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Your Environment. Your Health.

Graduate Students

Fellows' Career Development

Graduate Students

Fellows' Career Development

Closeup of a young woman wearing a cap and gown

Graduate students have the opportunity to conduct all or part of their dissertation research in the resource-rich NIH environment. Students come to NIEHS through individual agreements negotiated between their university mentor and an investigator at NIH. In all cases, degrees are granted by the university partner. Graduate Students can also conduct research at NIEHS through the Summer Internship Program (SIP). Find specific information about the NIEHS Summer Internship Program (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina).

Resources for Prospective Graduate Students

Program Requirements | Application Process | Housing | Stipend

Program Requirements

(Source: The Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP))

Eligibility: There are many NIH-University partnerships available to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or international graduate students. Review the partnership descriptions to determine which pathway, partnerships, and online application form are most appropriate for your admission consideration. Most individuals who conduct a predoctoral fellowship at NIEHS do so through an individual partnership with an area university.

Background Check: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85. Note: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Application Process

The GPP utilizes an Application Center to help prospective students navigate to the appropriate application for admission consideration.


NIEHS is located between Raleigh and Durham in the Research Triangle Park. Public transportation is limited to the services provided by RTP Connect, which subsidizes up to $10 per Uber or Lyft trip to get from the Regional Transit Center in RTP to NIEHS. As a government agency, we cannot endorse specific housing arrangements or advise on where to live. However, we have put together a guide about moving to the RTP area for informational purposes only.

Moving to RTP

Here you will find a 9-page guide containing a wealth of information about living in and moving to the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.


The stipends for graduate students at NIH are adjusted yearly; the level depends on prior research experience and number of years at NIH as a graduate student.

Predoctoral IRTA and Visiting Fellow Stipend Ranges for All Localities

Postbaccalaureate Education or Training Completed Upon Activation of Award* Initial Stipend Second Year Third Year Fourth Year Fifth Year
0-1 year $34,400 $36,600 $38,400 $41,050 $42,550
1-2 years $36,600 $38,400 $41,050 $42,550 $44,100
2-3 years $38,400 $41,050 $42,550 $44,100 $45,700
> 3 years $41,050 $42,550 $44,100 $45,700 $47,350

*Postbaccalaureate education or training completed upon activation of award can only include postbaccalaureate training in an NIH laboratory, or relevant professional medical or graduate school enrollment.
If someone has, e.g., 1 year plus 3 months of education or training, he/she should receive the 1-2 year stipend.

Resources for Current Graduate Students

Graduate Student Handbook

This handbook has important information about the program. Note: some of the information in this handbook is specific to trainees located at the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Office of Fellows’ Career Development (OFCD):

OFCD staff are located at NIEHS and offer programming and training for NIEHS graduate students. We typically have new fellow orientation the first Thursday of every month, be on the lookout for information in your email. OFCD can help you with career planning and any NIEHS- specific questions that may come up. The director of the OFCD is Tammy R. Collins, Ph.D.

Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE):

OITE staff are primarily located in the Bethesda, Maryland area but travel to NIEHS often and offer videocasts and webinars of their programming. In addition, OITE provides an on-site career counselor to NIEHS twice per month. OITE has a webpage devoted to FAQs for Graduate Students at NIH.

NIEHS Trainees' Assembly:

The NIEHS Trainees Assembly (NTA) is an organization coordinated and governed by NIEHS scientists-in-training and was created through the support of the NIEHS Office of the Scientific Director in order to foster the professional development of NIEHS trainees. The membership is comprised of all non-tenured/non-tenure track, non-permanent scientists training at the institute. Due to the diversity of scientists in training at the NIEHS and the broad range of training needs, the NTA organizes and sponsors a variety of activities.

NIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium:

The NIEHS Career Symposium is one of the largest assemblies of biomedical organizations and young scientists in Research Triangle Park, NC. Targeting postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, the Career Symposium provides young scientists with an opportunity to explore a myriad of career options and create a contact network as they plan for their future careers in the biomedical sciences. The symposium features workshops and career panels that showcase the wide variety of career path options available to current and prospective PhD-holders. The event also features up to 100 CV/resume review sessions, along with time for networking with company representatives in the afternoon.

Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium:

Each year the OITE hosts a symposium to highlight NIH graduate students which gives them a platform to showcase their research to their peers and to the greater NIH community. They Symposium takes place at the main campus of NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The Symposium hosts keynote and opening talks from world-renowned scientists, policymakers, and senior NIH leadership. Over 100 students present their dissertation projects during the poster session. Additionally, several students are selected to present their research in the form of a short talk.

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