Related Information

NIAMS Opportunities

NIH Opportunities


Clinical Training

The purpose of a Clinical Fellowship is to provide junior-level physicians experience in biomedical research relevant to NIAMS IRP's program needs. This position has both clinical and laboratory components, with some time spent in direct patient contact supporting the performance of clinical protocols and the rest in laboratory research related to these protocols. In some cases, Clinical Fellows may receive approved credit towards residency training, advanced subspecialty training, or Board certification.

Training Pathways

Laboratory Research Pathway: — Fellows engage in pure laboratory research. Applicants for this training pathway must have either a graduate doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) or a professional degree (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D. or D.V.M.) accompanied by previous research laboratory experience.

Combined Clinical and Research Pathway: — The second pathway is the Combined Clinical and Research Pathway. In this pathway, the trainee often receives clinical subspecialty training as well as training in clinical and/or basic research. To be eligible for this pathway, candidates must possess a Degree in Medicine or Dentistry. In general, candidates must have two or three years of postgraduate clinical training. Some applicants may also possess an additional graduate degree (e.g., Ph.D.) as well, but this is not required. Ideally, candidates should apply one or two years before the desired date of the appointment.

NIAMS Office of the Clinical Director


To be eligible for the Clinical Fellowship, a candidate must be a graduate of an accredited medical or osteopathic school and have satisfactorily completed an internship approved by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals, the American Medical Association, or the American Osteopathic Association. The candidate must have demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement and the ability to conduct successfully, with minimal supervision, pre-established programs in both clinical and laboratory research.

Time Period of Training

Initial appointments are approved by the IC Scientific Director for 2 to 3 years. This program is aimed at promoting the careers of talented individuals through intensive exposure to the latest advances in basic, clinical, and epidemiological research. Opportunities exist for fellows to take a variety of courses at the NIH and to participate in patient care where appropriate.

Financial Support

NIH has a program designed to facilitate receiving an R01 award earlier in an investigator's research career: NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00). Scientists working in the IRP may be eligible to participate in NIH's Loan Repayment Program.

How to Apply

  • Visit the various NIAMS Research Labs to identify a laboratory or research area that interests you.
  • Supply a Curriculum Vitae and Other Supporting Documents.
  • Include information on past research experience, science awards, honors, student programs and participation in scientific meetings.
  • Include abstracts and scientific papers.
  • Request recommendation letters from science faculty, preceptors, etc. that have direct knowledge of your scientific interests and abilities.

Other Clinical Training Programs at NIAMS

For details on the Rheumatology Training Program please click here.

For those who completed their clinical training, we offer advanced training in our Scholars in Translational Research Program.

Reviewed January 11, 2013