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Pathways for Students and Recent Graduates

On December 27, 2010, President Obama issued an Executive order External Web Site Policy on recruiting and hiring students and recent graduates into the federal government. The NIH is seeking to recruit highly motivated and talented individuals to fill entry level positions. Whether you are a current student or recent graduate, you can find a career opportunity at NIH.

The NIH Pathways Program offers Three "paths" to Federal civilian employment:

NIH Internship Program

NIH Internship Program Overview

  • The Pathways Internship Program will give students the opportunity to join NIH in gaining valuable experience in temporary or indefinite positions.
  • Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.
    • To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:
      • Be a U.S. citizen;
      • Must complete at least 640 hours of career-related work before completion of, or concurrently with, course requirements. (NIH may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance);
      • Complete their degree or certificate requirements;
      • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the intern will be converted;
      • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement; and
      • Perform their job successfully.

NIH Internship Program Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for selection into the NIH internship, applicants must be:

  • At least 16 years of age;
  • A U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident. Non-citizens may apply;
  • Enrolled or plan on enrolling in the current or upcoming semester at least half-time in an accredited degree-seeking program:
    • High school
    • Associateís
    • Bachelorís
    • Masterís
    • Professional
    • Doctorate
    • Vocational/technical
    • Certificate (must be equivalent to post-secondary level education and at least one academic year of full-time study)
  • In good academic standing (cumulative GPA 3.0 or above).
  • Enrolled in an accredited institution/program.
    • Verify accreditation: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx exit link
    • NOTE: For institution names that contain an abbreviation, you may need to try different spellings. [e.g. if St. Paul doesnít work, try Saint Paul]. If you cannot find your school, please call U.S. Department of Education at 1-888-247-8269.

NIH Internship Program Current Opportunities

To learn more about the current opportunities visit the Internship Program Opportunities page.

NIH Recent Graduates

NIH Recent Graduates Program Overview

  • The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the federal government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs.
  • Recent graduates must complete at least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program. They must also be put on individual development plans to create and track career planning, professional development, and training advancement. Mentorship will be provided throughout the program.
  • After program completion recent graduates may be converted to a term or permanent, career or career-conditional, appointment in the competitive service upon completion of the one-year service requirement.
    • To be eligible for conversion, recent graduates must:
      • Be a U.S. citizen;
      • Successfully complete all requirements of the Recent Graduates Program;
      • Complete at least 40 hours of formal, interactive training;
      • Demonstrate successful job performance consistent with the applicable performance appraisal program; and
      • Meet the OPM qualification standard for the position to which the recent graduate will be converted.

NIH Recent Graduates Program Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident. Non-citizens may apply;
  • Must be U.S. citizen prior to conversion to competitive appointment;
  • Must have completed, within the previous two* years, a qualifying degree or certificate from a qualifying institution:
    • Associate's
    • Bachelor's
    • Master's
    • Professional
    • Doctorate
    • Vocational/Technical degree
    • Certificate (must be equivalent to post-secondary level education and at least one academic year of full-time study)

    * Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree due to a military service obligation have up to six years to apply after degree completion.

  • Must have obtained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Your GPA cannot be rounded.
  • Verify your school accreditation: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx exit link
    • NOTE: For institution names that contain an abbreviation, you may need to try different spellings. [e.g. if St. Paul doesnít work, try Saint Paul]. If you cannot find your school, please call U.S. Department of Education at 1-888-247-8269.

NIH Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

Presidential Management Fellows Overview

  • The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program is a flagship leadership development program. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has participated in the PMF program since 1985. We pride ourselves on offering interesting, challenging, and flexible opportunities for all fellows. NIH also has a strong community of current and former PMFs who stay involved in the program.
  • PMFs develop individual development plans and select rotations tailored to meet their career development goals and the agency's long-term succession planning needs. PMFs complete rotational assignments in a broad range of administrative and programmatic areas, including budget and finance, communications, program and management analysis, information technology, grants management, program and management analysis, contracts management, human resources, and project management. PMFs have a dedicated mentor who guides them throughout the two-year program. Finally, fellows participate on a variety of NIH-wide projects.

NIH Presidential Management Fellows

  • NIH hires a variety of fellows each year. If youíre a PMF finalist, check OPMís online Talent Acquisition System for NIH openings.
  • At-Large PMFs are hired by the NIH Office of Human Resources and rotate throughout the entire NIH, creating their own schedule of 3-4 month rotations. These rotational opportunities provide on-the-job training with exposure to senior leadership. A core business rotation requirement applies.
  • Designated PMFs are hired by a specific office or manager within an IC (e.g. NCI, NIAID, etc.) and rotate through the IC with up to one developmental rotation outside of the designated IC. As a Designated Fellow, the focus is on learning the organization and culture of the designated IC.

NIH Presidential Management Fellows Eligibility

  • To learn more about PMF eligibility or to apply, visit http://pmf.gov/ external link. The application and assessment process begins each Fall and is managed centrally by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. PMF Finalists are eligible to apply for PMF jobs with agencies like NIH.
This page last reviewed on October 16, 2014

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