The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Visiting Program provides opportunities for foreign scientists to train and conduct collaborative research at the NIH, the principal agency of the U.S. Government responsible for conducting and supporting biomedical research. Annually, more than 2,000 scientists from other nations conduct research in the basic and clinical science laboratories on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and in several field units around the country.
The Visiting Fellow award provides research training experience. Visiting Fellows must have a doctoral degree or equivalent in the health sciences and not more than five years of relevant postdoctoral research experience at the start of the fellowship period.
Upon nomination to the program, candidates must provide a photocopy of their diploma (and translation, if not in English) or a letter from a university dean or registrar stating when the degree will be awarded. Course work toward a degree does not by itself qualify a candidate for a fellowship.
Visiting Fellows receive a monthly stipend during the award period to cover living expenses. The stipend level is determined by the number of years of relevant postdoctoral research experience. Visiting Fellows are not considered employees of the NIH. U.S. citizens are not eligible for the Visiting Fellow award.*
Visiting Fellow awards generally are made for two years, although a one-year award is an option. Fellowships are renewable for up to five years. Renewals are based on merit and are subject to approval by the sponsor and Institute Director. All renewals are contingent upon visa limitations and compliance with U.S. immigration regulations.
*U.S. citizens or resident aliens should inquire about the National Research Service Award, the NIH Staff Fellowship Program, or the Intramural Research Training Award. Further information about these programs may be obtained from the NIH Office of Education. Information about the latter two programs, as well as employment opportunities at NIH, also may be obtained from the NIH Recruitment and Employee Benefits Branch, Division of Personnel Management.
Visiting Scientists are appointed to conduct health-related research. They are considered employees of the NIH, receive a salary and, depending on the length of appointment, receive most of the benefits available to employees of the U.S. Government.
Visiting Scientists with three or more years of relevant post-doctoral research experience are eligible for the following types of appointments:
• Research Fellow (VP)
• Clinical Fellow (VP)
• Staff Scientist (VP)
• Staff Clinician (VP)
• Investigator (VP)
• Senior Investigator (VP)
Visiting Scientist appointments generally are made for up to two years but may be made for a shorter period. Appointments may be renewed; however, the total length of an appointment may not exceed five years. All renewals are subject to applicable visa restrictions.