Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO)

Tylisha Gourdine

Tylisha Gourdine, INRO participant and postbac in the Immunobiology and Molecular Virology Unit, Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML).


Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) promotes biomedical research training in allergic, immunologic, or infectious diseases. Applicants for INRO should be talented senior-level undergraduate students, those who have recently completed a master’s degree, or those who are in their final year of a master’s degree program. Through INRO, the NIAID Office of Research Training & Development (ORTD) sponsors postbaccalaureate research trainees (postbacs) from U.S. populations underrepresented in the biomedical sciences and those dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion — as defined by Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity Notice. Individuals from underrepresented populations and/or disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Candidates must demonstrate a strong commitment to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the biomedical sciences and be actively pursuing a postbac research training position – also called an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) – in NIAID at the time of their INRO application.

If selected for INRO, finalists will have the opportunity to get to know the other finalists in their cohort and meet with prospective NIAID mentors, with the expectation that all finalists will join an NIAID laboratory and start their postbaccalaureate training on June 13, 2022. 


  • United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Graduating senior (undergraduate or master’s program) or have recently completed an undergraduate or master’s degree
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher and in good academic standing
  • Available for a one-year postbac fellowship in NIAID that begins on June 13, 2022
  • Intent to apply to graduate or professional school during tenure at NIH
  • Former NIAID interns are not eligible for INRO

Note: There are two required components for INRO consideration: 1) NIH Office of Training & Education (OITE) postbac application and 2) INRO supplementary questionnaire. See "Application Information" for more details.

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 (read SF-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.

Important Dates 

Program Timeline Date
Application portal opens September 1, 2021
Application portal closes November 22, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET). 
Note: Applications for INRO will not be accepted after this date
Deadline for reference letters November 26, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)
Notification emails sent to applicants Early January, 2022
INRO Event dates February 3-4, 2022
Start official IRTA paperwork By March 1, 2022
Cohort start date June 13, 2022


Application Information

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 22, 2021. Reference letters are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 26, 2021. Applicants must meet both the Postbac IRTA and INRO program eligibility criteria. 

There are two key components for the INRO application process:

  1. Applications must be submitted to the NIH OITE online application portal.
  2. When your OITE application has been submitted, you must complete the supplemental INRO questionnaire by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 22, 2021.

You will be asked to provide a diversity statement outlining how your participation will align with NIAID's goal of promoting diversity and inclusion in biomedical research. Additionally, you will be required to provide a list of research topics and affiliated NIAID principal investigators that fit your research interests and goals. 

Note: Failure to complete both the OITE application and the supplementary INRO questionnaire will result in ineligibility for INRO consideration. Applications are not considered complete without three letters of reference.

For specific questions, contact the INRO Coordinator.

How Applicants Are Selected

Selection is highly competitive. Qualified applicants will be reviewed and evaluated by a selection committee consisting of NIAID scientists.

Applications are evaluated on the following basis:

  • Cover letter and diversity statement
  • Research goals and experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to a career in biomedical research
  • Academic record

Applicants selected to attend the INRO Event will be notified by email in early January.

Selection for the INRO Event does not guarantee a position in NIAID. While it is anticipated that all postbacs selected for INRO will join an NIAID laboratory, position offers are made by individual investigators after the INRO Event/interviews.


During the Event

  • Participate in the two-day event
  • Learn about global health research from NIAID premier scientists
  • Interview with potential NIAID mentors
  • Every effort will be made to identify laboratories within NIAID that would be a good match for INRO participants
  • Students may meet with investigators from Bethesda, Rockville, and Montana campuses
  • Meet trainees currently doing research in NIAID laboratories
  • In-depth “look” at the NIH Clinical Center

After the Event

Postbac position offers are made by individual principal investigators after the event and interviews. Official IRTA paperwork must be initiated no later than March 1, 2022. All NIAID-Sponsored INRO Research Trainees will have a start date of June 13, 2022.

Note: Participation in the INRO Event and interviews does not guarantee a position within NIAID. INRO finalists must join an NIAID laboratory on June 13, 2022 to be a part of the INRO program. The NIAID Office of Research Training & Development (ORTD) will assist in identifying laboratories within NIAID that would be a good match for INRO participants. 

What To Expect as an NIAID-Sponsored INRO Research Trainee

The NIAID Office of Research Training & Development (ORTD) ensures that candidates selected for a postbac position are fully included in the laboratory and training community at NIAID, with access to career and professional mentoring and skill development events, which help ensure your continued competitiveness in the field of biomedical research.

As an NIAID-sponsored trainee, you will

  • Participate in an entrance interview with the program manager upon start of fellowship
  • Create an individual development plan
  • Participate in monthly seminars
  • Complete an exit interview with the program manager prior to end of fellowship

Postbac fellows are expected to initiate the application process for graduate or medical school during their time at NIH. In some cases, the postbac fellowship can be extended for an additional year, depending on satisfactory progress, position availability, and funding.

NIAID Welcomes the 2021 INRO Postbac Cohort

Individual headshots of the 2021 INRO Research Cohort

Top row (left to right): Armando Arroyo-Mejías, DIR-LISB (Ronald Germain, M.D., Ph.D.), Elizabeth Bardwil-Lugones, DIR-LVD (Theodore Pierson, Ph.D.), Daniela Chow, DIR-LPD, (Elodie Ghedin, Ph.D.), Luisa Dominguez Aldama, LAD (Melody Carter, M.D.), Maïsha Kasole, DIR-LCIM (Bibiana Bielekova, M.D.) Bottom row (left to right): Allie Kreitman, DIR-LPD (Elodie Ghedin, Ph.D.), Brittany Mills, DIR-LMVR (Jesus Valenzuela, Ph.D.), Page Murray, DIR-LMI (Brian Kelsall, M.D.), Danealle Parchment, VRC-VL (Cheng Cheng, Ph.D.), Behnia Rezazadeh Shirazi, VRC-VL (Nicole Doria-Rose, Ph.D.)


The Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) 2021 cohort began their postbac research training awards in June. The group was invited to participate in a two-day virtual event in early February, where they interviewed with NIAID PIs for a postbac opportunity in NIAID intramural research labs in Maryland and Montana. The group had the opportunity to learn about NIH, meet the INRO 2020 cohort, attend research seminars given by NIAID PIs, and to get a feel for life and research in NIAID.

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