Eligibility & Selection Criteria, Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research


You may apply to the Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research if you are

  • At least 16 years of age at the time the internship begins
  • Currently enrolled, at least half time, in an accredited U.S. high school, college, or university. Students who have been accepted into a college or university program, medical or dental school may also apply
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident (green card) living in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam

To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. U.S. citizens are eligible to apply if they are enrolled at least half-time in high school or college or university as undergraduate, graduate, or professional students. Students who have been accepted into a college or university program also may apply. Permanent residents must be enrolled in or have been accepted into an accredited institution in the United States to be eligible. ​​​

Selection Process

How are selections made?

Selections are made at the laboratory level. NIAID researchers review applications to determine the most suitable candidates for their laboratories.

If a researcher at NIAID is interested in your application, she/he will contact you to arrange a telephone interview. During the telephone interview, please feel free to ask any questions. Commonly asked questions include the following:

  • What type of project will I have?
  • How much responsibility and independence will I have, given my current research experience?
  • How much time will I have with my mentor?
  • When will I learn whether an offer has been made to me?
  • What will my start and end dates be if I receive an offer?

For additional help preparing for your telephone interview refer to the “Phone Interviewing for Internships” web page. You will get helpful suggestions on how to prepare for and handle a phone interview.

All students who have not been selected will be notified via email from the National Institutes of Health Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) by early May.

How will I be notified if I am selected?

Researchers make most selections in March and April. The investigator or someone from his or her office will contact you directly by telephone or email.

  • If you accept the offer, you will receive further instructions via email. It is imperative that you respond immediately to secure your position and expedite your paperwork.
  • If you choose not to accept the offer, you should contact the secretary at the laboratory and our training coordinator as soon as possible to tell them your decision.

I did not receive an offer; what should I do?

There will still be time to locate other research opportunities. Information on a variety of research training programs can be found on the OITE website. You can also visit the OITE Career Center for information that may help you in your career planning process.

The Office of Training and Diversity (OTD) is offering a program for students who will not have an onsite internship but would still like to participate in the NIAID summer research experience. For more information about externship opportunities, please contact OTD: SummerInternshipProgram@niaid.nih.gov.​​​​