National Institutes of Health IRB Internship Program

Members of IRBs, IRB administrators, research ethics committees, tribal governance bodies, and others who are involved in research participant protections are invited to apply for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional Research Board (IRB) internship Program. The program offers a stipend for travel and living expenses and is open to international applicants.

The Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, in cooperation with the NIH Combined NeuroScience IRB and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Education and Community Involvement Branch, offers an IRB internship for a cohort of up to four qualified candidates every fall, subject to funding. The selected interns will observe meetings of several intramural IRBs, shadow IRB staff, attend the NIH human subjects research ethics course, attend IRB training courses and staff meetings, and take part in various research seminars offered by the Department of Bioethics. Interns may also participate in elective activities, such as visiting the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and serving as ad hoc reviewers of IRB protocols, depending on interest and expertise. Interns will be given a workspace in the Department of Bioethics.

Participants will be presented with a Certificate upon successful completion of the internship. The program runs from mid-September to mid-December.

Program requirements:

  1. Completion of the application packet. The application deadline is April 15.
  2. An interest in learning more about U.S. Federal human subjects protections,  IRB administration and function, and bioethics, with the goal of enhancing involvement in these activities at the applicant’s home institution. There are no specific educational prerequisites. International candidates are welcome to apply.
  3. Institutional or community endorsement of the application, including a statement describing how the applicant is involved in, or will be involved in, IRB review or research ethics oversight at their institution and/or within their community; and how participation in the NIH internship program will enhance involvement in these activities. Such involvement might be as a member of an IRB or research committee, having a role in setting human subjects protection policy, or as an academic in a related field.
  4. Proficiency in EnglishThere is no charge for the program. The Department offers a stipend to cover round trip economy class travel expenses from the intern’s home city to Bethesda, MD, as well as living expenses for the approximately 31⁄2 month duration of the internship, up to a total of USD $10,000. The Department does not have accommodations to offer, but will assist the selected interns with finding accommodations on campus (as available) or in the local Bethesda area.

Application packet:

To apply, please submit the following:

  1. Statement of interest in the program, including current position, how the internship will be useful for work in the home institution or community, and what one hopes to learn from participation.
  2. Institutional,community,or tribe endorsement letter from an official or community leader. The endorsement should include a statement on how the internship relates to the applicant’s duties or responsibilities within their home institution or community.
  3. Curriculum vitae.
  4. If your native language is not English, evidence of English proficiency, such as TOEFL score, IELTS score, or previous education at English-speaking institutions. Please contact Dr. Hull at if you have any questions about whether you fulfill this requirement.Applications for the Fall 2013 session are due April 15, 2013 The completed application packet should be sent to:Becky Chen
    Department of Bioethics
    Clinical Center
    National Institutes of Health
    Building 10, Room 1C118
    10 Center Drive
    Bethesda, MD 20892-1156
    Tel: 301.496.2429
    Fax: 301.496-0760
    Email: bioethics-inquiries@mail.nih.govApplicants will be notified of selection on or before June 3, 2013, by letter or e-mail. For additional information, please contact the director of the NIH IRB Internship Program:Sara C. Hull, PhD
    National Institutes of Health
    Building 10/Suite 1C118
    10 Center Drive, MSC 1156
    Bethesda, MD 20892
    301-435-8712 (direct);


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