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The NIA IRP: Training the next generation of investigators

Elizabeth Jackson Feischmann
Recruitment and Outreach Specialist,
Office of the Scientific Director (OSD)
Amrita Madabushi
Associate Director of Postdoc Affairs,
Office of the Scientific Director (OSD)

NIA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) is home to a world-class team of investigators in aging science. But did you know that NIA’s IRP is also a powerful training resource for researchers at a variety of education levels?

Our IRP currently hosts approximately 200 trainees at postbaccalaureate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. The NIA IRP Training Office, led by Michele K. Evans, M.D., provides comprehensive training to prepare scientists for their next career step, whether that is medical school; Ph.D. studies; or a position in academia, industry, government, policy, program management, or regulatory affairs. Our trainees also can benefit from the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education’s many resources.

NIA trainees conduct research in nine laboratories — including the NIH Intramural Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias — at three locations: the NIH Biomedical Research Center and the MedStar Harbor Hospital, both in Baltimore, and the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Our proximity to Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, provides additional collaborative and training opportunities.

Learn more about our training curriculum

NIA IRP’s spectrum of career development options include:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: NIA provides advanced training and research experience to Ph.D. and physician-level trainees through the postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award Fellowship program (for U.S. citizens and permanent residents) and Visiting Fellowship program (for non-U.S. citizens). The training can last up to five years and may be extended in special circumstances. The curriculum covers career spotlights; grant preparation and writing workshops; job support groups; teaching opportunities at local colleges and universities; and industry training, such as the NIA Research and Entrepreneurial Development Immersion (REDI) program.
  • Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP): GPP trainees conduct research at NIA while experiencing the academic curriculum of a university. Graduate students can choose two pathways: Institutional Partnerships for students wishing to enroll in a Ph.D. training program or Individual Partnerships for those already enrolled in a Ph.D. program who desire to perform part or all of their dissertation research at NIH.
  • Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Fellowship Program: This option is great for college graduates who want to explore career options in biomedical research at NIA. Our “postbacs” attend a wide array of training, workshops, advising sessions, and seminars to help visualize and prepare for academic and career trajectories.
  • Diversity in Aging Research Pipeline Program (DARPP): NIA offers aging research exposure for trainees from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities, the socioeconomically disadvantaged, military veterans, rural residents, and disabled individuals. It is available to high school, undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral trainees.
  • James S. Jackson Fellowship: This is a three-year funded fellowship for candidates with an M.D., Ph.D., or M.D.-Ph.D. who are interested in conducting health disparities, social psychology, social epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, or chronic disease epidemiology research.

Contact us to accelerate your career!

We hope you’ll consider NIA IRP’s wealth of opportunities when seeking your next training step. Applications are processed year-round on a regular basis. If you have questions, leave a comment below, visit our website, or email for more information.

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