Program Description

The purpose of a Clinical Fellowship is to provide junior-level physicians with 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

Fellows receive clinical subspecialty training as well as training in clinical and/or basic research. Applicants 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. Learn more about clinical trials at NIAMS.


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.

Training Period

Initial appointments are approved by the NIAMS 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

The stipends for postdoctoral trainees at the NIH are adjusted yearly; with supplements for prior experience, multiple degrees, and expertise in areas of current interest to the NIH such as mathematics, engineering, chemistry, and bioinformatics. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page.

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

We encourage you to contact NIAMS investigators with whom you would like to work directly. Visit the various NIAMS Research Labs to identify a laboratory or research area that interests you. Be sure to provide the following:

  • Curriculum vitae and other supporting documents.
  • Information on past research experience, science awards, honors, student programs and participation in scientific meetings.
  • Abstracts and scientific papers.
  • Recommendation letters from science faculty, preceptors, etc. that have direct knowledge of your scientific interests and abilities.

Other Clinical Training Programs

Rheumatology Training Program

Scholars in Translational Research Program

Contact Us

Robert Walker, Jr., Ph.D.

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10 Center Drive
Building 10, Room 10D43B
Bethesda MD 20892
Last Updated: August 2019