Where can I find general information about the NIH Postbac Program?
Information about the Postbac Program can be found at the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta
Where can I find information about the NIDA Intramural Research Program?
The NIDA IRP website https://irp.drugabuse.gov contains information about labs and PIs. The NIDA IRP Office of Education and Career Development (OECD) website https://irp.drugabuse.gov/training contains information about the Postbac Program at NIDA.
Where is the NIDA Intramural Research Program located?
NIDA IRP is located in southeast Baltimore on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus. Most of the NIDA labs are housed in the Biomedical Research Center (BRC). A few labs are located in the Triad Building, a 5-10 minute walk across campus from the BRC.
What help is available at the NIDA IRP for applying to graduate or medical school?
Each year there are several workshops to assist you in applying to graduate or medical school including, Graduate School Planning and Applying, Interviewing for Graduate School, Medical School Planning and Applying, Personal Statements for Medical School, and Interviewing for Medical School. Additionally, Dr. Heishman conducts mock interviews for graduate and medical school. Finally, the OECD library has GRE and MCAT study books.
When should I apply to the NIH Postbac Program?
You should complete the online application https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta at least 6 months before you plan to start working. If you plan to start in the summer, as most postbacs do, you should complete your application in November-December. When your application is complete, including reference letters, you should email PIs with whom you would like to work.
What do I need to do for the background check?
You will receive an enrollment email. To enroll, you need to go to an NIH office for fingerprinting and a photograph. There are locations throughout the country available for fingerprinting that your administrative assistant can coordinate. You will also receive a separate email to complete the required background investigation, known as eQIP (electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing). You have 7 business days to complete eQIP and any other required forms. You should work closely with your lab’s administrative assistant to complete the background check.
NOTE: In order to be approved for logical and physical access to NIH facilities and systems, candidates must be able to pass a Federal background check, using Standard Form-85. Section 14 of the form asks, “In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs?” The question pertains to the illegal use of drugsor controlled substances in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.
How much is the stipend for first year Postbacs?
In 2018, the stipend for first year Postbacs is $29,750. The stipend increases with years of experience.
Are taxes taken out of my stipend?
No, your stipend is considered a fellowship, not a salary. This means that you will need to pay quarterly taxes. Information about taxes can be found in the NIH Postbac Handbook.
Can I defer my student loans during the Postbac Program?
Yes, information about the loan deferment program can be found here https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/loan_deferments
Will I receive health insurance through the Postbac Program?
Yes, you will receive health benefits at no cost to you. NIH will pay for low-option individual or family coverage available through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). You have 30 days after you start to elect or decline this insurance. Your lab’s administrative assistant will assist you with this decision.
Are there other benefits of being a postbac at NIDA?
There is a gym located in our building; members pay a small monthly fee. We have yoga classes and a weekly series called Wellness Wednesdays that is focused on enhancing wellness and self-care. Classes differ each week and include experiential activities such as meditation, progressive relaxation, breathing, or seated yoga. At NIDA, we currently have two affinity groups, LGBTQ+ and SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science). Through the NIH campus in the Bethesda there are additional affinity groups, including the NIH SACNAS Chapter, Mom-Dad-Docs, Network of African-American Fellows at the NIH, and NIH-LGBT Fellows and Friends. You are welcome to join any of these groups.
What are some neighborhoods close to the Bayview campus?
Neighborhoods in order of closeness to the campus are Bayview, Highlandtown, Brewer’s Hill, Patterson Park, Butcher’s Hill, Canton, and Fells Point. You should ask your PI and lab members for housing recommendations and do some research on the various neighborhoods. A visit to Baltimore before starting can help you make an informed decision.
Is there a postbac I can contact if I have questions?
Yes, you can contact the current Postbac Representative, McKenzie Prillaman firstname.lastname@example.org