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Program Description
General information on the Summer Internship program.


Clinical Center Summer Internships: FAQs

Please review the frequently asked questions about the Summer Internship Program including eligibility, application procedures, and letters of recommendations. If you need additional information, please contact us via email: CCSummerInternship@mail.nih.gov.

Overview

Eligibility

Application procedure

Letters of recommendation/cover letter

After applying

Other training opportunities


Overview

Q: What is the purpose of this program

The NIH Clinical Center Summer Internship Program (SIP) is designed to provide currently-enrolled students an opportunity to spend a summer working side-by-side with some of the most talented researchers, administrative staff, and health professionals in an environment devoted exclusively to clinical research.

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Q: What are the start and end dates for the program?

The start date for the 2013 program is June 17, 2013. The summer internship is 40 hours a week for 8 weeks. Selected students must participate in the program for eight-uninterrupted weeks, leaving no earlier than August 8, 2013.

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Q: Who is eligible to participate?

Students must be at least 16 years of age and citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Students must be enrolled in high school or an accredited United States (US) college or university on a half-time or full-time basis, or plan to be enrolled in the fall.

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Q: Where are these training opportunities located?

The Clinical Center is located on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD. All components of the summer internship program are conducted at the NIH main campus. Training opportunities are available in the Clinical Center's departments, laboratories and offices, listed below.

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Q: Is this a paid internship?

Yes, students who are selected receive a monthly stipend that is based on education level and experience. The amount of the stipend is determined annually.

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Q: Is summer housing provided by the Clinical Center?

The Clinical Center is unable to provide housing for summer interns. Information on housing in the Bethesda, MD area can be found on the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association website: http://www.recgov.org/housing/Roomrent.html [disclaimer]. The NIH is located on the Red Line of the Washington, DC Metro Rail System (http://www.wmata.com [disclaimer]) at the ‘Medical Center' stop.

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Q: How do I apply to the program?

The application opens in late-November. Apply on-line using the NIH-wide application. Your completed application must include your contact information, cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, and grades. For tips on applying, please review the ‘Application Procedure' section of the FAQs.

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Eligibility

Q: Are students who are US citizens attending foreign institutions eligible to apply?

Yes, US citizens attending foreign institutions are eligible to apply to the Summer Internship Program.

If you are an international student attending a foreign institution, please visit the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education for a list of programs that may be available to you.

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Q: Is the internship limited to specific majors?

The Clinical Center Summer Internship Program is open to all majors. For students interested in being selected for a position in a research laboratory, you should have successfully completed courses in biology and chemistry.

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Q: Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) to participate in this program?

No; however, NIH investigators will clearly want to select applicants who appear likely to make the greatest research contributions to their laboratories.

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Q: Is there a separate program for students currently enrolled in nursing, veterinary, medical or dental school?

No, all individuals interested in coming to the NIH for the summer should apply to the SIP. If you are enrolled in nursing, veterinary, medical or dental school, please state that fact in your cover letter.

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Application procedure

Q: Is there a deadline for submission of applications?

Yes, the deadline is March 1, 2013. All applications must be completed in its entirety by this time. We recommend that you apply on-line as soon as possible after the application website becomes available. Applications are available and accepted only from late-November through March 1.

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Q: I have applied before. Can I update my application from last year?

No, you will need to reapply and request new letters from your references.

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Q: How do I indicate my interest in the Clinical Center's Summer Internship Program?

The Clinical Center uses the NIH-wide Summer Internship Program on-line application system. Select the ‘Clinical Center' from the drop-down list. Keep in mind that applicants who indicate a preference to work in a particular Institute or Center may still be considered for positions elsewhere at the NIH.

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Q: Can you provide any advice on how to write a good application?

You might wish to review the NIH "Applying Successfully" video [disclaimer]. You might also wish to read "Writing Successful Applications for Biomedical Research Training Programs: Advice from the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education." PDF Logo (155 KB)

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Q: I am a high school student. What should I enter for "Total Credit Hours" and "Major?"

Please enter "0" (zero) and "NA" (not applicable), respectively.

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Q: Should I list all the courses and grades that I have completed or only my science courses?

Please list all of your completed courses with grades, as well as the courses that you plan to complete by the end of the academic year. Your grades must be entered accurately on your application in order to be considered.

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Q: If I do not have access to the Internet, how can I apply?

Visit your local library to access the Web. The Program does not accept paper application submissions.

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Q: How will I know if my application is complete?

Once you have submitted a completed application, you will receive an e-mail confirming that your application is complete. This message will contain instructions for checking to see whether your letters of reference have been received. Your application must be completed by March 1 (11:59 p.m., EST). Applications that are incomplete after the March 1 deadline will not receive further consideration.

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Letters of recommendation/cover letter

Q: Who should write my letters of recommendation?

You will need two letters of recommendation. The letters should be written by teachers, mentors, and others who are able to explain why you would be a good addition to a research group; comment on your research skills, problem solving abilities, motivation, and ability to handle complex scientific literature and concepts. You may wish to provide the individuals you select with some information on the program, your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), and a description of what you hope to accomplish during the program so that they can write a highly relevant letter. Recommendations from family members are never appropriate.

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Q: Is there a deadline for receipt of my reference letters?

All letters must be received by March 15.

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Q: What should I do if my references have not received a request for a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

The system-generated e-mail request for a letter of recommendation might have failed to reach your reference for any one of several reasons, including entering an incorrect email address, the message being diverted to the SPAM folder, or a system malfunction. You should therefore do one of the following:

  • Check the e-mail address that you entered for your reference and correct it if necessary, then re-send the request for a letter.
  • Ask your reference to check the folder to which his/her Spam filter diverts suspicious messages. This folder might be called "Junk mail," "Bulk mail," or "Spam."

If neither of these strategies remedies the problem, please send a message that includes the name of the program to which you have applied to trainingwww@mail.nih.gov.

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Q: To whom should I address my cover letter?

Because your cover letter can be read by any investigator in the NIH intramural research program, you may wish to use the salutation "Dear Sir/Madam."

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After applying

Q: How are applications reviewed?

Investigators in the NIH intramural research program have access to the database containing the electronic applications to this program. They can search for applicants with particular interests or specific GPAs or who are enrolled in specific programs. Each investigator decides to whom he/she will offer summer positions.

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Q: How will I be notified if I am selected?

Students will receive notice of application acceptance by early April. Either the investigator who has selected you or an administrative officer at the Clinical Center will contact you by phone, e-mail, or letter.

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Q: What are my chances of receiving a position in the SIP?

Like many of the research training programs at the NIH, the SIP is competitive and highly selective. Over the past several years, about 20% of applicants were selected for the program.

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Q: Do I need to submit an official transcript even though I entered my grades into the electronic application system?

Yes, but only if you are accepted into the program. If you are accepted, you will be notified when to submit an official transcript.

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Other training opportunities

Q: Are there other research training opportunities at the NIH that I might find of interest?

The NIH Clinical Center's Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education administers training programs for students, residents/fellows, and mid-career professionals. You may also visit our Other Training Opportunities page for an overview of training and research opportunities throughout the NIH.

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This page last reviewed on 11/20/12

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