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Summer Internship Program (SIP)

The National Cancer Institute offers a summer research internship for students interested in exploring careers in all areas of cancer research, including basic, clinical, and translational research, epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetics.

For 2021, the Summer Internship Program is entirely virtual.  This year, over 200 high school students, undergrads, and graduate students were selected to experience cancer research across the NCI.  Beginning June 1st, summer interns will be able to participate in NIH and NCI online, using virtual curricula developed to enhance the virtual summer research experience. Students who are not part of this year’s internship program are also welcome to attend unless otherwise specified.

NIH OITE Summer Intern Curriculum

The OITE is offering a weekly curriculum (on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons), that focuses on particular issues in science, wellness, and summer journal clubs. 

NCI Summer Intern Curriculum

The NCI training offices have developed a curriculum to complement the offerings by NIH OITE.  Information about upcoming NCI events, including meeting details, will be sent weekly via email. 


"Welcome to NCI's first virtual Summer Intern Program! You are coming to NCI's outstanding intramural research program at a very exciting time, where tremendous progress is being made, despite the pandemic. Our Director, Dr. Ned Sharpless has called it a golden age for cancer research and under his leadership we are making great progress. I hope that your participation this summer is the start of your own biomedical research career, and please now that the NCI and NIH are always here to partner and support you in this journey." - Dr. Oliver Bogler, Director, Center for Cancer Training 

Associated Links: Dr. Sharpless’ vision for cancer research and COVID, cancer care, and cancer research

Completing your Virtual Internship

To ensure interns can successfully work on research projects remotely, NIH is offering a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that provides access to the appropriate NIH resources.  With VDI, interns will securely access NIH resources, such as NIH email, web browsers, web conferencing tools, file-storage and file-sharing tools, Microsoft 365 applications, and scientific applications—all from a personal computer.   VDI will be available June 1st through August 31st.   If you have any questions concerning the Virtual Desktop or other IT related issues, please contact Shannon Silkensen at

Virtual Events

Summer Orientation

All summer interns are required to attend the NCI orientation.  High-school summer interns are required to attend both NIH and NCI orientations.  Please note, all times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

Meeting Number: 172 013 4932
Password: 4SummerInterns!

Event Date Time Meeting Link
NIH Orientation* (required for HS-SIP) 06/21/2021 10:30AM - 12:00PM CLOSED
NCI Orientation  06/22/2021 10:00 - 11:00 AM CLOSED
NIH Orientation* (required for HS-SIP) 06/28/2021 10:30AM - 12:00PM CLOSED
NCI Orientation  06/29/2021 2:00 - 3:00 PM  CLOSED

NCI Science Bootcamp

On Wednesdays from 10:00AM – 11:00AM on June 9th – July 14th, NCI postdocs will provide a brief overview of scientific topics relevant to cancer research such as pharmacology, genetics/genomics, microbiology, and immunology. 

Meeting Number: 160 463 7474
Password: CCT$ummer2021

Topic Date Speaker Link 
Fusion Genes as Cancer Drivers 06/23/2021 Soumya Sundara Rajan CLOSED
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy 06/30/2021 Anagha Krishnan & Neha Wali CLOSED
Cognition and Behavior in Clinical Trials 07/07/2021 Amanda Rhodes & Nour Al Ghriwati CLOSED
Drug Design and Immunotherapy 07/14/2021 Domenico D'atri CLOSED

NCI Fridays

On Fridays from June 11th – July 16th, speakers will provide information about the NCI training experience, as well as professional development topics such as how to perform literature searches, science communication, and guidance for medical/graduate school. 

Meeting Number: 160 283 9840
Password: NCIsummer2021!

Title  Date Time Link
CCR Young Investigators Panel 06/18/2021 2:00 - 3:30 PM CLOSED
Best Practices for Literature Searching (NIH Library) 06/25/2021 10:00 - 11:45 AM CLOSED
DCCPS Young Investigators Panel 06/25/2021 2:00 - 3:30 PM CLOSED
Getting into Medical School: Advice from a recent graduate 07/02/2021 10:00 - 11:30 AM CLOSED
Virtual Jeopardy Tournament 07/02/2021 12:00 - 2:30 PM CLOSED
DCEG Young Investigators Panel 07/09/2021 2:00 - 3:30 PM CLOSED
Making The Most of Your Mentor Relationship 07/12/2021 11:00am-12:00pm CLOSED

Other Events

There are additional ad hoc events, as shown below, that complement the NCI Friday activities. These events are for current NCI summer interns only.  Your summer coordinator will advertise information about events each week and provide the meeting details.

Title Date Time
Introduction to SAS 06/21/2021 CLOSED 
Introduction to Cancer Biology (required for CRI fellows) 07/07/ 2021 CLOSED
Tools and Resources to Support Cancer Research 07/08/2021 CLOSED
Creating and Presenting Virtual Posters 07/08/2021 CLOSED
NIH Graduate and Professional Week 07/19/2021- 07/22/2021 CLOSED
NIH Summer Research Presentation Week 08/03/2021 -  08/05/2021 CLOSED
Important Contact Information

If you have any questions or issues during your internship, please don't hesitate to contact your NCI Summer Coordinator.

CCR - Bethesda SIP - Vi Black & HS-SIP - Chanelle Case Borden
CCR - Frederick Marsha Nelson-Duncan
DCEG Diane Wigfield
DCCPS Richard Moser
CBIIT Shannon Silkensen

How It Works - Future Interns 

  1. Applications will open mid-November and can be accessed by visiting the High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) and Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP) websites. Please be sure to review all eligibility requirements prior to completing your application.

  2. Submit your application on the OITE website. Submission includes:
    • A curriculum vitae or resume
    • A list of coursework and grades
    • A cover letter describing the applicant’s research interests and career goals
    • The names and contact information for two references
  3. For HS-SIP applicants, please contact the IC Coordinator to indicate interest in NCI and facilitate lab placement.
  4. For all other applicants, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note, there is no centralized selection process. Individual scientists select their own summer interns and provide their own funding.

NCI SIP Subprograms

To learn more about NCI's SIP subprograms, please visit program websites:


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