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NIH National Graduate Student Research Conference


The NIH National Graduate Student Research Conference (NGSRC) is an annual two-day event held on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The 2012 Conference, to be held on October 9 and 10, will introduce 120 advanced graduate students in the sciences to the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) to share their science and meet with NIH scientists.  This year the Conference will be held in conjunction with the NIH Research Festival, which highlights recent significant biomedical advances made at the NIH, and Conference participants will have the opportunity to attend Research Festival Sessions.

The NIH IRP is the world's largest organization focused exclusively on biomedical research. More than 1150 investigators work in laboratories located in Bethesda, Baltimore, and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Detroit, MI; Framingham, MA; and Hamilton, MT. The 240 beds of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center in Bethesda are devoted to clinical research. The IRP is particularly proud of the opportunities it provides to do translational and interdisciplinary research, its extensive resources, and the collaborative atmosphere.

Download the 2012 Conference Flyer.

Download the 2012 NGSRC Program.

Read the 2012 NGSRC Abstract Book. (Note that this book is available only to NIH Staff and Trainees.  You must login or create an account for yourself in order to access it.  You can do this by clicking on the "login" button at the upper right.)

conference  Fact Sheet


One hundred-twenty advanced graduate students (individuals who received or will receive their doctoral degrees between March 2012 and the end of October 2013) of any nationality who are currently studying in the U.S. will be invited to attend.

NOTE: International scholars should be aware that, in general, the NIH supports only J-1 visas for postdoctoral trainees.


The two-day Conference includes:

  • The opportunity to attend the NIH Research Festival, which showcases research in the IRP.
  • Meetings with NIH investigators and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Poster presentations by Conference participants.
  • Plenary sessions that address the NIH and how it works, training resources for postdoctoral fellows at the NIH, and experiences of former NIH postdoctoral fellows.
  • Opportunities to interact informally with current NIH trainees.


The NIH is known for awarding grants to universities and institutions around the world. The Intramural Research Program is less well known. The Conference was conceived to bring together outstanding young scientists from across the U.S. to share their science and learn about the exciting research being conducted at the NIH.


The Conference is held on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Investigators at off-campus locations participate via videoconference. Participants are housed in Bethesda, within walking distance or a brief subway ride of the NIH. The NIH covers the cost of participant travel to and from the NIH, shared hotel accommodations, and some meals.


The 2012 National Graduate Student Research Conference will take place on October 9 and 10.


Interested graduate students must apply online to be considered for participation in the Festival. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm (EDT).  Letters of recommendation must be received by June 22. Applications are judged by NIH investigators based on an abstract describing the applicant's dissertation research; applicant curriculum vitae; two letters of recommendation, one from the applicant's dissertation advisor; a cover letter from the applicant; and goodness of fit between the applicant's interests and the mission of the NIH. In 2010, 602 applications were received.