Opportunities for Recent Graduates

Opportunities for Recent Graduates.

Apply to a Pathways Position

The NIH’s Recent Graduates program is targeted toward recent graduates of trade and vocational schools, community colleges, universities, and other qualifying educational institutions or programs. The program affords developmental experiences in the federal government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion. Veterans who, due to military service, were unable to apply for positions, will have up to two years from their release or discharge from active duty, not to exceed six years after degree and/or certificate completion. Successful applicants will be placed in a one-year career development program.

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 have graduated within the previous two years (veterans precluded by their military service obligation will have up to six years) from a qualifying degree or certificate from a qualifying institution (Verify Accreditation):
    • 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)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above

Qualification Requirements

To qualify for Recent Graduate positions at the GS-09 level, you must satisfy one of the requirements described below:

  • Education — have completed a Master's or equivalent graduate degree, or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or an LL.B. or J.D. Education must be related to the position to be qualifying.
    – OR –
  • Experience — have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service obtained in either the private or public sector, performing tasks associated with the position announced.
    – OR –
  • Education and Experience— have a combination of post baccalaureate education related to the position and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for the position.

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;
  • 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;
  • supervisors 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 students name, name of the school, current GPA, date degree was conferred, 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. Completed Assessment Questionnaire

  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

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.

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:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen upon conversion;
  • Complete all requirements of the Recent Graduates Program successfully;
  • 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.