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Fellowship Placement & Programs

The Office of Fellowship Training in the Division of Intramural Research Program works with fellows who are interested in the research of the National Institute of Mental Health. Listed below are the ten basic categories of fellowships, according to level of experience. A few programs are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only, while others are open to foreign scientists. Please read the descriptions carefully in order to find the category that fits your level of experience.

  • PGY4 Residency Training Program
    The NIMH clinical intramural program is accredited by the Accreditation Council in Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to provide training for residents in Post Graduate Year 4 (PGY4). View the Office of the Clinical Director page for more information.
  • Clinical Fellowship Program
    The Clinical Fellowship Program provides extensive post-residency training opportunities in clinical and basic psychobiological research.View the Office of the Clinical Director page for more information.
  • Clinical Electives Program
    The goal of the Clinical Electives Program (CEP) is to provide the medical student with first-hand experience in the conduct of clinical research during their 3rd or 4th year of medical school rotations.
  • Research Fellow/ Research Fellow Visiting Program
    The Research Fellow position is designed to provide a flexible mechanism for the temporary employment and professional development of promising research scientists.
  • Postdoctoral Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)
    The Postdoctoral Intramural Research Awards Program provides new postdoctoral fellows with advanced training and an opportunity to conduct full-time research in a laboratory environment that is compatible with the interests of the participant.
  • Visiting Fellows
    The Visiting Program provides opportunities for foreign postdoctoral fellows to train and conduct collaborative research at the National Institutes of Mental Health.
  • Pre-doctoral Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)/Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellow
    The goal of the Pre-doctoral IRTA/Visiting Fellow program is to introduce doctoral students to biomedical research as well as to provide practical research training and experience to students, by supplementing academic course work and/or encouraging pursuit of professional careers in biomedical research.
  • Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)
    The goal of the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awards Program is to introduce recent college graduates to biomedical research, as well as provide additional time to pursue successful application to a doctoral degree program.
  • Student Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)
    The goal of this program is to match student research interests with a basic neuroscience laboratory or clinical branch where those interests might be pursued.
  • Special Volunteers
    The purpose of the Special Volunteer program is to provide a mechanism whereby an individual can volunteer his or her services to the NIH but receives no direct compensation from NIH.
  • Summer Programs in Biomedical Research
    1. The Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIPBR) is open to high school, college and graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research.
    2. The Summer Research Fellowship Program (SRFP) is to expose medical students, early in their academic careers, to research investigation in a highly enriched environment that is devoted exclusively to biomedical research and training. This program is open to medical students only.
  • Other Information
    Other useful information concerning candidate acclimation to the National Capital Area.

PGY4 Residency Training Program

The NIMH clinical intramural program is accredited by the Accreditation Council in Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to provide training for residents in Post Graduate Year 4 (PGY4). In conjunction with the Clinical Fellowship Program, the trainee assumes responsibility for the evaluation and clinical care of inpatient and/or outpatient research subjects, in addition to providing psychiatric consultation to patients at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Skills in research design, methodology, statistical analysis, and data presentation are developed through didactic course work and interaction with experienced mentors.

For residents with primarily laboratory interests, basic research training opportunities are also available. Applicants to the program must be enrolled full-time in an ACGME-accredited psychiatric residency program, and must have completed the clinical requirements of the program, as certified by the program director.

PGY4 Program Explanation (in PDF form)

Clinical Fellowship Program

The Clinical Fellowship Program provides extensive post-residency training opportunities in clinical and basic psychobiological research. The core 2-year training program focuses on the acquisition and refinement of research skills, including the evaluation and clinical care of research subjects, development of research protocols, performance of clinical and/or laboratory research, and the preparation and presentation of study results. Associates join specialty branches or sections that investigate the mechanisms or treatment of major psychiatric illnesses. Emphasis in these programs is on:

  • psychopharmacology
  • neuroendocrinology
  • circadian physiology
  • brain imaging
  • neurogenetics
  • molecular biology

To be eligible for this program, candidates must have an MD degree and have completed their residency training in psychiatry. Applications are accepted on a continuing basis. Additional information can be found in the Clinical Fellowship Program brochure (or Print Friendly Version) or by contacting Dr. Joyce Chung.

