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 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 or professional 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 the 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
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Intend to apply to graduate or professional school during their tenure at NIH
In addition, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have earned a bachelor’s degree within the past three years of postbac start date
- Have received a master's degree less than six months before the postbac start date
- 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
How To Apply
Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Program
The postbac IRTA program is designed to provide recent college graduates the opportunity to conduct full-time biomedical research in the resource-rich environment of NIH.
- Apply through the OITE application portal.
- Refer to OITE's video for detailed application information.
- After submitting your application, contact NIAID investigators with whom you would like to work.
- Read the OITE guide on Finding an NIH Mentor before approaching a prospective mentor
- Explore research conducted in NIAID laboratories.
Note: Recent graduates may also apply to the NIH Summer Internship Program to conduct research in an NIAID laboratory if they are enrolled in a degree-granting program the semester following the summer program.
For specific questions, contact the Postbac/Summer Intern Program Coordinator.
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.
Why Train at 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