National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA)

Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Visit Program Website Here

Program Purpose: 

The NIH Postbaccalaureate IRTA program is designed to provide recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical, dental, or pharmacy) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time biomedical research in the resource-rich environment of the NIH.

Program Description: 

Postbac IRTAs work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. These traineeships are available in the intramural laboratories of the NIH. Most of the laboratories are located on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Several Institutes or their laboratories that focus on particular research areas are found at other sites around the country. These include the following facilities: The National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD; The National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, MD; The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Detroit, MI; The National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, MD; The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC; The Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix, AZ, which focuses on diabetes among the Pima Indians; The Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Hamilton, MT. Each postbac has a scientific "home" in the NIH Institute or Center (IC) of his/her principal investigator (PI). The NIH also sponsors a wide range of scientific seminars, and its Office of Intramural Training and Education sponsors career and professional development activities for postbacs – including skills workshops on oral and poster presentations, Postbac Poster Day, and workshops on getting into graduate and professional school.

Program Benefits: 

Stipends for Postbaccalaureate IRTA trainees are adjusted yearly. For details, see the NIH Trainee Stipends page: Benefits include health insurance.

Application Process: 

For suggestions on how to increase the chances of being offered a position, please read the Postbac IRTA Program Frequently Asked Questions:


Seniors or alumni who are within 2 years of graduation from a U.S. college or university.


IRTA Fellows are expected to initiate the application process for graduate or medical school. The program is also open to applicants who have been accepted into graduate or medical degree programs and have written permission from the school to defer matriculation for up to 1 year.


U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Program Deadline: 

Applicants should, however, apply 3-6 months prior to the date on which they want to start.

How To Apply: 

Students or alumni, as applicable, may apply directly to this program. Applicants are encouraged, however, to work with SF State's fellowship advisor well in advance of the program deadline to perfect their application essays and other materials.

Resources for Applicants

Why Should You Apply for a Fulbright?

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Fellowships Office

Dr. Joy Viveros

Phone: 415.405.2128
Reception: Grad Stop, ADM 250 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132