Postbaccalaureate Research Training

Malaria researcher

Laura Veru, postbac – Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research

Credit
NIAID

Postbaccalaureate research trainees (postbacs) at NIAID engage in research at the forefront of immunologic, allergic, and infectious diseases. Postbacs conduct research in NIAID laboratories located in Maryland (Bethesda, Rockville, and Frederick) and Montana (Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton), which provides a unique scientific research training environment in basic, translational, and clinical research for recent college graduates who plan to apply to graduate school (master’s, Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent graduate degree). Postbacs spend one to two years performing full-time research under the guidance and direction of an NIAID principal investigator. Trainees have the opportunity to engage and network with experts in diverse scientific research fields while taking advantage of the extensive resources of NIH.

Read more about the Division of Intramural Research and Vaccine Research Center. Find more information about postbaccalaureate training opportunities from the NIH Office of Training and Education (OITE).

Note: The duration of the program is typically one year; however, the fellowship may be extended for an additional year provided satisfactory performance of the trainee and availability of continued support by the laboratory.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Intend to apply to graduate or professional school during their tenure at NIH

AND

  • Have earned a bachelor’s degree within the past three years of program start date

OR

  • Have received a master's degree less than six months before the postbac start date

OR

  • Have been accepted into a master’s, Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent graduate degree program with written permission from their school to delay entrance for up to one year to conduct a research project at NIH

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.

How To Apply

Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program

The postbac IRTA program is designed to provide recent college graduates an opportunity to spend a year (or two) conducting biomedical research in the resource-rich environment of the NIH.

Note: Recent graduates may also apply to the NIH Summer Internship Program to conduct research in an NIAID laboratory if enrolled in a degree granting program the semester after a summer appointment. 

For specific questions, contact the Postbac/Summer Intern Program Coordinator.

Funding

Funding is based on NIH appointment type (e.g., IRTA, Special Volunteer). Stipend levels for trainees are published annually and determined based on experience. For details, see the OITE Postbac IRTA Stipend Levels.

Featured Postbaccalaureate Training Programs

Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) provides outstanding candidates with the opportunity to engage with leading experts in allergic, immunologic, and infectious diseases, and to learn more about the exciting research being conducted. Candidates selected will meet 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.

The NIH Academy
An opportunity for NIH postbacs to learn about health disparities, enhance knowledge of gaps in health outcomes, and investigate what is being done to address health disparity issues.

Why Train at NIAID?

Samuel Owusu working in a lab and posing for a photo with his lab mates

Samuel Owusu, former postbac in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Medical Student at Morehouse School of Medicine, and pictured with his lab mates, (left-right) Isabella Olivia Hansen, Hana Schmeisser, and Qingbo Liu

Credit
NIAID

"My two years at NIAID were the most important time for my career. I grew the most during this time and as a result, my career development was accelerated greatly. I met great mentors and people who were willing to support me. I had the opportunity to attend diverse and world-class seminars, programs, and conferences that built my resolve in my career path. I am glad I had the privilege to train at NIH and in the Viral Pathogenesis Section of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at NIAID."
- Samuel Owusu

Contact Information

For specific questions, contact the Postbac/Summer Intern Program Coordinator.

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