Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offer hundreds of exciting opportunities for high school students to work side-by-side with some of the world's leading scientists in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.
“If you have a passion for science and an interest in gaining hands-on experience doing biomedical, behavioral, or social science research, the NIH Summer Internship Program may be perfect for you,” explained Dr. Sharon Milgram, director of the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education.
As one of the premiere research facilities in the world, NIH consists of the 240-bed Hatfield Clinical Research Center and more than 1200 laboratories/research projects located on the main campus in Bethesda, as well as in Frederick and Baltimore, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Detroit, MI.
Program stipends cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students generally arriving at the NIH in May or June. And stipends are adjusted yearly with the amount depending on prior experience and educational level.
Note that this is not a commuter program; NIH does not provide housing to student interns. Every year, however, out-of-area students apply and make their own living arrangements for the summer. Nevertheless, students living in the DC metropolitan area or near one of the other locations have a clear advantage for many of the internships.
To support the program, the NIH Institutes and Office of Intramural Training & Education sponsor a wide range of summer activities including lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, and Summer Poster Day. These are incomparable opportunities which can provide the basis for independent research and related science competitions such as the JSHS, Intel STS, Siemens, and ISEF.
Summer internships are available for students who will be 16 years of age or older at the time they begin the program and who are currently enrolled at least half-time in high school or an accredited US college or university. Students who have already been accepted to college may also apply.
Interested students must apply online by no later than March 1, 2013 (11:59 EST), and all letters of recommendation are due by March 15, 2013. The application requires
- a resume
- a list of coursework and grades
- a cover letter describing research interests and career goals, and
- the names and contact information for two references.
Candidates are welcome to specify the scientific methodologies or disease/organ systems that are of particular interest to them.
Because applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from November through April by NIH scientists, students are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Only completed applications are available for review by NIH investigators and administrators. And be aware that in 2012, more than 6600 completed applications were submitted, and about 1100 interns were selected.
For more information as well as tips on how to increase your chances of winning an internship, visit the NIH website.