Applications now being accepted!
The NIDA Intramural Research Program (IRP) will fund outstanding postbaccalaureate candidates, in both clinical and basic sciences, who are interested in studying topics aligned with the mission of NIDA and a strong desire for interactions and collaboration with the labs in the IRP.
The Scientific Director’s Fellowship for Diversity in Research (SDFDR) for Postbaccalaureate Fellows is a research fellowship experience that seeks to prepare a diverse group of junior scholars for the demands of research so that they excel in graduate or professional (medical, dental, pharmacy) school and are highly competitive for future opportunities in the field of addiction science. This program is designed for recent college graduates or those who are receiving their undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2022.
Students with disabilities; students who come from an economically disadvantaged background (e.g., Pell Grant-eligible, from environments that inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and ability required to enroll in, and graduate from, a health professional school, or from a family with an annual income below low-income thresholds); students who are or have been enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); students who are the first in their family to attend college; students who identify as LGBTQ; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including recent natural disasters, are encouraged to apply to the SDFDR Fellows program.
SDFDR activities will include:
- Full-time, mentored research
- A professional development program
- NIDA IRP Poster Day
SDFDR applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for the NIH Postbac IRTA Program. As such, they must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents AND meet any ONE of the following criteria:
- college graduates who received their bachelor’s degrees less than THREE years prior to the date they begin the program, OR
- individuals who are more than 3 years past the receipt of their bachelor’s degree but received a master’s degree less than SIX MONTHS before they begin the program, OR
- students who have been accepted into graduate, other doctoral, or medical school programs and who have written permission from their school to delay entrance for up to one year to pursue a research project at the NIH.
In addition, SDFDR applicants must:
- Intend to apply to graduate or professional school during their tenure at the NIH
- Complete at least one year of the SDFDR program
The stipends for trainees are adjusted yearly; the level depends on prior experience acquired AFTER completion of the bachelor’s degree. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page:
The SDFDR program is an enhancement to the main NIH Postbac IRTA program and you must apply to the main NIH Postbac IRTA program to participate.
There are TWO main components of the application process:
- the NIH Postbac IRTA application:
- the SDFDR program Application – Download here
SDFDR Postbac Application requirements:
- Personal statement* (Typically 2-3 pages, but there is no specific length requirement)
- Official college transcripts
- 3 letters of recommendation; if possible, writers can include information about how the SDFDR program could benefit the candidate and how the candidate would enrich the SDFDR program
*Applicants should discuss the following important elements in their personal statement:
- Commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community within the addiction research field and the scientific community as a whole
- The most important experiences in your personal life that have led to your interest in the addiction research or behavioral/biomedical research as a whole.
- Specific information about what led you to your interest in working at the intramural program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and your interest in conducting research. Include potential NIH investigators with whom to work during the program and why.
- Educational and career goals
- How participation in the SDFDR program will increase your enthusiasm and advance progress towards your stated goals
- If applicable: leadership experiences in school and in the community and any prior research experience. Note: if you have not had these opportunities, don’t worry, you can still be an excellent match for the program.
As an SDFDR Postbac, you will do your research with a mentor (an investigator at the NIDA IRP). You must apply for the SDFDR together. We encourage you to learn about the work being done at the NIDA IRP so your personal statement can reflect your specific interests.
- If you have an interest in working in a specific lab or with a specific PI, we encourage you to reach out directly to the PI. If the PI agrees, you can apply as a pair.
The application due dates for the SDFDR Postbac program are:
- October 1st
- January 15th
- May 1st
The full application package, including reference letters, must be submitted via email to Dr. Yeka Aponte, through Mia Jefferson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by each due date at 11:59 pm to be considered for the program.
How the Program Works
Applications to the SDFDR Postbac program will be reviewed as soon as the application period closes.
Applicants must identify a Principal Investigator, arrange a virtual interview, and apply to the program as a pair. List of Principal Investigators:
Decision letters will be sent to the applicants within 4 –5 weeks of the application deadline.
Note: Applicants who are not selected for this program may still be able to work at the NIH through the NIH Postbac IRTA program.
For more on the mission of NIDA, visit the main NIDA webpage at:
For more on the Intramural Research Program in Baltimore, our research, and our staff, visit the IRP page at: