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NIH Clinical Center: National Institutes of Health
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About the Clinical Center
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What Makes Us Different

Program Strengths

The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health brings together the brightest and most talented clinician-scientists to discover tomorrow's cures with creativity, innovation, and compassion. By its very design, the Clinical Center expresses the hope of translational medicine by uniquely integrating research labs with patient care units. Its training programs will provide you with a strong clinical experience and give you the freedom to ask and discover the answers to fundamental scientific questions.

What Makes Us Different

As a fellow at the NIH, you'll discover a collaborative team committed to helping you achieve a sustainable career as a future clinician-scientist or academician. Our programs will provide you with a solid foundation on the fundamentals of clinical research and translational medicine and provide a platform for you to explore your research interests and collaborate with peers across the NIH. Rotations to some of the area's leading academic medical centers will further strengthen and round out your basic and advanced clinical skills. Our partners in fellowship training include: the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, Children's National Medical Center, and the National Capital Consortium. After completing your clinical requirements, you will also have the opportunity to explore your research interests for an additional one to three years depending upon your program's requirements.

As a resident or clinical fellow enrolled in an ACGME-accredited training program at NIH, you can apply to receive loan repayment for up to $17,000 per year of your qualified educational debt or you may qualify for the "Competitive Loan Repayment Program" that could repay as much as $35,000 per year. Prospective applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for loan repayment are strongly encouraged to submit their electronic application upon acceptance into an NIH-sponsored, ACGME-accredited training program.


Formal and informal mentorship plays a pivotal role in the development of our fellows. At NIH, distinguished mentors provide guidance, instruction, and feedback to help you achieve your potential. Your mentor will help you identify your individual learning strengths and goals, clarify and support your research interests and career ambitions, and develop an individualized development plan to customize your learning and research experiences at the NIH.


NIH's training programs are based in the Clinical Center, America's research hospital. This environment uniquely integrates research into our teaching of the six ACGME core competencies (patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice). To help you develop the skill set of a clinician-scientist, we will provide you with rich experiences in our research labs and patient-care units, and offer you a wide spectrum of unparalleled formal learning opportunities. Some of the research-focused courses available to our clinical residents and fellows include:

    • The Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, designed to introduce basic epidemiologic methods involved in clinical research; learn the ethical, legal, and regulatory principles involved in human subjects research; and understand the infrastructure required to perform clinical research and the steps involved in developing and funding research studies.
    • Bioethics, designed to teach how to utilize a framework to evaluate the ethics of a clinical research protocol and apply appropriate codes, regulations, and other documents governing the ethical conduct of human subject research to your own research.
    • Grant Writing Courses, designed to provide a broad overview of the grant writing process, including the fundamentals of good grant writing, the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the process, and an overview of the various available funding mechanisms.
    • Principles of Clinical Pharmacology, designed to teach pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism and transport, the assessment of drug effects, how to optimize and evaluate patient therapy, and the process of drug discovery and development.
    • The NIH-Duke Training Program in Clinical Research which is a collaboration between the NIH Clinical Center and Duke University Medical Center. Leading to a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research, awarded by Duke University School of Medicine, this program's curriculum covers the principles of research design, statistical analysis, health economics, research ethics, and research management.


To help you grow and develop your strengths within the six core competencies, we use 360-degree evaluations to solicit feedback from faculty, fellow physicians, patients, nurses, and other members of the support team. This allows us to reinforce what you are doing well and to also point out ways that you can improve as a well-rounded clinician-scientist. At the completion of your fellowship, you will be evaluated on your demonstrated mastery of the six core competencies, your ability to practice without direct supervision, and the contributions and impact you have made to your program and the larger NIH community.

Career Preparation

In addition to partnering with your mentor in clarifying and achieving your career goals, the NIH offers workshops and other resources on how to: obtain a position here at the NIH or within the Federal Government; make a move to academia or industry; and plan for and achieve career satisfaction and success. Whatever your needs and interests, the NIH is committed to working to help you achieve your career goals.

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This page last reviewed on 11/26/12

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