Diversity at NIAID

Participants in the Amgen Scholars Program at the NIH Summer Poster Day.

Credit: NIH
NIH recognizes diversity as an essential element for advancing the global biomedical research community. In an effort to support this mission and reflect this priority, NIAID works to develop, support, and promote diverse and inclusive training opportunities where all scientists feel valued and empowered to participate in the NIH mission of improving human health though scientific discovery.

NIAID strives to promote diversity at every stage of biomedical research training, from high school to postdoctoral trainees. The primary goal is to engage and recruit trainees from populations underrepresented in biomedical research — which includes individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds — as defined by NIH’s Interest in Diversity Notice. The training office also works to develop new opportunities that will enhance recruiting and retention, and to generate diversity awareness across the institute.

For more information, refer to the following:

Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO)

The NIAID training office promotes diversity through a variety of training programs and highly encourages the participation of individuals from populations underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) provides outstanding candidates with the opportunity to visit NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, to engage with leading experts in allergic, immunologic, and infectious diseases, and to learn more about the exciting research being conducted. Candidates selected for the visit will interview with NIAID principal investigators and potentially be offered a postbaccalaureate (postbac) position in an NIAID laboratory. Through INRO, the NIAID training office sponsors postbac trainees from populations underrepresented in the biomedical sciences and those dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion.

See NIH’s Notice of Interest in Diversity.

If your interests do not align with the biomedical research areas of NIAID, NIH offers other training programs for which you may be eligible. A selection of featured, NIH-wide diversity training programs are listed below and for information on all NIH training programs, visit the Office of Intramural Training and Education.

Why Train at NIAID?

 Adelaide Miarinjara, Ph.D., postdoc in the Laboratory of Bacteriology, Plague Section at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Adelaide Miarinjara, Ph.D., postdoc in the Laboratory of Bacteriology, Plague Section at Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Credit: NIAID
“I’m from Madagascar, where plague burden remains the highest worldwide. With my entomology background, I started to work on flea- and plague-related topics as an undergrad five years ago, by joining Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. I worked on several aspects of plague vector control during my Ph.D.

Many questions still have no answer about the epidemiology and the ecology of plague in Madagascar. After my Ph.D., I wanted to go further into the comprehension of plague transmission ecology. I’m most interested in the interaction between plague bacterium and vector fleas. The laboratory of Joe Hinnebusch, Ph.D., at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) is amongst few institutions performing outstanding research focusing on the genetic and molecular processes of plague transmission, infection, and immunity. I knew the research group from their noteworthy scientific publications. Then I decided to contact Dr. Hinnebusch about the possibility for me to get a postdoctoral position in his lab, working on topics related to flea transmission of Y. pestis. This is how I got involved in the research group. I’m currently working, amongst other things, on vector capacity of flea species.

Moving to a new country, adopting a new language, and exploring a new scientific domain was challenging. Joining an NIH research group at RML is, of course, a valuable experience for my career, but also for my personal development. My training at the NIH will open new perspectives related to fleaborne transmission of plague, for a better understanding of Madagascar plague ecology and transmission. So far, addressing those questions may help the implementation of more adapted strategies to protect people against the disease.” - Adelaide Miarinjara, Ph.D.

Other NIH Programs

High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program (HiSTEP)
Offers students who attend high schools with a large population of financially disadvantaged students the chance to learn about science, biomedical research, and science careers at NIH.

Amgen Scholars Program at NIH
Gives preference to undergraduates who lack opportunities to carry out independent research during the school year due, for example, to family responsibilities, economic exigencies, or inability of their institutions to provide such opportunities.

Undergraduate Student Scholarship (UGSP)
Offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers scholarship support, paid research training at NIH during the summer, and paid employment and training at NIH after graduation.

Content last reviewed on April 22, 2019