NIH Bioethics Research Fellowships

The NIH Department of Bioethics welcomes applications for fully funded two-year postdoctoral and postbaccalaureate research fellowships. Fellows are central to the activities and intellectual life of our interdisciplinary department. They study ethical issues related to biomedical research, clinical practice, genetics, biotechnology, public health, health policy, and more. They conduct mentored theoretical and empirical research on a range of bioethical fields. For a typical fellow, this research yields multiple first-authored publications in premier academic journals. In addition to research and writing, fellows participate in weekly bioethics seminars, case conferences, ethics consultations, and IRB deliberations, and have access to multiple educational opportunities at NIH. No bioethics experience is required.

Fellowships begin in September 2021. Stipends are determined by NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) guidelines.

These post-baccalaureate fellowships are ideal for students interested in eventually pursuing an MD, JD, PhD, or other graduate degree. Applicants for the post-baccalaureate fellowship must have an undergraduate or master’s degree completed no more than 3 years prior to the start date of the fellowship for a bachelor’s and no more than 6 months prior for a master’s. Only U.S. citizens or U.S. Legal Permanent Residents are eligible for post-baccalaureate fellowships.

Applicants for the post-doctoral fellowship must have completed a doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, MD, JD) no more than 5 years prior to the start date of the fellowship. Although applicants are most often from philosophy, law, and medicine, applications are welcome from other disciplines. U.S. and non-U.S. citizens are eligible for post-doctoral fellowships.

Applications should include: a resume/CV, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of interest, and one or two writing samples.

Writing samples should total no more than 30 double-spaced pages and should demonstrate the applicant’s analytical or critical thinking ability. They need not be on a bioethics topic and there is no preference for published work. Most successful applicants submit samples that defend a position or analyze an argument. Single-authored writing samples are preferred. If a co-authored sample is submitted, the applicant should ideally be the first author and should explain their role in writing the paper.

The statement of interest should be up to 1000 words and explain your interest in bioethics, how the fellowship fits into your career goals (including how it would be valuable to you), and what potential bioethics topics you would like to investigate. You may also discuss any aspects of your background or experience that would contribute to diversity in the department or the field of bioethics.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

Apply online at:

For further information see, contact, or call 301-496-2429.

For information on stipends see

Application Deadline Date:   

Postdoctoral Application Deadline: Midnight January 1, 2021 EST

Postbaccalaureate Application Deadline: Midnight January 16, 2021 EST

By Dan Poux (He/Him)
Dan Poux (He/Him) Career Coach