Get experience at the nation’s medical research agency, which makes important discoveries that improve health and save lives.

Science | Health | Public Trust

The NIH Participation Programs provide opportunities for students, postgraduates, and full-time faculty (from U.S. Colleges/Universities) to conduct hands-on scientific research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) fields relevant to the mission of NIH. You will be mentored by renowned experts in their fields on projects relevant to their fields and career paths.

NIH places focus on cross-cutting initiatives to enhance public health. Examples of these focus areas include:

  • The causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases; 
  • The processes of human growth and development; 
  • The biological effects of environmental contaminants 
  • The understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders, and
  • Directing programs for the collection, dissemination and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and training of the Nation 

Additional Information

Why apply?

As a program participant, you will:

  • Learn from and collaborate with NIH scientists and professionals in your field to address modern national public health challenges such as early cancer detection and treatment, prevention and management of diabetes, combatting the rise of lethal conditions such as heart disease and stroke, mental health awareness and care, advancing the forefront of advocating for healthy lifestyles and nutrition, and pioneering use of biotechnology to mitigate and treat illnesses that are a threat to national public health. Establish professional connections with the nation’s leading public health experts, NIH scientists, federal employees, and public stakeholders.
  • Develop critical skills and contribute to NIH mission-related research under the guidance of your mentor.
  • Receive financial support including a stipend and travel allowances for participation in this program. 
  • Gain a competitive advantage as you apply your education and talent in a variety of settings.

Am I eligible?

Because of the educational nature of these programs, participants must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. pre-college, college or university pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), or another discipline relevant to the NIH mission. Students must maintain satisfactory progress in academic coursework.
  • Postgraduates must have received their degree in an appropriate STEM discipline within five years of the appointment start date or must complete all requirements for such a degree prior to the desired start date. If more than five years since receipt of degree, the applicant must have an academic background and experience in a relevant field and must be seeking to gain new knowledge/experience in order to expand career opportunities or to advance professionally.  
  • Faculty must be full-time faculty from an accredited U.S. pre-college, college, or university.

Selections are made by the NIH mentor after completion of an eligible application in Zintellect. More information is available on the Applicant Information page.

Applications will be considered without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

What will I receive?

You will receive a monthly stipend to help defray living and other expenses during the appointment. The sponsoring office may also include a health insurance supplemental stipend, a travel and training allowance to attend professional meetings/conferences relevant to the appointment activities, and possible relocation reimbursement.