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Fellowships and Training Programs

Summer Internship Program (SIP)

SIP welcomes eligible high school, college, graduate, and professional students to spend eight to ten weeks conducting biomedical research with NIH investigators. Read more .

The Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The UGSP provides up to $20,000 in scholarship support per year to eligible undergraduates who are pursuing degrees in fields related to biomedical research. Scholarships are normally awarded for 1 year and can be renewed for a maximum of 4 years. Read more .

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. To apply to this program, contact the NIMH lab areas directly to find placement and work with the respective Principal Investigator to secure a position.

Postbaccalaureate Programs

The Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award  (IRTA) Program is a biomedical research program that enables eligible recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional school to spend one or two years working with investigators at the NIH. See the Advanced Trainee Handbook .

NIMH Cohort Program for Advancing Scientific Excellence (CPASE) – For Postbacs

CPASE is an NIMH-sponsored postbac cohort program to support diverse students entering careers in neuroscience, psychology, healthcare, and STEM fields. Read more.

Pre-doctoral Programs

  • Pre-doctoral Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA)/Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellow Programs are programs designed 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.
  • NIMH Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student Practicum Program/Externship
    The overall objective of this program is to expose psychology graduate students to the role of psychology/neuropsychology in medical and psychiatric disease and provide training on intervention and/or assessment. Practicum students may apply for a position to work with clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists at the NIH who work with adults, adolescents, and/or children with various medical and/or psychiatric conditions. Clinical training opportunities occur in both in- and outpatient clinics within clinical research settings while under supervision from licensed psychologists.
  • OITE Sponsored Graduate Partnership Programs (GPP)
    The GPPs provides graduate students with the opportunity to conduct all or part of their dissertation research in the resource-rich NIH environment. Students come to the NIH either as part of formal institutional partnerships or via individual agreements negotiated between their university mentor and an investigator at the NIH. In all cases, degrees are granted by the university partner. Read more .
  • Graduate Programs Sponsored by NIMH IRP

Postdoctoral Programs

Eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have recently received a doctoral degree can come to the NIH as Postdoctoral IRTAs to complete up to five years of postdoctoral research. Eligible international scholars who are recent doctoral degree recipients can conduct up to five years of postdoctoral research at the NIH as Visiting Fellows on J1 visas. Both groups are considered NIH trainees, rather than employees. Read more .
See the NIH Postdoc Handbook .

Visiting Fellows Program

The Visiting Fellows 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.

  • 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. An individual can spend an additional three years as a Research Fellow after reaching the five-year limit of the Postdoctoral Fellow appointment. Research Fellows are eligible for Intramural Loan Repayment Program (LRP). Additional information regarding the LRP may be found here .

Special Volunteer Program

Special Volunteers (SV) are individuals who volunteer his or her time to conduct research services, direct patient care, technical assistance, or any other necessary services for NIH. SVs are not financially compensated by NIH for their services nor does NIMH provide Health Insurance. All special volunteers on a Visa must have valid work authorization. Visa assistance  is provided to those who qualify.

Clinical Fellowship & PGY4 Programs

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). Additional information is available on the Graduate Medical Education: Psychiatry (PGY-4 and Above)  page or contact Lisa Cullins, M.D. , Director, NIMH PGY4 Psychiatry Residency Program.

The Clinical Fellowship Program provides extensive post-residency training opportunities in clinical and basic psychobiological research. Additional information is available on the Graduate Medical Education: Psychiatry (PGY-4 and Above)  page or contact Lisa Cullins, M.D. , Director, NIMH Clinical Fellowship Program.

Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) Eligibility Wizard for Training Fellowships 

Important Note

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.