NINDS Summer Internship Programs

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A large group photo of NINDS summer interns outside at the NIH campus.

CONTACT US

Angel de la Cruz Landrau, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Manager
angel.delacruzlandrau@nih.gov

Sheniece Guest
Office Manager
sheniece.guest@nih.gov


The NINDS Summer Programs offer a unique opportunity for talented high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to receive high-quality training and mentoring in neuroscience research. Summer interns get hands-on experience working with leading scientists in the Institute's Division of Intramural Research, the "in-house" research component of the NINDS. A letter from the NINDS Director(pdf, 75 KB) for prospective summer students.

This full-time summer research training experience supplements and gives practical meaning to academic coursework while giving you the opportunity to make valuable contributions to the NINDS research mission.

Following participation in the summer program, you will be prepared for advanced education and training in biomedical research and future careers in the sciences, particularly in basic and clinical neuroscience. Students selected for our fully-funded programs will spend eight to 10 weeks working side-by-side with NINDS investigators in an environment devoted to the study of fundamental elements of the nervous system, neurological processes, neurodegenerative diseases, movement disorders, brain cancer, and stroke.

The NINDS Division of Intramural Research offers three summer internship programs:

Summer Program

Description

The Summer Internship Program
(SIP)

High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

High school, college, and professional school students spend a summer working side-by-side with world-renowned neuroscientists in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. In parallel, we offer many career and professional development activities to our students. Internships cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students arriving at NIH in June.

Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP)

A diverse cadre of undergraduate and graduate students prepare for neuroscience careers while increasing their exposure to a variety of topics related to health disparities research in tribal communities. Fully-funded students spend eight to 10 weeks working side-by-side with investigators.

HDTC-SIP interns have the opportunity meet weekly with their cohort of trainees for several professional development activities, including journal clubs led by well-known scientists in various fields related to health disparities in tribal communities.

Key features common to all three programs are listed below. 

Key Features

  • An opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other NIH research trainees and investigators
  • Practical experience with technologies for neurological studies, scientific investigation and experimental design, and science communication while conducting cutting-edge clinical and basic research
  • Mentorship from leading neuroscience investigators at NIH
  • Participation in various professional development activities to help students prepare for the next stages of their career in the sciences
  • Formal training in research ethics and the use of methodologies and information technology for the advancement of science and biomedical research
  • Access to lectures and symposia covering the latest advances in neuroscience research
  • Sharing in journal clubs, seminar series, and individual lab meetings
  • Participation in the NIH's Annual Summer Poster Day, which allows students an opportunity to discuss their research projects informally with peers and members of the NIH scientific community

Eligibility

The 2022 Summer Internship Program (SIP, HS-SIP, and HDTC-SIP) eligibility information is in the following table:

Summer Program

To participate, you must be:

High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

  • Seventeen (17) years of age or older by June 15, 2022*
  • A high school junior or senior at the time of application
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident. (U.S. citizens may apply if they are enrolled at least half-time in high school. Permanent residents must be enrolled in a high school in the U.S. to be eligible.)

The Summer Internship Program
(SIP)

Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP)

  • Eighteen (18) years of age or older on June 15, 2022
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident, AND,
  • In college (including community college) or graduate/professional school at the time of application, OR
  • A high school graduate at the time of application and have been accepted into an accredited college or university program

For ALL summer programs, individuals who are U.S. permanent residents must be attending or have been accepted into institutions in the U.S.

*If you are 17 years of age on June 15, 2022, you must live, at the time of application, within 40 miles of the NIH campus on which you will intern. (This requirement does not apply to applicants who are 18 and older.)

All are welcome to apply, including those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in science, such as underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities and persons from disadvantaged backgrounds or with disabilities.

Application Process

The summer program application system at NIH is open every year from mid-November. You must prepare the following:

  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • A list of coursework and grades (please note: we do not need a transcript at this time)
  • A cover letter describing your research interests and career goals
  • The names and contact information for two references

All Summer Internship Program applications are available online. Please see the table below for the appropriate program link, where you can find the online applications.

If you are a:

Apply through the:

Deadline

High school student

High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

February 1, 2022

College or professional school student (for example, medical, pharmacy, graduate, etc)

Summer Internship Program (SIP)

March 1, 2022

For ONLY the HDTC-SIP application, prospective candidates must complete the following additional step:
After completing the above SIP application, please submit a brief statement of interest by email to Dr. Angel de la Cruz Landrau. Include the following items: 

  • A description of your research interests and career goals
  • A statement about how the HDTC-SIP program will benefit your academic growth and professional development
  • A list of various leadership activities you participated with your community. 

We will accept your HDTC-SIP statement of interest from January 1 to March 1, 2022. Applicants will be informed of the selection committee's decision by email before March 15, 2022.

Meet a Program Trainee

Meet a High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) Trainee

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Photo of Frank Horrigan HS-SIP Trainee
Frank Horrigan
Mentor: Joseph A. Mindell, M.D., Ph.D. 

