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Summer Internship Program (SIP)  

For high school, college, graduate, medical, and dental students

Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. The NIH consists of the new 240-bed Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center and more than 1200 laboratories located on the main campus in Bethesda, MD as well as in Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Hamilton, MT; and Detroit, MI.

For trainees on the main campus, the Office of Intramural Training & Education sponsors a wide range of summer activities including a lecture series featuring distinguished NIH investigators, informal lunchtime talks on training for research careers, and a trainee poster day. The office also makes available information about housing in the area. The NIH provides additional opportunities such as the Science in the Cinema series.

The Summer Internship Program is for students who will be sixteen years of age or older at the time they begin the program and who are currently enrolled at least half-time in high school or an accredited U.S. college or university. Students who have been accepted into a college or university program may also apply. To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Awards cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students generally arriving at the NIH in May or June.


The stipends for trainees are adjusted yearly, with supplements for prior experience. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page.

Application procedure

Prospective candidates must apply online. The application is available from mid-November to March 1. It requires submission of a curriculum vitae or resume, coursework and grades, a cover letter describing the applicant's research interests and career goals, and the names and contact information for two references. Candidates may also specify the scientific methodologies or disease/organ systems that interest them.


Successful applicants are selected by the individual laboratories and branches at the NIH on a rolling basis from November through May. Applications are reviewed and selections are made by scientists in the Institutes and Centers of the NIH. Candidates will be informed of their selection by the hiring Institute. Successful candidates will be required to submit the following documentation to their Institute or Center prior to beginning their training:

  • Official high school, college, or graduate school transcripts
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. U.S. citizens may submit a copy of their birth certificate or passport. Permanent residents will need to provide a copy of their alien registration card.

Have a question about the SIP? Get answers here.

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Page last revised on November 14, 2008 (sva)