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Student Training Programs at NCI Frederick

Mentor and mentee work together on a project with a GeneAmp PCR System 9700.
Credit: NIH Record

Researchers at NCI Frederick participate in numerous education and training opportunities available to staff across NCI locations. In addition, NCI Frederick manages two student training programs unique to NCI Frederick: the Werner H. Kirsten Student Internship Program and the Capstone Program.

Werner H. Kirsten Student Internship Program

NCI Frederick offers a unique, year-long opportunity for local high school students entering their senior year of high school. The Werner H. Kirsten Student Internship Program (WHK-SIP) exposes high school seniors to research and administrative management in a health care environment. The scientific interns experience the basic methods of biomedical research through hands-on laboratory training. The students in the internships in support of science and research are assigned projects in budget, personnel, information technology, graphics, and media.

The program is named after the renowned virologist, Dr. Werner H. Kirsten, who was facility director of Frederick during the 1980s and 1990s. It has had more than 1,300 graduates since its inception in 1989. Over 80% of WHK-SIP graduates, the majority of whom are women, have continued onto careers in STEM-related fields. The WHK-SIP received the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in recognition of its long-running success training the next generation of scientists. This award was bestowed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

How to Apply

The WHK-SIP opens for applications annually in mid-October for high school juniors from eligible schools in local Frederick, Maryland area. For more information or to apply, please visit the WHK Student Intern Program login page. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements and agree to the application’s Terms & Conditions in the application package.

NCI Frederick Capstone Program

NCI Frederick’s Capstone Program offers internships to students working to complete requirements for college, graduate school, and professional school degrees in the biosciences.

Students may participate during the summer or school year but must be enrolled in a Capstone class to be eligible. For more information, email