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Training Opportunities at NCATS

Our research addresses scientific and operational challenges that slow the development of new human health solutions. We aim to make translational science more efficient, less expensive and less risky.

About Our Training Opportunities


To learn more about undergraduate, postbaccalaureate and postdoctoral training opportunities in DPI’s Intramural Research Program, please contact the Intramural Education and Training Director, Dr. Belen Hurle.

Division of Preclinical Innovation Translational Scientist Training Opportunities

The NCATS Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI) provides a variety of training opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level trainees. At the conclusion of their training, fellows in DPI will —

  • Understand translational science is an emerging field of research that aims to develop the evidence base for effective scientific and operational practices in translational research. 
  • Frame where their particular research project fits within the translational science spectrum and be able to describe their unique contributions to a multidisciplinary team.
  • Identify the transition points for advancing this work from the preclinical to clinical and public health domains.
  • Be familiar with a range of career paths available to individuals with experience in preclinical translational research and be prepared to successfully transition to one of these options through participating in the career and research planning activities during their training in DPI.

Read more about translational science training at NCATS or download the DPI Intramural Training Program presentation. To learn about the DPI training experience from the perspective of a fellow, see our Perspectives from NCATS Intramural Research Fellows videos and stories.

On this page, find information about the following opportunities:

Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research

NCATS participates in the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP). The NCATS summer internship program provides 25 participants with a full-time research experience in all aspects of drug discovery through a focused research project in either chemistry, biology, biotechnology, or engineering. During a summer at NCATS, interns will engage in hands-on research, seminars, career talks and journal clubs designed specifically for summer fellows. At the end of the summer, interns will present their research at both the NCATS Summer Poster Day and the NIH Summer Poster Day.

For more information, download the NCATS Summer Internship Program Flyer (PDF - 850KB).

Candidates for the summer internship are undergraduate students and recent graduates from undergraduate degree programs. Applicants can apply online from mid-November to March 1 each year. For more information on the NIH application process, watch the Applying to the NIH Summer Internship Program video.

NCATS Gaining Research Equity and Advancement in Translational Sciences (G.R.E.A.T.S) Program

The NCATS G.R.E.A.T.S Program provides a diverse pool of summer internship applicants with an avenue to enter the translational science workforce. The paid summer research internship experience provides participants with seminars and career talks designed to develop communication, critical thinking, career readiness, and leadership skills needed to thrive in translational sciences.

Potential summer interns must apply through the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) in Biomedical Research. When completing the application, applicants should indicate NCATS as their IC of interest and be sure to address in their cover letter if they have unique circumstances, or come from a disadvantaged background. They should also send their application number directly to specifying the NCATS G.R.E.A.T.S Program in the subject line.

For more information, download the NCATS G.R.E.A.T.S Program Flyer (PDF - 175KB).

Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Program

Recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/pharmacy) school can spend one to two years performing full-time research at NCATS through the NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Program.

Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. To learn more about the application process, watch the How to Apply to the NIH Intramural Postbac Program video.

In addition to benefiting directly from their work in an NCATS DPI research team, participants in this program benefit from DPI’s vibrant postbaccalaureate program, with a seminar series, professional development opportunities, and a strong network of peers and mentors.

For more information, download the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Program Flyer (PDF - 458KB).

Graduate Partnerships Program

NCATS participates in both the institutional and individual Graduate Partnerships Program, which is designed to attract Ph.D. students to the NIH Intramural Research Program for their dissertation research. Participants enjoy the academic environment of their host university and the extensive research resources of NCATS. The goal is to create a different kind of graduate experience that focuses on training the next generation of scientific leaders by emphasizing communication and collaboration skills, integration of information, and interdisciplinary investigation.

For more information, download the Graduate Partnerships Program Flyer (PDF - 405KB).

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program

NCATS participates in the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, a comprehensive, yearlong research enrichment program designed to attract the most creative, research-oriented medical, dental and veterinary students to the Intramural Research Program of NIH.

Applications are open from Oct. 1 to Jan. 8 for entrance in the following academic year.

Postdoctoral Training in NCATS Research Groups

Postdoctoral fellows are recruited to NCATS through a variety of Postdoctoral Programs at NIH to work on specific projects. They also have ample opportunities to collaborate with scientists, both within and outside of NCATS on additional projects. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to present the results of ongoing work at meetings (such as internal group meetings and national conferences) and submit their work for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Postdoctoral fellows also gain professional skills and exposure to a variety of career paths through participation in the DPI training program, including monthly career talks, an annual fellows’ retreat and career development seminars. For more information, download the Postdoctoral Training and Education Flyer (PDF - 205KB).

Immediate openings are posted on the NCATS Job Opportunities page; however, potential applicants should directly contact the DPI scientists with whom they would like to work to inquire about openings.

NIH Visiting Program

The NIH Visiting Program provides opportunities for foreign scientists in Ph.D. programs or foreign scientists who have received doctoral degrees to train and conduct collaborative research at NIH, including at NCATS. Individuals interested in training and/or conducting research at NCATS should directly contact the DPI scientists with whom they would like to work to inquire about openings and become familiar with the NIH process for visiting scientist appointments.

Translational Science Interagency Fellowship

The Translational Science Interagency Fellowship (TSIF) program is a postdoctoral fellowship program jointly sponsored by NCATS and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The objective of the TSIF program is to train a cadre of postdoctoral fellows in translational and regulatory science.

Download a flyer about the TSIF program (PDF - 256KB) or visit the TSIF web page to learn more about the program.

Federal Background Check

Selected candidates for any fellowship opportunity described above are subject to a federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85). 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. Acceptance into all fellowship programs is conditional upon a successful background check.

Featured Intramural Fellows

Last updated on April 22, 2024