Clinical Electives Program

The goal of the Clinical Electives Program (CEP) is to provide the medical student with first-hand experience in the conduct of clinical research during their 3rd or 4th year of medical school rotations. Eight week courses are offered in adult (Course coordinator: Maryland Pao, MD) or child (Course coordinator: Judith Rapoport, MD) psychopharmacology. Both courses focus on familiarizing the student with current integrated research approaches employed in the investigations of the biological mechanisms involved in psychiatric illness.

Participants are assigned a senior staff member who serves as a preceptor. In conjunction with the student, the preceptor develops and oversees an individually-based tutorial program. Students will perform psychiatric and neurologic evaluation on assigned patients and will participate in regular clinical research unit meetings, rounds and seminars. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents,
  • be enrolled in a medical school fully accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges, and
  • have completed their initial rotation/clerkship in psychiatry prior to arriving at NIH.

Although applicants are considered on a continuous basis, it is recommended that application materials be received four months prior to the start dates of the preferred session. The fall, winter and spring sessions usually commence the first week of September, January and March, respectively. Additional information on this program can be found on: http://www.training.nih.gov/student/cep/index.asp or by contacting Margarita Valencia.

Research Fellow/ Research Fellow Visiting Program

The Research Fellow position is designed to provide a flexible mechanism for the temporary employment and professional development of promising research scientists. The time here accelerates the Fellow's career and professional development by affording opportunities to use the facilities at NIH and to work in close association with leading authorities in all branches of the biomedical and behavioral sciences. This program also provides the opportunity to observe an investigator's performance for an extended period of time.

This fellowship is designed for those who have obtained their Ph.D. at least three years prior to their start date. In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to understand the type of research done at NIMH. You are also invited to learn about the Principal Investigators at the NIMH to find a laboratory or branch that is conducting the research that most closely fits with your interests. Those applicants who meet these minimum qualifications and would need visa assistance should contact Richard Doucette for more information on placement. U.S. citizens and permanent residents should contact Margarita Valencia.

 

Postdoctoral Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)

The Postdoctoral Intramural Research Awards Program provides new postdoctoral fellows with advanced training and an opportunity to conduct full-time research in a laboratory environment that is compatible with the interests of the participant. Candidates for the program must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a doctoral degree and less than five years of relevant postdoctoral experience. The research activities and professional development of the fellow are conducted under the auspices of an experienced senior investigator. Fellows are encouraged to participate in tutorial seminars, journal clubs and other NIH-sponsored teaching programs. Awards are made initially for one or two years and may be extended to five years, depending upon an annual review of the participant’s research accomplishments and the availability of institutional resources. Applications are accepted on a continuing basis.

In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to understand the type of research done at NIMH. You are also invited to learn about the Principal Investigators at the NIMH to find a laboratory or branch that is conducting the research that most closely fits with your interests. Feel free to contact principal investigators who conduct the type of research that you are interested in to see if they have an opening. Openings are also listed online on the Office of Intramural Training and Education website. For more information on this program, prospective applicants should contact Margarita Valencia.

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Those who are chosen for an IRTA position opening will be asked to submit their complete CV and bibliography, copies of degrees received, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Applications are accepted either by applying to an opening on the Office of Intramural Training and Education website or by submitting the required documents directly to the laboratory or branch chief.

Benefits:
Stipends are usually adjusted every year. The current stipend chart for post-doc IRTAs as well as information on health insurance and the complete description of the IRTA program are found in the IRTA Manual.

Post-doc IRTAs are eligible to receive up to $2,000 in relocation reimbursement. Speak with your principal investigator to see if you would be eligible.

Visiting Fellows

The Visiting Program provides opportunities for foreign postdoctoral fellows to train and conduct collaborative research at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Visiting Fellows must have a doctoral degree and less than five years of relevant postdoctoral experience. Each participant works closely with a senior NIH investigator who serves as supervisor during the period of award. NIH provides full visa and immigration-related support for Visiting Fellows. Prior to their arrival at NIH, Visiting Fellows are provided with a handbook from the Division of International Services that contains information about many aspects of life in the United States, including what to bring, housing (there is no housing provided by the NIH), child care, local facilities and services, and community and cultural resources. Detailed program information can be found on: http://www.nih.gov/od/ors/dirs/isb/aboutnihvp.htm. In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to understand the type of research done at NIMH. You are also invited to learn about the Principal Investigators at the NIMH to find a laboratory or branch (link to that is conducting the research that most closely fits with your interests. Feel free to contact principal investigators who conduct the type of research that you are interested in to see if they have an opening. Openings are also listed online on the Office of Intramural Training and Education website. For more information on this program, prospective applicants should contact Richard Doucette.

