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Pre-doc IRTA/Visiting Fellow Program

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 online application.

In order to have an appropriate placement, it is important to explore the research interests of the NIMH Principal Investigators to find a laboratory or branch that is conducting the research that most closely fits with the applicants research interests. Read more about the NIMH IRP Principal Investigators and their research interests. Applicants should contact principal investigators directly to see if they have an opening in their laboratory. For more information on this program, prospective applicants should contact Aneka Reid in the Office of Fellowship Training.


There are no deadlines for applications as they are accepted on a “rolling admission” basis. Fill out the online 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 online application. Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellows must also submit copies of passports of applicant and dependents as well as immigration information, if any.


Please contact Aneka Reid in the Office of Fellowship Training for information regarding stipends and health insurance and/or see the Graduate Partnership Program  site. An advance of up to $1,000 may be requested upon commencement of the award.