Research Fellow Program

A Research Fellow is an NIH scientist with a doctoral degree, employed on a time-limited appointment renewable subject to the five-year/eight year rule. Research Fellows provide service relevant to the IC’s program needs. The appointment gives the fellow experience in laboratory-based or population-based biomedical research. Scientists with considerable experience beyond postdoctoral training may be designated Senior Research Fellows.

The purpose of a Research Fellowship is to provide junior-level scientists with doctoral degrees experience in biomedical research while they provide a service relevant to the NIH's program needs. The Research Fellow will spend the entire fellowship in laboratory research, while supporting the performance of NIH intramural research.

To be eligible for the Research Fellowship, a candidate must have demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement and the ability to conduct successfully, with minimal supervision, a pre-established program in laboratory research.

Initial appointments are approved by the IC Scientific Director for 2 to 3 years. The maximum length of this fellowship is 8 years - the duration is determined by the length of time spent at NIH in all fellowship capacities - unless the scientist is approved for tenure-track or another permanent NIH appointment. (See 5 Year/8 Year Duration Rule.)

Because Research Fellows perform services for NIH in addition to the training experience, these positions apply against the IC's FTE ceiling. Appointments are made either through the Civil Service/Title 42 or the PHS Commissioned Corps.

Information about courses and programs relevant to Research Fellows is available through the Office of Intramural Training and Education web site on:

Updated August 23, 2010

NIH Home Page | Index | IRP Professional Designations and Procedures | Comments