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Training Programs in the Biomedical Sciences

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POSTBAC PROGRAMS (for recent college graduates)

  • The Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program
    The Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) is a biomedical research program that enables eligible recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional school to spend one or two years working with investigators at the NIH.

  • The Technical IRTA Program
    Technical IRTAs are college graduates who come to the NIH with the express interest of developing their skills as research support personnel.

  • The NIH Academy
    The NIH Academy offers trainees the opportunity to learn about health disparities, enhance their knowledge of gaps in health outcomes, and investigate what is being done to address health disparity issues.  Any Postbac or Technical IRTA is welcome to apply to participate in the Academy


  • The Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP)
    The GPP provides graduate students with the opportunity to conduct all or part of their dissertation research in the resource-rich NIH environment. Students come to the NIH either as part of formal institutional partnerships or via individual agreements negotiated between their university mentor and an investigator at the NIH. In all cases, degrees are granted by the university partner.


  • Medical and dental students can come to the NIH in several ways.  They can spend a year on the NIH Bethesda campus conducting research under the direct mentorship of an NIH investigator as part of the National Institutes of Health Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) a comprehensive, year-long research enrichment program designed to attract the most creative, research-oriented medical, dental, and veterinary students to the main campus of the NIH in Bethesda, MD.   Students can also complete 4- or 8-week clinical rotations in the NIH Clinical Electives Program at the NIH Clinical Center.


  • Postdoctoral Training in the NIH Intramural Research Program
    Eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have recently received a doctoral degree can come to the NIH as Postdoctoral IRTAs to complete up to five years of postdoctoral research. Eligible international scholars who are recent doctoral degree recipients can conduct up to five years of postdoctoral research at the NIH as Visiting Fellows; they generally come to the NIH on J1 visas. Both groups are considered NIH trainees, rather than employees.

  • Other Postdoctoral Programs at the NIH

  • Research Fellows
    Postdoctoral fellows can be promoted to Research Fellow, an appointment that makes them NIH employees, albeit temporary. An individual can spend an additional three years as a Research Fellow after reaching the five-year limit of the Postdoctoral Fellow appointment.  Research Fellows are eligible for Intramural Loan Repayment.

  • Residents and Clinical Fellows
    Physicians and dentists seeking specialty or subspecialty clinical-research training will find a vast array of both ACGME-accredited and other clinical and translational programs at the NIH.  Training requirements and program durations vary.  Like Research Fellows, Residents and Clinical Fellows are considered temporary NIH employees and are eligible for Intramural Loan Repayment.