web page of the Visiting Fellows Committee (a sub-committee of the NIH Fellows Committee or FelCom).