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Outside Activities

Fellows' Career Development

Outside Activities

Fellows' Career Development

Students in a classroom listening to a presentation
(Source: NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education)

Under certain circumstances, fellows at NIH are allowed to participate in outside activities in order to supplement their training experience so that they can be best prepared for their chosen career. All Fellows are expected to follow the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) Guidelines for Non-FTEs (Trainees) for NIH-Related Activities, Outside Activities, and Awards.

Are there different rules for Outside Activities for a Visiting Fellow?

Advance approval from the Division of International Services (DIS), the OIR, and other NIH offices is often necessary to engage in an outside activity to ensure that both our Fellows' U.S. immigration status and NIH policies allow the activity. However, there are certain activities that do not need advance approval.

To help our Fellows better understand this process, please follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Outside Activity Wizard) - After completing the survey, if you are still unsure if your activity requires approval, please feel free to contact the DIS.
  2. Complete the "Approval for Outside Activity" after determining that your requested activity requires advance approval:
    • Complete and sign the form and have both your NIH supervisor/sponsor and Scientific Director sign as well.
    • Submit the completed form and any supporting offer letters to the DIS.

The DIS will determine if the activity is permissible and will forward the request to the OIR if final OIR approval is required. The DIS will notify you if/when you can engage in the activity.

Please leave enough time to obtain all of the signatures if your activity requires advance approval. We recommend you start the process 4-6 weeks in advance and submit the completed "Approval for Outside Activity" to the DIS at least two weeks in advance. Do not begin the activity until DIS notifies you of the decision!