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Your Environment. Your Health.

Summer Internship Program

Fellows' Career Development

Summer Internship Program

Fellows' Career Development

Young female scientist works at work bench in laboratory

The Summer Internship Program provides internships to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical/biological sciences to work on a research project that entails exposure to the latest biochemical, molecular, and analytical techniques in a given field. Participants are selected by scientific mentors from the NIEHS Division of Intramural Research.

Resource for Prospective Summer Interns

Program Requirements | Application Process | Housing/Transportation | Stipend/Salary

Program Requirements

NIEHS Summer Internship Program (SIP) interns:

  • Are 17 years of age or older on June 15 of the internship year.
  • Are in college (including community college) or graduate/professional school at the time of application, or
  • Are high school graduates at the time of application and have been accepted into accredited college or university programs, and
  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (U.S. citizens may apply if they are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college or university as undergraduate, graduate, or professional students. Permanent residents must be enrolled in or, if they have already graduated from high school, have been accepted into an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.).

Application Process

To apply, fill out the online application for the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP). This electronic application site typically opens in mid-November annually. Complete all applicable blocks of information:

A brief cover letter (including your name, mailing address, phone number, current school and grade or classification in school) describing academic plans for the fall, your interest in the biomedical sciences, and reasons for seeking a summer research position. To ensure your package is appropriately assigned for consideration in the NIEHS Summer Internship Program, please indicate your interest in this program in your application.

A resume (be sure to include research activities, honors, awards, and any other relevant accomplishments).

A listing of current coursework grades from the school you are attending. (An official transcript is only requested if/when selected/offered a position.)

Two reference letters of recommendation preferably from individuals having direct knowledge of your scientific interests and abilities (e.g., science and/or mathematics faculty, etc.).

The above materials must be submitted/ posted online by March 1 to receive consideration for the following summer. Individual applications may be updated/revised at any time up until March 1 during that year's application process. If you have previously applied, you must fill out a new application and provide new reference letters each year.

FAQs for the NIEHS Summer Internship Program

Housing/Transportation

NIH Summer Internship Program

Housing and transportation are not provided by the NIEHS. For our Summer Internship Program, the intern and/or the parent(s)/guardian(s) are responsible for making housing arrangements on their own.

We would suggest you use sites such as the ones listed below to look for housing options. Our campus is fairly close to UNC, Duke and NCSU so in the past many students have found housing or summer sublet opportunities near the universities.

Please note- NIEHS does not endorse or promote any of these sites or the housing found by using them. This is shared for informational purposes only and is not meant to be exhaustive.

Transportation

There’s no good way around it – the Triangle area is big, very suburban, and most people use a car to get around. Depending on your location, you may be able to use the GoTriangle bus system. NIEHS is serviced by RTP Connect which subsidizes up to $10 per Uber or Lyft trip to get from the Regional Transit Center in RTP to NIEHS. Find more information at GoTriangle. Parking on campus is free and you will receive a parking pass on your first day at the institute.

Stipend/Salary

Student stipends levels are updated each spring. Proof of health insurance is required; however, insurance is not offered/ provided by the institute.

The summer appointment mechanism is the "Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA)" which is a monthly stipend award paid in arrears (once per month, for days worked during the last month).

Student IRTA Stipend Levels - effective May 1, 2020

Student IRTA Stipend Levels for All Localities

Education Level Completed Monthly Stipend
High School Before Graduation $2,000
After Graduation $2,230
Undergraduate After 1 year $2,340
After 2 years $2,440
After 3 years or > $2,570
Graduate Less than 1 year $2,690
After 1 year $3,050
After 2 year $3,390
After 3 years or > $3,630

Resources for Current Summer Interns

Handbook | Summer Events at NIEHS | Journal Club | NIEHS Summer Intern Poster Session

Handbook

The Summer Internship Program Handbook has helpful information.

Summer Events at NIEHS

  • Big Picture, Small Talk Communication Challenge
  • Career Panel for Biomedical Researchers
  • Interactive Workshops and Lectures
  • Journal Club
  • Lunch and Learn Sessions
  • NIEHS Summer Intern Poster Session and Awards Ceremony
  • Preparing for Graduate School Workshop
  • Preparing for Medical School Workshop

Journal Club

Summer interns have the opportunity to participate in an optional Journal Club that is run by fellows at NIEHS.

  • Explore new areas of research!
  • Meet other summer students!
  • Sharpen your critical reading skills!

Journal clubs are a popular way for scientists to get together and discuss recently published scientific papers. They allow participants to stay up-to-date with new techniques and advances in their fields of interest. Journal Club is your opportunity to participate in this form of scientific communication. Students planning to participate in a Summer Journal Club should watch the Reading a Scientific Article YouTube video. (Source: NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education)

NIEHS Summer Intern Poster Session

At the end of July we will hold our annual Summer Intern Poster Session which is mandatory for all summer interns. This is an opportunity to showcase your work and practice your science communication skills. Posters are judged by NIEHS scientists and we celebrate at an afternoon awards ceremony.

Summers of Discovery program participants

Contact

For more information contact summers@niehs.nih.gov.

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