Intramural Research Training Award

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) IRTA Traineeships are established for the principal benefit of the participants and to provide opportunities for developmental training and practical research experience in a variety of disciplines related to biomedical research, medical library research, and related

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The IRTA components are: 1) Postdoctoral IRTA - designed to provide advanced practical research experience to physicians and other doctoral researchers who are at the beginning stages of their professional research careers; 2) Predoctoral IRTA - designed to provide practical research training and experience to students, by supplementing academic course work and/or encouraging pursuit of professional careers in biomedical research to students enrolled in doctoral degree programs in biomedical sciences; 3) postbaccalaureate IRTA - designed to provide recent college graduates, particularly minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, an opportunity to postpone application to graduate or medical school and to provide a means to introduce individuals early in their careers to research, encourage their pursuit of professional careers in biomedical research, and allow additional time to pursue successful application to either graduate or medical school programs; 4) technical IRTA - designed to produce a cadre of highly trained research support professionals capable of performing the latest advanced techniques in a laboratory by developing the trainees' skills in the conduct of basic and applied research (NOTE: this program is no longer accepting new applications; and 5) student IRTA - designed to provide a developmental training experience to promising high school, undergraduate, and graduate or professional students who have expressed a strong interest in or are studying disciplines related to biomedical sciences.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Participants in the IRTA Program will be provided access to NIH facilities and equipment and assistance in their training from senior NIH researchers.

Trainees may not engage in primary patient care activities, be assigned official supervisory responsibilities, or sign documents on behalf of the Government.

Funding support will come from the individual National Research Institutes, Centers and Divisions (ICD) that comprise the National Institutes of Health.

All funding is discretionary and subject to the availability of appropriations and apportionment.

The IRTA Program does not include financial loans.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Candidates for the IRTA Program must be U.S.

Citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens: 1) Postdoctoral IRTA participants must possess a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M.

or equivalent degree in biomedical, behavioral, or related sciences; or certification by a university as meeting all the requirements leading to such a doctorate; and 5 or fewer years of relevant postdoctoral experience and up to 2 additional years of experience not oriented toward research (i.e., clinical training for physicians); 2) predoctoral IRTA participants must be: a) students enrolled in Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., or equivalent degree programs at any accredited U.S.

or foreign university, which frequently involves dissertation research.

The research experience is undertaken as an integral part of the student's ongoing academic preparation and is credited toward completion of degree requirements; or b) students who have been accepted into graduate or medical degree programs and who have written permission from their school to interrupt their current schooling and to return within 1 year to their degree granting programs; 3) postbaccalaureate IRTA participants are individuals who have received a bachelor's degree no more than 3 years prior to the activation date of the traineeship or a master's degree no more than 6 months prior to the activation date of the traineeship, and intend to apply to graduate or medical school in biomedical research within the next year or students who have been accepted into graduate, other doctoral, or medical degree programs and who have written permission of their school to delay entrance for up to 1 year; and 4) student IRTA participants are at least 16 years of age and are enrolled at least half-time in high school or have been accepted for or are enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate in an accredited college or university and are in good academic standing.


citizens may be enrolled anywhere in the world; permanent residents must be enrolled in the U.S.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The IRTA Program benefits the participants by combining an opportunity for study with practical work experience and valuable research training experience at the NIH.


These standards are contained in the Applicant Eligibility section. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Postdoctoral applicants submit their materials directly to NIH investigators; all other applicants submit materials to the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education via online application systems : 1) Postdoctoral IRTA applicants must submit the documents requested by the investigator, generally a CV and letters of reference; 2) predoctoral IRTA applicants must submit CV, bibliography, 3 letters of reference emphasizing research potential, statement of research goals, an official copy of undergraduate, graduate, and/or medical school transcript, and verification from the university that the applicant is in good academic standing, is enrolled in a doctoral degree program, and that the school is agreeable to the student's participation. In addition, (if applicable), they must have written permission from their institutions to interrupt their educational program including a written agreement allowing students to return to their degree program within 1 year; 3) postbaccalaureate applicants must submit CV, 3 letters of reference emphasizing potential, statement of research goals, and official copy of undergraduate school transcript; and 4) student IRTA applicants must submit a resume or CV, 2 letters of reference, official copy of school transcript,and statement of interest in biomedical research.

Award Procedures

Awards are made by the interested Institutes or Centers based on the information provided by the applicant, the availability of NIH researchers to provide training, and the availability of financial and other resources to support the research training.


Nov 15, 2017 to Mar 01, 2018: Only the Student IRTA program has a deadline. The bulk of student IRTAs are summer interns. Applications are accepted from mid-November to March 1. Applications for other IRTA positions are accepted year round.


Health Professionals Education Partnerships Act, Title IV, Section 409, 42 U.S.C 282(b)(13).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days. Individual NIH investigators select their own trainees. There is, thus, no firm timeline for notification.


Not Applicable.


1) Postdoctoral IRTA component: Initial traineeships are for 1 or 2 years with a maximum traineeship of 5 calendar years. 2) Predoctoral IRTA component: Initial traineeships are for 1 month to 2 years with a maximum traineeship of 5 calendar years. 3) Postbaccalaureate IRTA component: Initial traineeships are for 1 year with a maximum traineeship of 3 calendar years. 4) Technical IRTA component: Initial traineeships are for 2 years with a maximum traineeship of 3 calendar years. 5) Student IRTA component: Initial traineeship is for 1 month to 1 year. The maximum traineeship period is unlimited as long as the student meets eligibility criteria.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Monthly stipend payments are made directly to awardees. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Monthly stipend payments are made directly to awardees.

Post Assistance Requirements


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $109,804,584; FY 17 est $110,902,630; and FY 18 est $112,011,656 - Includes awards to postdocs, graduate students, post baccalaureate, and summer students.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Sharon L. Milgram, 2 Center Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 Email: Phone: (301) 594-2053.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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