Research Participation Programs (RPP)

Research Participation Programs at the NIH are educational and training programs designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and postdoctoral Fellows an opportunity to participate in project-specific NIH research, current public health research, and developmental activities.  It is an opportunity to network with world-class scientists using state-of-the-art equipment and to expand students’ knowledge in their field of study while exposing them to new areas of basic and applied research. Participants interact daily with assigned mentors who guide research activities during the internship.  These research activities help transition classroom theory into hands-on experience, helping provide answers to today’s pressing scientific questions.

Length of Appointment

Initial appointments are typically one year, and can be renewed annually up to an additional four years.   Summer or short-term appointments may also be offered.


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

    1. Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), and must maintain satisfactory progress in academic coursework.
    2. 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.
    3. Faculty must be full-time faculty from an accredited U.S. college or university.

Established scientists interested in new research training activities will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the NIH program coordinator and ORISE management staff.

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.


  • Stipend – Stipends are awarded monthly.
  • Insurance – All participants are required to have health insurance in place no later than the first day of the appointment and maintain health insurance throughout the duration of the appointment. Insurance can be purchased through the ORISE Program.
  • Inbound/Outbound Travel – Awarded on a case-by-case basis.
  • On-station Travel – Classified as travel during your appointment, on-station travel is designed to enhance your collaboration by promoting attendance at conferences, workshops, and other educational meetings. Awarded on a case-by-case basis.


For more information, contact


Photo credit: © Nestlé