Frank Horrigan 
Mentor: Joseph A. Mindell, M.D., Ph.D. 
Project: Development of an improved peak finding algorithm that enables more efficient measurements of single-transporter fluxes 

I chose the NIH HS-SIP program because the NIH is world-renowned for research, and I wanted to learn from the best. For instance, on my first day, I worked into the morning writing an original function to complete a coding assignment, only for my mentor to point out a similar open-source pre-built function. This taught me that research is a collaborative process, building upon others’ hard work, instead of starting everything from scratch as we’re taught in school. Although the program is over officially, I plan to not only continue my current project during the school year, but also continue doing research into the future, hopefully as a physician-scientist.
 

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Photo
Hasita Nalluri
Mentor: Mark Hallett, M.D. 

Hasita Nalluri 
Mentor: Mark Hallett, M.D. 
Project: Analyzing the relationship between brain iron accumulation and Parkinson’s disease progression through MRI

It was a tremendous privilege to work at NINDS this summer. To be able to directly contribute to cutting-edge medical neuroscience research on Parkinson's disease was not only fascinating but helped shape how I will approach my future studies! I had the chance to work alongside the nation's leading experts in biomedicine, attend engaging presentations (including one by the NIH director, Dr. Francis Collins!), and conduct dynamic research. Interning at the NIH deepened my love for neuroscience and medicine, and I am grateful.

 

Meet a Summer Internship Program (SIP) Trainee

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Photo of Katherine Collarmore SIP Trainee
Katherine Collamore 
Mentor: Mark Hallett, M.D.

Katherine Collamore 
Mentor: Mark Hallett, M.D. 
Project: Olfactory dysfunction and language impairment in Parkinson’s disease: a resting state fMRI study 

My interest in neurology started early. Growing up, my brother struggled with an undiagnosed neurological illness. Caring for him sparked my interest in clinical research aimed at improving patient quality of life. Interning with Dr. Mark Hallett’s Human Motor Control Section this summer, I contributed to projects designed to help patients with Parkinson’s disease. We analyzed olfactory and language network connectivity on resting state fMRI in conjunction with clinical and diagnostic assessment data to see how olfactory dysfunction and language impairment may be related in Parkinson’s Disease. Outside of this project, I enjoyed attending rounds, lectures, and journal clubs. I am currently applying to medical school to pursue a career as a neurologist.

 

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Photo of John P. Curbelo Hernández, SIP Trainee
John P. Curbelo Hernández 
Mentor: Sonja W. Scholz, M.D., Ph.D.

John P. Curbelo Hernández 
Mentor: Sonja W. Scholz, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Examining the role of GRN mutations in neurodegenerative diseases

There is nothing more exhilarating than asking yourself a question and then by the end of the experiment having an answer, or a close enough idea to continue searching for a solution. Choosing the NINDS SIP was the greatest decision of my life because it showed me the real role of a scientist learning from the best in the research field. I also experienced first-hand how science keeps evolving in huge steps day by day, especially in the field of genetics and genomics. My future goal is to finish my undergraduate degree and apply for a MD/PhD program to combine the best of both worlds.

 

 

 

Meet a Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP) Trainee

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Photo of Aracely Barajas, Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP) Trainee
Aracely Barajas
Mentor: Yeshavanth Kumar Banasavadi-Siddegowda, Ph.D. and Susan Wray, Ph.D. 

Aracely Barajas
Mentor: Yeshavanth Kumar Banasavadi-Siddegowda, Ph.D. and Susan Wray, Ph.D.
Project: Targeting Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 5 for Glioblastoma Therapy and Genetically Modified Mice to study Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neural Migration

I have spent years helping my community as a hospital volunteer and have other healthcare work experience, including clinical roles in nursing as well as being a certified pharmacy technician. My interest in healthcare disparities and neuroscience research has led me to continue my education with the dream of becoming a physician-scientist. Being part of the NINDS HDTC-SIP program provided me with the ideal opportunity to contribute to a laboratory while expanding my professional network and research skills. I hope to participate in a postbaccalaureate program before applying to MD/PhD programs.

 

 

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Photo of Shannon O'Hara Wiora, Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP) Trainee
Shannon O’Hara Wiora 
Mentor: Lucy R. Forrest, Ph.D. 

Shannon O’Hara Wiora 
Mentor: Lucy R. Forrest, Ph.D. 
Project: A comparison of algorithms for predicting membrane protein structures 

I have seen how inequality impacts entire communities, whether through my own or other's experiences, and I chose the NINDS HDTC-SIP program because I wanted to learn more about the behavioral, social, and cultural factors affecting Native American populations' health and health disparities. Using what I have learned from this program, I want to further my involvement in Native American populations, whether through non-profit organizations or educational programs. The HDTC-SIP NINDS program has impacted me significantly, and I am so thankful to have participated in this program.
 

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Photo of Kandace St. John, Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (HDTC-SIP) Trainee
Kandace St. John
Mentor: Susan Wray, Ph.D.

Kandace St. John
Mentor: Susan Wray, Ph.D.
Project: The identification of guidance molecules affecting migration of GnRH neurons

The growing awareness on social media of health disparities is what first captured my attention to the problem as a high school sophomore. I chose the NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program because I knew that it was the perfect environment to develop my experience in neurological research while also gathering knowledge and resources on how to combat health disparities in the future and in my own community. In the future, I would love to further pursue my research skills and obtain an MD/MPH degree. Thanks to this program and my mentor, when I hear or learn about the reproductive system in my future coursework, I will always think back to GnRH neurons!