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Those who are chosen for a Visiting Fellow position opening will be asked to submit, all in English, their complete CV and bibliography, copies of degrees received, transcripts and three letters of recommendation. In addition, we collect copies of passports of the applicant and dependents as well as current immigration information, if any. Applications are accepted either by applying directly to an opening on the Office of Intramural Training and Education website or by submitting the required documents directly to the laboratory or branch chief.

Benefits:
Stipends are usually adjusted every year. The stipend level for Visiting Fellows is the same as that for post-doc IRTAs. The current stipend chart for post-doc IRTAs as well as information on health insurance and the complete description of the IRTA program are found in the IRTA Manual.

Visiting Fellows are eligible to receive up to $2,000 in relocation reimbursement. Speak with your principal investigator to see if you would be eligible.

Pre-doctoral Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)/Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellow

The goal of the Pre-doctoral IRTA/Visiting Fellow program is to introduce doctoral students to biomedical research as well as to provide practical research training and experience to students, by supplementing academic course work and/or encouraging pursuit of professional careers in biomedical research to two different groups of graduate students. As an integral part of the student’s academic preparation, dissertation research for students enrolled in doctoral degree programs in biomedical sciences will involve close cooperation and planning between NIH and the academic institution. In addition, students enrolled in doctoral or medical degree programs who obtain written permission from their school may interrupt their current schooling to perform research for up to one year before returning to their degree-granting program. This program is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals enrolled in universities in the U.S. or abroad. The NIH has established partnerships with a few PhD programs. Please review the Graduate Partnership Program website for more information and the on-line application.

In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to understand the type of research done at NIMH. Review the Research Areas of the NIMH-DIRP to find the research that most closely fits with your interests. Feel free to contact principal investigators who conduct the type of research that you are interested in to see if they have an opening. For more information on this program, prospective applicants should contact Richard Doucette.

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Fill out the on-line application. Pre-doctoral IRTAs and Visiting Fellows who are chosen for a position opening will be asked to submit proof of enrollment in a graduate program and transcripts, in addition to the on-line application. Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellows must also submit copies of passports of applicant and dependents as well as immigration information, if any.

Benefits:
Stipends are usually adjusted every year. The current stipend chart for pre-doctoral IRTAs and Visiting Fellows, as well as information on health insurance and the complete description of the IRTA program are found in the IRTA Manual.

Pre-doctoral IRTAs/Visiting Fellows are not eligible to receive a relocation reimbursement. An advance of up to $1,000 may be requested upon commencement of the award.

Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)

The goal of the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awards Program is to introduce recent college graduates to biomedical research, as well as provide additional time to pursue successful application to a doctoral degree program. Participants are provided practical research training and experience under the mentorship of an experienced clinical or laboratory investigator. Candidates must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and have graduated from an accredited college or university no more than twelve months prior to arriving at the NIH. In addition, the applicant must intend to apply to graduate or medical school within the next year. Additional information and the on-line application for this fellowship program, which are accepted on a continuing basis, can be found at the Office of Intramural Training and Education website.

In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to understand the type of research done at NIMH. Review this link to find the research that most closely fits with your interests. Feel free to contact principal investigators who conduct the type of research that you are interested in to see if they have an opening. For more information on this program, prospective applicants should contact Richard Doucette.

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Fill out the on-line application. Post-baccalaureate IRTAs who are chosen for a position opening will be asked to submit proof of graduation and transcripts in addition to the on-line application.

Benefits:
Stipends are usually adjusted every year. The current stipend chart for post-bac IRTAs as well as information on health insurance and the complete description of the IRTA program are found in the IRTA Manual.

Post-bac IRTAs/Visiting Fellows are not eligible to receive a relocation reimbursement. An advance of up to $1,000 may be requested upon commencement of the award.

