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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. The program is open to high school students, college, postbaccalaureate masters-level students, and graduate students, including medical and dental students. Successful applicants join the NCI for a minimum of eight weeks between May and September. Interns are encouraged to participate in lab or branch meetings, attend seminars, lectures, symposia offered by NCI and NIH Summer Seminar Series, and participate in the NIH Summer Research Program Poster Day.

Applications 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.

NCI is committed to placing the students who were selected to train for summer 2020.  However, there are restrictions due to lab density requirements and budgetary constraints.   Thus, selections for this year’s Summer 2021 program will be highly competitive.  We encourage you to interview widely and consider alternative options, as we will not be able to train as many fellows as we have in previous years.

How It Works

  1. 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
  2. For HS-SIP applicants, please contact the IC Coordinator to indicate interest in NCI and facilitate lab placement.
  3. 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.

Note: For 2020 applicants, please check with your PI to determine if your letters of recommendation from 2020 are on file.  If they are, list the same references in your 2021 application and their previous letters can be used for your application package.  If you need to submit new letters of recommendation, the deadline is March 15, 2021. 

If you have additional questions, please contact the appropriate SIP coordinator:

  • For NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Bethesda SIP/Cancer Research Interns please contact Vi Black
  • For NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Bethesda HS-SIP, please contact Chanelle Case Borden
  • For NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Frederick HS-SIP/SIP, please contact Marsha Nelson-Duncan

NCI SIP Subprograms

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


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