Summer Research Training

Holly Coleman, former summer intern

Holly Coleman, former summer intern in the Molecular Pathogenesis and Biomarker Section of the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology, pictured in the lab (top) and at the NIH Summer Poster Day (bottom).

Credit: NIAID

Summer research training at NIAID is available through two primary programs:

Both programs offer students the opportunity to conduct research at the forefront of immunologic, allergic, and infectious diseases in NIAID laboratories located in Maryland and Montana (Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton). Summer interns spend a minimum of eight consecutive weeks performing full-time biomedical research in basic, translational, and clinical research areas under the guidance and direction of an NIAID principal investigator. Students participate and engage with other trainees and scientists in a wide variety of research and professional development events during their time at NIH. The summer internship programs strive to offer a stimulating and highly rewarding experience for interns, with the aim of encouraging ambitious and academically talented students to pursue a career in biomedical research.

Read more about the Division of Intramural Research and the Vaccine Research Center. Find more information about the summer internship programs from the NIH Office of Training and Education (OITE).

Who Can Apply

Summer Internship Program (SIP)

Applicants must be

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Individuals who are U.S. permanent residents must be attending or have been accepted into institutions in the United States
  • 17 years of age or older on June 15 of the internship year

In addition, applicants must meet either one of the following criteria:

  • A high school graduate at the time of application and have been accepted into an accredited college or university program
  • A current undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent graduate degree student

High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

Applicants must be

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • U.S. citizens may apply if they are enrolled at least half-time in high school
    • Permanent residents must be enrolled in a high school in the United States to be eligible
  • A current high school junior or senior
  • 17 years of age or older on June 15 of the internship year
    • Applicants under the age of 18 on June 15 must reside within 40 miles of the NIH research campus where they will perform their internship. See NIH research campus locations

Note: Please refer to OITE for more details.

Background Check

Please note any fellowship offer is contingent on your ability to successfully pass a federal background check, which is required for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems. As part of the clearance process, you will be asked “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?”  This question pertains to the use of controlled substances or drugs as defined under federal law. Please be aware that while marijuana may be legal or decriminalized within your home jurisdiction it remains illegal under U.S. federal law. The use, possession, supply, or manufacture of marijuana may preclude you from obtaining the necessary clearances to participate in NIH intramural training programs, even if you were initially offered a position. If you have questions about this policy or would like guidance on the clearance process, please reach out to (please put “Eligibility Inquiry” in the subject line).

How To Apply

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


Funding is based on NIH appointment type (e.g., Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), Special Volunteer). Stipend levels for trainees are published annually and determined based on experience. For details, see OITE Student IRTA Stipend levels.

Why Spend Your Summer at NIAID?

NIAID summer interns at the NIH Summer Poster Day: (L-R) Zoe Schmieche, Daniella Bloch, Sarah Blackstone, and Charmaine Chan

Credit: NIAID

“I had a great time as a summer student in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases! Everybody in the lab, from the Principal Investigator to the postbac, took time to explain the lab’s research projects, the underlying science, and the phases of research in general to be sure that I really understood their work and my assignments. Everyone helped to make me feel like I was part of the team and was always willing to answer my many questions. – Daniella Bloch, Summer Intern, Laboratory of Allergic Diseases


Contact Information

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

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