Description: The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral and social science health-related research. The program is sponsored by the NIH, one of the world's foremost centers for biomedical, behavioral and social science research and research training. The program is designed to improve access to education leading to research careers for those who have had fewer opportunities than others, and is designed to provide an incentive for exceptional scholars to pursue research careers at the NIH.
Dollar Value: NIH Undergraduate Scholarships will pay for tuition and reasonable educational and living expenses up to $20,000 per academic year. In return, recipients are obligated to serve as paid employees in NIH research laboratories during the summer and after graduation. In addition to financial assistance, the scholarship program offers invaluable training and mentoring, as well as practical experience in a state-of-the-art research setting.
Number of Scholarships: The NIH awards approximately 15 scholarships each year
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a National of the U.S., or a non-citizen (someone who is eligible to work in the United States, and can qualify for Federal employment).
- The applicant must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student for the current academic year at an accredited undergraduate institution.
- The applicant must be from a disadvantaged background, meaning that the undergraduate institution has certified you as having "exceptional financial need" (EFN), as defined by the Federal Government.
- The applicant must have a grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or be within the top 5 percent of his or her class.
Application Procedures: Applicants are encouraged to apply online. In addition to the NIH online application, this website contains detailed information on the UGSP, as well as downloadable application forms. Applicants can also mail completed applications to the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program.
Deadlines: February 28, 2011
National Institutes of Health
Undergraduate Scholarship Program
2 Center Drive, Room 2E24, MSC 0230
Bethesda, MD 20892-0230
Name: Scott Handley, Honors College, University Hall 212
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the National Institutes of Health?The NIH, or the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest biomedical research institution. NIH seeks to improve health by conducting research in its own laboratories and by funding the research of other scientists throughout the United States and around the world. The NIH, headquartered in a suburb of Washington, D.C., is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an agency of the Federal Government.
In addition to the minimum requirements, what does the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program look for in applicants?Strong applicants are able to demonstrate their commitment to a research career. Applicants are most able to demonstrate this commitment if they have already participated in laboratory research, been involved in extracurricular science activities, or have taken advanced courses relevant to their field.
What is considered a "disadvantaged background"?
Disadvantaged background means that the financial aid office has certified the applicant as having "exceptional financial need" (EFN), as defined by the Federal Government.
What if candidate does not meet this definition of "disadvantaged background"?
Federal regulations prevent the NIH from considering applicants who do not meet the definition of disadvantaged background; however, NIH offers other training programs that do not require students to be disadvantaged. For information on all of NIH's training programs, visit http://www.training.nih.gov.
What documentation is needed with the application?
An official copy of the school transcript is required as part of the application. If currently a college freshman, both the college transcript and the high school transcript are required. If a college student who has attended more than one post-secondary institution, a transcript is required from each institution. If currently a high school senior, the NIH recommends that you send a photocopy of the ACT and/or SAT scores.
May international students apply?UGSP recipients are Federal employees during their training at the NTH and must be eligible for Federal employment. In general, only U.S. citizens and nationals are eligible for Federal employment, but there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, permanent residents from certain countries qualify. See http://www.ugsp.nih.gov/citizenship.asp for a complete list of exceptions.
In addition to the minimum requirements, what is looked for in applicants?
Strong applicants are able to demonstrate their commitment to a research career. Applicants are most able to demonstrate this commitment if they have already participated in laboratory research, been involved in extracurricular science activities, or have taken advanced courses relevant to their field.
If selected, will scholars receive the full $20,000?
The exact scholarship amount will be determined based on the educational expenses and other sources of financial aid. The scholarship award cannot exceed unmet college expenses. Applicants should also contact their financial aid office to determine how an outside scholarship will affect their financial aid package.