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Postdoctoral Program

Fellows' Career Development

Postdoctoral Program

Fellows' Career Development

Young male scientist using a microscope in a laboratory

Postdoctoral training in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) provides the opportunity for recent doctoral degree recipients to enhance their research skills in the resource-rich National Institutes of Health (NIH) environment. Trainees come from across the U.S. and around the world to explore areas such as bioinformatics, epidemiology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, developmental biology, structural biology, signal transduction and clinical research.

Resources for Prospective Postdocs

Program Requirements | Application Process | Housing | Stipend

Program Requirements

(Source: Office of Intramural Training and Education)

Eligibility: To be eligible for postdoctoral training in the NIH IRP, individuals must hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or the equivalent) and have no more than five years of relevant research experience since receipt of their most recent doctoral degree. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are appointed to Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Awards (IRTAs); citizens of other nations are appointed as Visiting Fellows. Support for international postdocs is provided by the NIH Division of International Services.

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.

For more information: NIH policy on the use of the NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program.

Application Process

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact NIH investigators directly, there is no formal application. NIH-wide announcements of some currently available postdoctoral positions are posted online. To search for postdoc positions at NIEHS, select "Research Triangle Park, NC" under location pull-down menu.


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.


Postdoctoral IRTA and Visiting Fellow Stipend Levels for NIEHS

Experience Initial Stipend Second Year Third Year Fourth Year Fifth Year
0-1 year $58,700 $60,400 $62,050 $63,750 $65,400
1-2 years $60,400 $62,050 $63,750 $65,400 $67,100
2-3 years $62,050 $63,750 $65,400 $67,100 $68,800
3-4 years $63,750 $65,400 $67,100 $68,800 $70,450
4-5 years $65,400 $67,100 $68,800 $70,450 $72,150
5-6 years* $67,100 $68,800 $70,450 $72,150 $73,800
6-7 years* $68,800 $70,450 $72,150 $73,800 $75,500

* used for fellows with an M.D. or similar professional degree to give credit for internship/residency years (for U.S. credentials only).

Resources for Current Postdocs

Handbook | Postdoc Resources


The Postdoc Handbook has important information about the Postdoc Program. Note: some of this information is specific to the Bethesda, Maryland area.

Postdoc Resources

Office of Fellows’ Career Development (OFCD):

OFCD staff are located at NIEHS and offer programming and training for NIEHS postdocs. 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 your Individual Development Plan, 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 is primarily located in the Bethesda, Maryland 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.

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 NIEHS and the broad range of training needs, the NTA organizes and sponsors a variety of activities.

Annual NIEHS Biomedical Career Symposium:

One of the largest assemblies of biomedical organizations and young scientists in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. 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, featuring a wide variety of career path options available to Ph.D.-holders. The event also features up to 100 CV/resume review sessions, along with time for networking with company representatives in the afternoon.

Involvement, Awards, and Grants:

Learn about the numerous award opportunities and opportunities to get involved within NIH as a whole, and those specific to NIEHS. NIEHS fellows can apply for certain grants and fellowships, and special consideration must be taken when applying. Learn about the policies governing the grant application process, the types of grants and fellowships NIEHS trainees can apply for, and resources to help with grant writing.

NIEHS Career Outcome Dashboard:

Explore career outcomes of 891 NIEHS postdocs on this interactive dashboard. The dashboard contains career outcomes of NIEHS postdocs from 2000-2014 and allows investigation of job sector, job type and job specifics. You can also read about NIEHS career outcomes in Nature Biotechnology.

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