Postbaccalaureate Training

Postbaccalaureate training opportunities at NIDDK labs are listed below. Applications may be due months in advance.

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NIDDK Distinguished Postbaccalaureate Scholars Program

Program Contact: NIDDK Distinguished Postbaccalaureate Scholars Program Team

Purpose: The program provides recent college graduates the opportunity to pursue full-time research for 1-2 years at NIDDK campuses in Bethesda, MD or Phoenix, AZ. The Program strongly encourages the participation of individuals with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, including those from underrepresented populations, and is aligned with NIDDK’s inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and civility efforts. Benefits include

Over 90 principal investigators lead research teams exploring basic biological processes as well as clinical research on diabetes, digestive diseases, endocrine and metabolic disorders, hematologic, kidney and liver diseases, nutrition and obesity that disproportionately burden underserved communities. View a list of mentors that participated in 2024.


  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • Completed a bachelor's degree by the start of postbaccalaureate fellowship or have obtained a B.A. or B.S. within three years prior to the fellowship start date. Individuals who are more than three years past the receipt of their bachelor's degree but received a master's degree less than SIX MONTHS before they begin the program can apply to the program.
  • Must plan on applying to graduate/professional school if not already accepted
  • Must pass a Federal background check

How to Apply: Applications open September 15, 2023. Completed applications must be received by 5pm EST, December 18, 2023.

Submit your NIH postbaccalaureate application to the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE).

In addition, your CV along with a diversity statement (300 words or less) must be emailed to the Distinguished Postbaccalaureate Scholars Program Team in the NIDDK Fellowship Office. Your Diversity Statement should: [1] define broadly your understanding of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) issues in academia; [2] describe your general philosophy and approach to promoting DEIA in the STEM fields; [3] describe one DEIA initiative you were involved in within the past two years. The NIH community strives to create a supportive, diverse, and inclusive environment, which is critical to achieving excellence in biomedical research.

Semi-finalists will be invited to a virtual interview. Finalists selected by a panel of NIDDK intramural scientists will be notified early January 2024.

Length of Award: 1-2 years

Frequently Asked Questions: read answers to frequently asked questions about the program.

Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awards (IRTAs)

Purpose: The program provides 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 research at the NIH.

Postbac IRTAs work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.


  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • College graduates who received their bachelor's degrees less than THREE years prior to the date they begin the program (regardless of whether they subsequently completed a master's degree), OR
  • Individuals who are more than 3 years past the receipt of their bachelor's degree but received a master's degree less than SIX MONTHS before they begin the program OR
  • Individuals who have been accepted into graduate, other doctoral, or medical school programs and who have written permission from their school to delay entrance for up to one year to pursue a biomedical research project at the NIH
  • Must pass a Federal background check

Find a Mentor: Before you apply for a position, review NIDDK Labs and Branches and identify potential faculty whose research interests align with your goals. Consider contacting faculty directly to discuss your interest in a position at NIDDK. Read tips for finding the right mentor.

Length of Award: Post-baccalaureate IRTAs are eligible for initial 1 year awards (appointments) with one renewal for an additional year under the most justifiable circumstances.

  • Federal Background Check

    In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85 (read SF-85 (PDF, 204 KB) ). NOTE: Section 14 of the form asks “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.

Last Reviewed June 2024