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Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers:

  • Scholarship support
  • Paid research training at the NIH during the summer
  • Paid employment and training at the NIH after graduation

Scholarship support

The NIH UGSP will pay up to $20,000 per academic year in tuition, educational expenses, and reasonable living expenses to scholarship recipients. Scholarships are awarded for 1 year, and can be renewed up to 4 years.

Research Training at the NIH

For each full or partial scholarship year, you are committed to two NIH service obligations. The obligations are actually benefits of the UGSP, providing you with invaluable research training and experience at the NIH.

  1. 10-week Summer Laboratory Experience. After each year of scholarship support, you will train for 10 weeks as a paid summer research employee in an NIH research laboratory. This employment occurs after the receipt of the scholarship award. Each scholar will be assigned to an NIH researcher and an NIH postdoctoral fellow, who will serve as mentors. You will also attend formal seminars and participate in a variety of programs.
  2. Employment at the NIH after Graduation. After graduation, you will continue your training as a full-time employee in an NIH research laboratory. You must serve 1 year of full-time employment for each year of scholarship.

Eligibility requirements

You must meet all of these requirements in order to be eligible for admission into the UGSP.

  • U.S.A. citizen or U.S.A. permanent resident
  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited 4-year undergraduate institution located in the United States of America
  • Undergraduate University Grade Point Average of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0-point scale or within the top 5 percent of your class
  • Having 'Exceptional Financial Need' as certified by your undergraduate institution financial aid office (Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 74, Tuesday, April 17, 2012Icon indicating an External Link) - see table.

    Persons in Family

    (Includes only dependents listed on Federal income tax forms)

    Family Income Level

    (Adjusted gross income, rounded to the nearest $100.00)

    1 $22,340.00
    2 $30,260.00
    3 $38,180.00
    4 $46,100.00
    5 $54,020.00
    6 $61,940.00
    7 $69,860.00
    8 $77,780.00
    For families with more then 8 persons, add $7,920 for each additional person.
    Table Updated December 31, 2012.

You are not eligible for the UGSP if any one of the following items pertains to you:

  • You are a high school senior
  • You have been awarded an undergraduate degree
  • You are enrolled in an advanced degree program, such as a master's degree
  • You are unable to fulfill the payback requirements

If you are uncertain about your eligiblity, please take a moment to use our Eligibilty Wizard.

Application Information

Visit the Application Center to learn more about our application requirements.

Key dates for admission consideration in fall 2013-2014 academic year

  • January 2, 2013 - Online Application Opens
  • March 1, 2013 - Online Application Closes (updated on December 7, 2012)

This program is administered without discrimination on the basis of age, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other nonmerit factors.

NIH is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from underrepresented minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.  NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.