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Research Training and Career Development in NIDCD Laboratories (Intramural)

The NIDCD’s Division of Intramural Research (DIR) conducts basic and clinical research in the institute’s mission areas: hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. Our current intramural research portfolio also includes some areas related to communication disorders, such as head and neck cancer. Research training and career development opportunities in the DIR are available on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In general, our basic science laboratories and state-of-the-art core facilities are housed in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center, one of the largest neuroscience research buildings in the world. Our clinical and translational research programs are located within the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s largest hospital completely devoted to clinical research.

All NIDCD researchers have extraordinary opportunities to leverage the extensive resources and expertise across the NIH Intramural Research Program to perform interdisciplinary and collaborative research from bench to bedside.

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Laboratories at the NIDCD: Opportunities at All Career Stages

Individual NIDCD laboratories recruit trainees year-round at all levels—from high school students to postdoctoral scientists. You can find a full list of laboratories, programs, and research support services on the NIDCD Intramural Research Program page and the Scientific Faculty page. Interested trainees should contact principal investigators (PIs) directly to ask about opportunities in specific laboratories and programs. Trainees and others interested in auditory research can also apply for our annual week-long EARssentials course, which provides a free introduction to contemporary concepts and techniques in hearing research.

Note regarding background checks: 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 (204KB PDF). 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.

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A high school student looking in a microscope.
High School and Undergraduate (College) Research Opportunities

View the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education website and visual guide to learn about training programs across NIH that are available for high school and college students. Find out how to apply for high school summer internships, the Community College Summer Enrichment Program (CCSEP), the College Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (CSOAR) programthe Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP), the general Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (for college students and above), and more.

If you are interested in research on communication disorders, learn more about labs in the NIDCD Intramural Research Program on the NIDCD Intramural Research Program page and the Scientific Faculty page. After submitting your application through the central NIH application portal, contact principal investigators (PIs) directly to inquire about training opportunities in specific laboratories.

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A postbaccalaureate student working in a lab.
Postbaccalaureate (Post-College) Research Opportunities

The Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) program is among the most popular training programs at the NIH. See the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education website and visual guide to learn about how to apply for this program available to college graduates (those with a bachelor’s degree).

To learn more about labs in the NIDCD Intramural Research Program, visit the NIDCD Intramural Research Program page and the Scientific Faculty page. After submitting your application through the central NIH application portal, contact principal investigators (PIs) directly to inquire about training opportunities in specific laboratories.

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A scientist running a test in a lab.
Graduate/Predoctoral Research Opportunities

Through the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program, graduate students may perform their dissertation research in an NIDCD intramural laboratory while enrolled in any university in the world.

Predoctoral (graduate student) training opportunities are also available through the NIDCD Audiology Unit and through specific partnership programs with the University of Maryland and Howard University.

To learn more about labs in the NIDCD Intramural Research Program, visit the NIDCD Intramural Research Program page and the Scientific Faculty page. Contact principal investigators (PIs) directly to inquire about training opportunities in specific laboratories.

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Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

The NIH is home to more than 3,000 postdoctoral fellows, creating a rich environment for research collaboration and career development. Postdoctoral training opportunities with federal funding are available across the NIDCD.

The NIDCD Robert Wenthold Postdoctoral Research Fellowship also provides funding, along with additional resources and an opportunity for cross-disciplinary training, with the goal of fostering independent research careers in the fields of deafness and other communication disorders.

To learn more about labs in the NIDCD Intramural Research Program, visit the NIDCD Intramural Research Program page and the Scientific Faculty page. Interested trainees should contact principal investigators (PIs) directly to inquire about postdoctoral opportunities in specific laboratories.

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A scientist looking at a beaker in a lab.
Research Opportunities for Early-Career Investigators

The NIDCD Otolaryngology Surgeon-Scientist Program is a junior faculty career development program that enables the candidate to design and implement a plan integrating basic scientific and clinical research.

The NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program (Si2/R00 Clinical Trial Optional) supports research activities during the early careers of independent clinical researchers by offering a unique bridge between NIH intramural (on-campus) and extramural (off-campus) research.

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Other Training and Employment Programs

Project SEARCH provides education and training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The NIH, including the Clinical Center, offers a 30-week internship in collaboration with Project SEARCH.

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