NINDS Clinical Fellowship Programs

The NINDS intramural clinical program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland offers a unique training and research environment for clinicians interested in becoming physician-scientists. The campus has over 10,000 scientists who work in basic science laboratories and clinical branches of the numerous NIH institutes and centers. The campus houses the Clinical Center, a 240-bed hospital dedicated solely to research. A fellowship at the NINDS will provide the building blocks needed to become an academic leader in neurology or neurosurgery. NINDS offers extensive training in many subspecialty areas for both clinical and basic research (to view the 508 compliant PDF about our programs, please click the Clinical Research Training booklet to download or you may also download the MP4 file to view the virtual NINDS Fellowship Programs National Outreach event here). 

View of the NIH campus

Clinical subspecialty areas of research include: neuroimmunology; neurovirology; neurogenetics; movement disorders; stroke; neurorehabilitation; cognitive neuroscience; surgical neurology; neurocardiology; clinical neuroimaging; autonomic disorders; epilepsy; clinical neurophysiology; and clinical trials methodology.

Basic science disciplines include: structural biology and biophysics; neurogenetics; cell and molecular biology of the nervous system; developmental neurobiology; synapses/circuit/systems neuroscience; cellular physiology; bioinformatics; stem cells and neural differentiation; and membrane and receptor pharmacology.

NINDS has several core facilities that include a Translational Neuroscience Center which has units for drug screening and medicinal chemistry, a neuropathology unit, a clinical proteomics unit, a clinical trials unit, biostatistics, and a neural differentiation unit. Other cores have a transgenic laboratory, animal imaging, electron microscopy and bioengineering facilities. NINDS has developed several novel in vitro and in vivo imaging instruments.

Physicians who have finished residency training in neurology and enter an NINDS clinical fellowship will obtain expertise in many different aspects of disease-oriented research from basic questions addressing the etiology of the disease to the design and conduct of clinical trials. The breadth and diversity of resources available allow the Fellows to design specific training experiences to suit their career goals. Access to many disciplines on campus builds cross-disciplinary collaborations and strengthens the development of translational research projects. Class work provides career/professional developmental programming throughout the training experience. NINDS has a variety of specialized seminar series, translational research working groups and Neurology Grand Rounds. Fellows can also participate in weekly neurology consult rounds. Collectively, they provide unique training opportunities not available at other academic centers. The Fellows are advised to establish a mentorship committee to help guide their training and career development.

Physicians who are pursuing or have finished residency training in neurosurgery are also welcome to apply for clinical fellowships.

Admission Process

Start dates for various fellowships are negotiable and applications are considered year round.

Applications should be made to the Clinical Director at or directly to specific faculty listed for each sub-specialty. To foster cross-disciplinary research, additional positions will be funded through the Office of the Clinical Director. In their communication, applicants are encouraged to include a cover letter stating their area of interest and long term career goals, their CV and names of references. In addition, the movement disorders fellowship participates in the SF Match.

Applicants with a strong commitment to a research career are encouraged to apply. 

Brain cross section