NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (SIP)

NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program (SIP)

COVID-19 UPDATE: We are now able to share information regarding the 2021 NINDS/NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP), High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) and the Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program. Unfortunately, it is clear that we still face uncertain times with continuing difficulty integrating trainees who started during the pandemic. Therefore, we want to let you know that all 2021 NINDS Summer programs will be fully virtual this summer. The 2021 Summer Program Cohorts has been selected. We look forward to the next application cycle starting in mid-November 2021.

For information about COVID-19 , visit the following link:

students working in a lab


Graduate and undergraduate students selected for this fully-funded summer internship program will spend 8-10 weeks working side-by-side with NINDS leading scientists in an environment devoted to the study of fundamental elements of the nervous system, neurological processes, neurodegenerative diseases, movement disorders, brain cancer, and stroke (NINDS Research Principles). Summer fellows will work with mentors in the NINDS Division of Intramural Research (DIR), where they will be immersed in a scientific culture and explore essential elements of basic, translational, and clinical research. In addition to performing full-time research, summer fellows will work closely with the NINDS SIP Office, meeting weekly to assess their progress and work toward goals. Fellows will also meet weekly with their cohort of trainees for several activities, including journal club, resume building, and poster development.

Summer fellowships are full time with a stipend commensurate with educational level, and include round trip travel to the program. Fellows who receive an Exceptional Summer Student Award are also eligible for a travel award to a student conference to present their summer research project.

The NINDS goal for this summer program is to achieve at least one of the many  benefits that result from a diverse scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or underrepresented populations participate in and are well-served by health research, enhancing public trust, and improving the quality of health and wellness for all communities.

As noted in NIH’s Notice of Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-18-210), research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. 

Questions about the NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities SIP program should be directed to:

Dr. Angel de la Cruz Landrau
Coordinator, Summer Internship Office

The NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Internship Program seeks to prepare a diverse cadre of undergraduate and graduate students for the rigors of neuroscience research in this field.  The program involves both structured and unstructured activities to ensure robust and high-quality mentorship and the advancement of participant goals in a highly competitive research environment. This program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in neuroscience research and in health disparities in tribal communities. Applicants must show recent evidence and interest in both areas when they apply to the program. All trainees who meet the program eligibility requirements are welcome to apply.

Additionally, NINDS seeks to attract students from diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities; students who are Pell Grant-eligible; students who are or have been enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) students who identify as LGBTQ; students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences; individuals whose career development benefited from STEM outreach programs or participation in institutional diversity programs; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including  natural disasters.

In addition, applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Enrolled in college (including community college) or graduate/professional school at the time of application, OR are high school graduates at the time of application and have been accepted into an accredited college or university program
  • Interested in neuroscience research and health disparities in tribal communities; and,
  • 18 years or older by June 15, 2021.

To apply for the Health Disparities in Tribal Communities (HDTC) Program, applicants need to take the following steps.

Step 1:   Submit an Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) Summer Internship Program (SIP) online application at:  Summer Internship Application Center. (When filling the application please do not select any subprograms listed in the OITE application)

For the OITE online application, be prepared to upload or attach the following documents:

  • A curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A list of coursework and grades (please note: we do not need a transcript at this time).
  • A cover letter describing the applicant's:
    1. Research interests and career goals;
    2. Discussion of how this program will benefit their career goals;
    3. Examples of leadership in school and in the community.
  • Names and contact information for two references.

Step 2: After completing the above OITE SIP application, applicants will also need to submit a Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) to with their interest in participating in the HDTC-SIP program. Resume or CVs will be accepted from January 4 to March 1, 2021.  

For more information you can contact the NINDS SIP Program Coordinator:

Dr. Angel de la Cruz Landrau
Program Coordinator, Summer Internship Office
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institutes of Health


Resumes/CVs for the NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Program will be accepted from January 4, 2021, until March 1, 2021.

A selection committee that includes Individuals from the NINDS neuroscience community (staff scientists and clinicians, principal investigators and program directors) will review applications and make recommendations to the NINDS Scientific Director, who will serve as the selecting official.

Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decisions by e-mail before the end of April.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used by the selection committee when reviewing applications for the NINDS Health Disparities in Tribal Communities Summer Program:

  •    Strong cover letter stating:

    1. defined career goals and
    2. demonstrated interest in exploring neuroscience research and Health Disparities in Tribal Communities;
  •    Strength of Letters of Recommendation;
  •    Resume with evidence of leadership experience in school and in the community; and
  •    Coursework and grades