Opportunities for Current Students

Opportunities for Current Students

Apply to a Pathways Position

Exploring career options is an exciting part of preparing for the future, and the NIH has opportunities for current students. Learn more about the NIH and how you can join in on the mission.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident. Non-citizens may apply. (Must be U.S. citizen prior to conversion to competitive appointment)
  • Must be at least 16 years of age by the closing date of the announcement
  • Must maintain student eligibility for duration of internship*
  • Must be enrolled or plan on enrolling in the current or upcoming semester in an accredited (Verify Accreditation):
    • High school
    • Associate’s
    • Bachelor’s
    • Master’s
    • Professional
    • Doctorate
    • Vocational/technical
    • Certificate (must be equivalent to post-secondary level education and at least one academic year of full-time study)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 at time of application and throughout internship appointment

* A student means you have been accepted for enrollment, or are enrolled as a degree-seeking student in an accredited college or university at least half time. You may also be currently enrolled in high school for some positions. Your degree does not have to be related to the position/series you apply for.

Qualification Requirements

  • To qualify for this position at the GS-01 grade level: Enrollment in a high school or GED Program.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-02 grade level: High school diploma or equivalent.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-03 grade level: Completion of 1 full academic year of post-high school study.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-04 grade level: Completion of 2 full academic years of post-high school study or associate’s degree.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-05 grade level: Completion of all requirements for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-06 grade level: must demonstrate in the resume, at least 1 year of qualifying experience equivalent to a GS-5 in the Federal Government obtained in either the private or public sector.
  • To qualify for this position at the GS-07 grade level: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education or eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement Provision after completing a bachelor’s degree.

Compensation and Benefits

  • While the government uses at least six different pay scales, the majority of Civil Service employees are paid using the GS (General Schedule) pay scale. The General Service pay scale for Civil Service employees features 15 pay grades, GS-1 (lowest) – GS-15 (highest) with 10 steps within each grade. You can visit the GS pay scale.
  • You can review our benefits.
  • Employees hired under the Pathways Programs on appointments for 90 days or more are eligible to earn annual and sick leave. Interns hired under the Temporary Student Trainee Program are considered temporary employees and are generally eligible to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program if they are expected to work 130 hours per month or more for at least 90 days, in accordance with 5 CFR 890.102. Those who meet the criteria laid out in these provisions will receive the same government contribution as full-time permanent employees. There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage.

How to Apply

Once an announcement is posted on www.usajobs.gov, complete applications (to include all required documents) must be submitted electronically.

Candidates have until 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement to complete the application process. This includes submitting the online application as well as any required documents as defined in the Required Documents section in the listed announcement. Candidates are encouraged to complete their applications the day the announcement opens to ensure they receive consideration. Should candidates be missing any of the required documents or submit their application late, they will be disqualified for consideration of employment.

Due to the volume of applications for the NIH’s Pathways programs, there is typically a maximum number of applications for each vacancy announcement. The vacancy will close on the closing date listed in the announcement or on midnight the day that the maximum number of applications are received. The vacancy will close when the first of these conditions are met. If the application limit is reached on the same day the announcement opened, the open and close date will be the same.

Required Documents

All required documents listed below, that are applicable to you, must be submitted on USA Jobs by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of the announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required time frames. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  1. Resume that includes the following information:
  • contact information;
  • completed course work (unit/credit hours);
  • academic standing/GPA;
  • work/volunteer experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series, and grade, if applicable;
  • supervisor’s name, phone number and email address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and references.
  1. Current Transcripts: an unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however if selected, an official college transcript will be required. Transcripts MUST include the student’s name, name of the school, current GPA/academic standing, past and current coursework, and degree program. If your school’s transcripts or documentation do not provide all the necessary information listed above, you should include additional official academic documentation that meets the requirements.
  2. Proof of Enrollment or Class Registration and Documentation that States Projected Graduation Date: Proof of Enrollment may include a screen shot of the semester class schedule, an official letter of enrollment, or listed on official transcripts. The document should show the academic institution where the student is actively enrolled in courses, the degree or certificate program, and enrollment in at least a half-time status (as defined by the academic institution).
  3. Veterans Preference Documentation: If you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit proof of veterans’ preference with your application.

For 5-point veteran’s preference, you must provide a copy of your DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member Copy 4 is preferable) which must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty. If you are currently on active duty, you must provide a certification on letterhead from your military branch which contains your military service date, expected date of discharge or release, and the character of service to show that your military service was performed under honorable conditions. The expected date of discharge or release must be within 120 days of the date the certification is submitted for consideration for this vacancy announcement.

For 10-point veteran’s preference, you must submit a current version of the SF-15 (Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference), dated October 2013, and any documentation required by this form to support your claim. Previous editions of the SF-15 will not be accepted. If we cannot verify your 10-point preference status, you will receive 5-point preference if veterans’ preference requirements have been met.

For Sole Survivorship preference, you must provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4 is preferable) or another form of official documentation which shows your discharge or release from active duty occurred on or after August 29, 2008 and was based on a sole survivorship discharge.

For further information regarding Veterans.

Conversion Opportunity

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:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen upon conversion;
  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program (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.