Frequently Asked Questions, Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO)

What is NIH?

NIH, or the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest biomedical research institution. NIH seeks to improve health by conducting research in its own laboratories and by funding the research of other scientists throughout the United States and around the world. NIH, headquartered in a suburb of Washington, DC, is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an agency of the federal government.

NIAID is one of the largest Institutes of NIH. NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world.

Who sponsors this program?

INRO is sponsored by the Office of Training and Diversity (OTD), the training office of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How close to earning my degree do I need to be to apply to INRO?

Because this program seeks students interested in a training position within the year, we expect

  • Doctoral students to be near the completion of their program. Students must have completed their qualifying exams and much of their dissertation and be close to the point of defending their dissertation
  • Medical students, generally first year students, to have permission from their school to participate in a NIH research training experience
  • Senior undergraduate students to graduate in the Spring or Fall of the same year of the INRO program

When can I begin to apply and what are the important dates for INRO?

Activity Date
Applications open September 1
Deadline for submitting applications October 15
Midnight, Eastern Time
Deadline for submitting completed references October 22
Midnight, Eastern Time
Notification emails sent to applicants Early December

What do I do if I have a problem submitting my application?

Make sure you have completed all the required fields on the application and then resubmit the application. If you are still having problems, please contact the INRO program coordinator at

How can I verify that my application has been received?

The online application process will automatically send you an email indicating receipt of your application. Therefore, you must ensure that the contact information included on your application is complete and accurate. If you do not receive receipt notification via email, please contact the INRO program coordinator promptly at

How many students are chosen for the INRO program, and how are they selected?

Up to 20 outstanding students will be selected for the program. A team of NIAID scientists will evaluate the applications and make final selections based on the selection criteria.

When and how will I be notified if I am selected?

All candidates will be notified via email of their selection status in early December. Be sure to provide an email address you check regularly and will have access to in early December.

Can I still attend even if I have to miss a day of the program?

Students selected to attend INRO are expected to reschedule other outstanding commitments in order to attend the full program. INRO is a highly competitive program. Because the number of positions is limited, OTD will select only those students who are available for the entire program.
The program begins Monday morning and ends Thursday afternoon. Travel days for most students will be Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon, following the completion of the program.

What costs does OTD cover?

OTD will cover hotel and long-distance transportation and reimburse INRO students for meals and local transportation at the government rate after the event.

Do I need to submit an official transcript from my school even though I entered my grades into the electronic application system?

Yes. You will be required to submit an official transcript from the school you are currently attending if you are accepted to participate in INRO. The grades entered into the electronic application are for evaluation purposes only.

What other required papers will I need to supply?

Students selected also must provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. In addition, graduate and medical students must submit a letter from their school verifying that they are in good standing.

Will acceptance to the INRO program guarantee me a training position at NIAID (e.g., the summer internship program, a postbaccalaureate or postdoctoral training position, or a year-off medical school training position)?

Participation in INRO does not guarantee a training position at NIAID. However, every effort will be made to identify laboratories within NIAID that would be a good match for INRO participants. INRO participants will have an opportunity to interview with prospective principal investigators regarding possible training opportunities at Bethesda, Maryland; Rockville, Maryland; or the Rocky Mountain Laboratories at Hamilton, Montana.

If I am not selected for INRO, are there other opportunities for me?

On the INRO application, you have the option of choosing to consent to having your application sent to other NIH Institutes and Centers for their consideration in the event that you are not selected for INRO. Therefore, if you select "yes" to that question, you may be contacted by another NIH Institute or Center about what training programs interest you.

We encourage you to find out more about NIH's training programs and apply as soon as possible.

What if I have questions about whether I'm eligible for the program ?

If you have questions about your GPA or other aspects of eligibility for INRO, please contact

We encourage students from populations underrepresented in biomedical research with strong academic backgrounds who are interested in learning more about opportunities in research to apply. For information on all of NIH's training programs, visit

This program offered by the Office of Training and Diversity, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Content last reviewed on August 12, 2015