NIH Academy

The NIH Academy is a postbaccalaureate program that provides opportunities for recent college graduates to spend a year engaged in biomedical investigation at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md.

Sponsor: NIH


The mission of the Academy is to enhance research dedicated to the elimination of domestic health disparities through the development of a diverse cadre of biomedical researchers. While in this program participants work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.

In addition, there are two educational components to the program:

  1. Seminars and workshops on topics related to health disparities.

  2. General knowledge and skills-development workshops.

In order to encourage peer mentoring and facilitate interactions among members, the NIH Academy is a residential program. Two trainees share two-bedroom, one-bath apartments that are located within walking-distance of the Bethesda campus. NIH Academy fellows are expected to initiate the application process for graduate and/or medical school during their term at the NIH. The duration of the program is normally one year, but the fellowship can be extended for a second and final year provided the performance of the trainee is satisfactory and continued support by the laboratory is available.

The stipend for the NIH Academy fellows is $27,500, which is slightly higher than the average first year Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellowship stipend. This higher stipend is provided to help subsidize the rent, because this is a residential program.

If you are applying to the NIH Academy, we recommend that you also apply to the Postbaccalaureate IRTA program. Both programs offer a challenging laboratory experience.

The NIH Academy is only able to accept a maximum of sixteen trainees a year. These are trainees who have demonstrated a well-defined interest in health disparities (please use your cover letter to explain your interest in health disparities). However, the Postbaccalaureate IRTA program selects a much larger number of trainees who have a broad scope of research interests.


To be eligible for consideration, candidates must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have graduated from an accredited U.S. college or university.

  • You must also be a recent college graduate (meaning that the Academy start date, at the end of August, is less than a year after your graduation from college with your first Bachelor's degree).

How to Apply

Prospective candidates must apply electronically at the NIH Academy Web site.

The electronic application requires three (3) letters of reference. You will be asked to key in the e-mail addresses of your three referees. An automatic e-mail will be sent to each of your referees requesting that they submit a letter of reference on-line.