Student Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)

The Student IRTA Program is open to high school, college and graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research.

The goal of this program is to match student research interests with a basic neuroscience laboratory or clinical branch where those interests might be pursued. Participants work a minimum number of weeks with established investigators, receive training in research procedures and conduct research in selected areas of investigation under the guidance of an assigned preceptor. To be eligible to participate, students must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For more information, prospective applicants should contact Margarita Valencia.

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Student IRTAs who have found a match with a Principal Investigator and are chosen for a position opening will be asked to submit transcripts or proof of enrollment from the school, in addition to the on-line application. Apply online at: http://trainingapplication.nimh.nih.gov.

Benefits:
Stipends may be adjusted yearly. The current stipend chart for Student IRTAs, as well as information on health insurance and the complete description of the IRTA program are found in the IRTA Manual.

Special Volunteer

The purpose of the Special Volunteer program is to provide a mechanism whereby an individual can volunteer his or her services to the NIH but receives no direct compensation from NIH. Special Volunteers may, however, receive support from outside sources with approval. Special volunteers have varying levels of education, from high school students to senior scientists. Those who are currently enrolled can receive internship credit from their school for this experience. Initial appointments are made for one year, renewable up to eight years. Although compensation is not given by the federal government, all special volunteers in the Visiting Program must have valid work authorization. J-1 visa assistance is provided to those who qualify (see /http://www.nih.gov/od/ors/dirs/isb/ta09.htm).

Applications:
There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Special Volunteers who have found a match with a Principal Investigator will be asked to sign a volunteer agreement and, if enrolled, submit paperwork from their school to ensure that proper credit is given. Apply online at: http://trainingapplication.nimh.nih.gov.

Benefits:
Stipend and health insurance is not offered by the NIMH for Special Volunteers. Those who volunteer for more than a four-month appointment may receive either a parking pass or Transhare.

Summer Programs in Biomedical Research

  1. The Summer Internship Program (SIP) in Biomedical Research is open to high school, college and graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research.
  2. The Summer Research Fellowship Program (SRFP) is to expose medical students, early in their academic careers, to research investigation in a highly enriched environment that is devoted exclusively to biomedical research and training. This program is open to medical students only.

The goals of these programs are to match student research interests with a basic neuroscience laboratory or clinical branch where those interests might be pursued. Participants work a minimum of eight weeks between May and September with established investigators, receive training in research procedures and conduct research in selected areas of investigation under the guidance of an assigned preceptor. To be eligible to participate, students must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For more information, prospective applicants should contact Margarita Valencia.

Applications:
The online application for the summer programs go “live” on November 15th and the deadline for submitting applications is March 1st. Applications must be submitted online. SIP applicants may apply here, and SRFP applicants (medical students) may apply here. The following information is provided for 2006 Summer Student IRTAs. Please read and complete before coming to your Friday Orientation.

  • Summer Student Medical Evaluation Letter (in PDF form)
  • Summer Student Authorization for Treatment of a Minor (in WORD form)
  • Summer Medical Evaluation Guidelines for Pre-placement (in PDF form)
  • Summer Student Parking and Transhare Information (in PDF form)
  • Animal Care and Use Training Schedule NIH Radiation Training Brochure (in PDF form)
  • NIH Safety Training Brochure (in PDF form)
  • ACH Direct Deposit of Stipend (in PDF form)

Other Information

Housing is not provided by the NIH. Some possible options to investigate for housing are included below:

  • Recreation and Welfare Association Housing Listings
  • Craigslist-Washington DC
  • Rent.com (apartment listings)
  • Washington Post Real Estate
  • Washington City Paper (shared housing or apartments)
  • WISH Housing (shared housing or apartments)
  • Youth Hostels (temporary housing)
  • Washington DC Hostels (temporary housing)

Information about the Washington, DC metropolitan area:
Lonely Planet
Average Temperatures in the Washington, DC area

Information on obtaining an area driver’s license can be found here:
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Licensing Information
District of Columbia Motor Vehicle Administration
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

Social security cards can only be obtained 14 days after arrival in the U.S. Information and application forms are found here (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html).

Before international travel to the U.S., review the following information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0435.xml