Summer Student Program

Career Development Section - Summer Students group photo.

Spend Your Summer with Us!

The summer program at the NIAMS is a stimulating and rewarding experience that provides an opportunity for you to work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. Intramural investigators pursue diverse biomedical research projects that include fundamental analyses of protein structure and function, cell biology, signal transduction, gene regulation, tissue development and differentiation, and genetics and immunology. They also conduct research on the genetics, etiology, pathogenesis and treatment of a variety of rheumatic, autoimmune, inflammatory, joint, skin, and muscle diseases.

Outstanding opportunities exist for high school, undergraduate, graduate and medical students contemplating a career in biomedical research or academic medicine. Some key features of the program are:

  • Train in conduct cutting-edge basic and clinical research
  • Receive career mentoring from leading investigators
  • Learn new technologies, scientific investigative skills, research ethics, and the use of information technologies
  • Attend formal lectures and symposia dealing with the latest advances in health research
  • Network and exchange information with peers and other members of the NIH scientific community
  • Gain experience presenting scientific results at journal clubs, lab seminars, and the Annual NIH Summer Research Poster Day

Eligibility Requirements

The Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research is for students 16 years of age or older who meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled at least half-time in high school or an accredited U.S. college/university/medical school/dental school
    • OR accepted for fall admission to an accredited U.S. college/university/medical school/dental school
  • Able to arrive at the NIH in May or June and commit a minimum of eight weeks to the program
  • Students enrolled in the program are expected to work full time in the lab for eight weeks. Vacation time is not permitted due to the short duration for the program.


Stipend amounts for the different training fellowships are listed in separate tables. For the NIAMS Summer Program, see Appendix 5, “Student IRTA Stipend Levels.”

Application Procedure

Students can apply online. Applications are accepted from November 15 to March 1. The electronic application requires submission of a curriculum vitae or resume, a list of the applicant's publications, a cover letter describing the applicant's research interests and career goals, and the names and contact information for two references. Candidates are asked to specify the scientific methodologies or disease/organ systems that interest them.


Summer interns are selected by the NIAMS Career Development and Outreach Branch (CDOB) on a rolling basis through May. Selections are made based on the information supplied on the candidate’s application. Candidates interested in working in specific laboratories or research areas within NIAMS should indicate their preferences on the application or through follow-up contact (email preferred) with the CDOB office.

The CDOB office will inform candidates of their selection. Successful candidates will be required to submit the following documentation 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.

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Updated October 21, 2015