The NINDS intramural clinical program offers a unique training and research environment for clinicians interested in becoming physician-scientists. The NIH campus houses the Clinical Center, a 200-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.
Physicians who enter an NINDS clinical fellowship will obtain expertise in many different aspects of disease-oriented research, from basic questions addressing disease etiology to the design and conduct of clinical trials. The breadth and diversity of resources available allow fellows to design specific training experiences to suit their career goals.
Browse the menu at the left for clinical fellowship and residency specialties.
Key Features of the Program
- Access to clinical subspecialty areas of research, including neuroimmunology, neurovirology, neurogenetics, movement disorders, stroke, neurorehabilitation, cognitive neuroscience, surgical neurology, neurocardiology, clinical neuroimaging and autonomic disorders, translational pain medicine, epilepsy, clinical neurophysiology, and clinical trials methodology
- Exposure to basic science disciplines, including 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
- A mentorship committee of leading neuroscience investigators who help guide clinical fellow training and career development
- Access to several core facilities:
- Translational Neuroscience Center, which houses of the following units: drug screening, medicinal chemistry, neuropathology, clinical proteomics, clinical trials, biostatistics, and neural differentiation
- Transgenic laboratory, animal imaging, electron microscopy and bioengineering facilities
- Several novel in vitro and in vivo imaging instruments
- Cross-disciplinary collaborations that strengthen the development of translational research projects
- Class work that provides career and professional developmental programming throughout the training experience
- A variety of specialized seminar series, translational research working groups, fellows bootcamp and Neurology Grand Rounds
- Participation in weekly neurology consult rounds, which collectively provide unique training opportunities not available at other academic centers.
Applicants must have a medical degree and completed residency training in neurology. Physicians who are pursuing or have finished residency training in neurosurgery are also encouraged to apply for clinical fellowships.
Start dates for various fellowships are negotiable and applications are considered year-round.
Step 1: To be considered for fellowship, candidates must submit a formal application through the Graduate Medical Education Residency and Subspecialty Training GME - Clinical Center (nih.gov) portal. Personal information, academic information (to include the fellowship program you are applying for as well as personal statement and current CV), and references must be uploaded and saved to be considered a complete application.
Alternately, applications can be sent to the Clinical Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to specific faculty listed for each sub-specialty for initial consideration, followed by submission of a formal application as outlined above in Step 1. 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 program participates in the SF Match.
Applicants with a strong commitment to a research career are encouraged to apply.
Step 2: Contact Potential Mentors. Once your application is submitted you should contact our principal investigators to discuss your common research interests and share your CV. There are multiple ways to find a mentor:
- Faculty Directory
- Scroll through Our Training Programs on the GME page
- Explore the side bar tabs on the NINDS Clinical Fellowship and Residency Programs page
- Browse For Researchers tab for an overview of studies, departments, branches and lab descriptions
If you have any questions, please contact Katy Finnell.
Meet a Program Trainee
Allison Snyder, M.D.
Mentor: Michael Ward, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Investigating the effects of progranulin and TMEM106B on lysosomal and microglial biology.
I joined the lab of Dr. Michael Ward as a behavioral neurologist and clinical research fellow at NINDS to study genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived cell models. My clinical expertise is in a subset of FTD that affects language called primary progressive aphasia (PPA). In the laboratory, I investigate how mutations in lysosomal proteins progranulin and TMIM106B effect lysosomal and microglial biology in the context of PPA. By working at NIH, I can focus on my laboratory training while continuing to see patients with these rare diseases in the Neurodegenerative Disorders Clinic.
During one investigation, we pulled together a team of five different principal investigators across four different institutes to fully study every aspect of the patient’s disease. This story illustrates the power of working at the NIH, where extensive collaboration truly helps move science forward one patient at a time. Upon completion of my research fellowship, I hope to continue bridging bench and bedside as a physician scientist in an academic setting.