NCI Graduate Student Recruiting Program

GSRP participants during the poster session

Joshua Plotnik discusses his research during the GSRP poster session.

Credit: National Cancer Institute

NCI is committed to fostering a diverse community of scientists and expanding the representation among its trainees.  The Intramural Diversity Workforce Branch was established to help attract, recruit, and build this community. To this end, the Graduate Student Recruiting Program (GSRP) was instituted to recruit postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged backgrounds to complete their training at NCI.  Up to 25 competitively selected applicants will spend three days meeting other students from around the U.S., learning about the research in the NCI, discussing their research through poster sessions, and exploring postdoctoral training opportunities through interviews with NCI principal investigators.  

The application cycle is now closed. 

Eligibility Requirements

You must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the U.S. and on schedule to complete your Ph.D. degree requirements by December 1, 2018 (open to US citizens and foreign nationals).

How to Apply

You must create an account at GSRP Application Website and complete your application by the application deadline.

Program Dates May 2, 2018 - May 3, 2018
Application Cycle Opens December 1, 2017
Application Due Date January 31, 2018
Notification of Decision March 2, 2018


Before you apply online, be sure to have the following information:

  • Education – pdf of unofficial academic transcripts
  • Personal Statement – document describing your research and career goals (approximately 1,000 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae – overview of professional history and qualifications
  • Research Interests – research approach, target, and topic
  • Abstract – pdf file containing abstract of poster to be presented
  • References – name, address, and e-mail addresses for three persons who will provide current and original letters of recommendation (one must be your dissertation advisor)


Applications will be screened for eligibility and completeness. An application is considered complete only if it has all of the components listed above AND 3 letters of recommendation are received. All candidates will be notified regarding the status of their applications. Up to 25 candidates will be invited and asked to confirm their plans to attend the Graduate Student Recruiting Program from May 2-3, 2018 within a week of notification.  Upon confirmation, candidates will be connected with the logistics team to make travel arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am attending graduate school on a H1B visa.  Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply to the program.  The basic requirement is that you are a student at a US degree granting institution.  However, you should know that if you are not a permanent resident at the time of appointment, the NIH will only support J1 visas.

What is the benefit of applying to GSRP?

You get the opportunity to meet the PI and members of the laboratory PRIOR to the official interview.  This provides valuable information about the lab, allowing you to determine it the lab is a good fit before accepting an offer.  In addition, investigators hold the accepted applicants in high esteem, as they are competitively selected for the program. 

Does acceptance into the program guarantee me a position at NCI/NIH?

No, acceptance does not guarantee a position.  However, the chances of receiving a position are higher than if you were to email investigators yourself to inquire about open positions.

Are the interviews with investigators official job interviews?

Perhaps, the structure of your interview is dependent on you and the PI at the time of scheduling.  Most applicants set up 30-60min meetings, where they learn about the PI, lab, and possibly meet lab members.  An official interview is typically a half day, where in addition to speaking with the PI and lab members, you also present a job talk. Roughly 50-70% of the GSRP applicants go on to have official interviews after the program.  Whereas 10-20% receive job offers immediately following or during the program.

What percentage of accepted applicants get postdoc position at NCI?

Roughly 40-50% of applicants accept postdoc positions.

Contact Information

Questions regarding the NCI Graduate Student Recruiting Program should be directed to the program coordinator:

Program Coordinator
NCI Graduate Student Recruiting Program

GSRP participant Katherine Choe discusses her research.

Katherine Choe speaks with a fellow GSRP participant about her research.

Credit: National Cancer Institute
GSRP participant Samuel Pellom discusses his work during poster session.

Samuel Pellom discusses his poster with an NCI investigator.

Credit: National Cancer Institute
  • Posted: May 19, 2016