Working at NIH | Glassdoor

NIH Overview

Bethesda, MD
10000+ employees
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals
Unknown / Non-Applicable
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its own research and the distribution of grants, seeks to understand disease inside and out. Part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the government's main medical research entity. It ... Read more

Mission: NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life and reduce illness and disability

Company Updates

  • Every day, more than 100 people nationwide die from an overdose of opioids, including prescription opioids such as oxycodone and fentanyl. Opioids can help some people with pain. However, they are sometimes prescribed when other, safer medications could be used instead. Read the following article on an NIH funded study which looked to address the issue of fatal over prescribing of opioids and improve prescription practices:

    Learning about fatal opioid overdoses changes prescribing behavior

    Notifying clinicians that one of their patients died of an opioid overdose reduced the number and doses of opioid medications prescribed in the following months. The approach decreased opioid prescribing while still allowing clinicians to take individual pain-management needs into account.

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking candidates for a Supervisory Mathematical Statistician to serve as the Associate Director of the Biometric Research Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute. This position provides statistical leadership and oversight for the national program of therapeutic and diagnostic clinical trials of the NCI, as well as translational research in developmental therapeutics, diagnostics and cancer imaging.

    Learn more and apply:
    Current or former federal employees can apply here:

    Supervisory Mathematical Statistician

    Interested candidates should have supervisory experience in leading high-level scientists, general personnel management, management of workloads including division and programmatic priorities, as well as technical leadership and guidance in basic research in mathematical and applied statistics and probability, as well as developing new techniques and methodologies to address statistical problems and challenges in cancer research.

See AllSee All

NIH – Why Work For Us?


NIH is the only agency of its kind. We greatly impact the health of our country through unique and innovative medical research. NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing more than $33 billion a year to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability. We also play a significant role in helping Americans live longer and healthier — increasing life expectancy in the U.S. by more than 31 years since 1900. 

Whether you are graduating with a bachelor's degree, entering the workforce for the first time, changing careers, or working on your doctoral degree, NIH offers a place for you to start and plenty of room to grow.

When you join us, you’re not just advancing your career — you’re driving the health of our country forward


Our mission is simple but critical: We strive to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

Each and every one of our employees play a crucial part in shaping our mission and achieving our goals.


We believe in giving employees the flexibility and time they need to strike a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. Our generous paid time off, sick leave, and flexible work schedules, along with child and elderly care options allow our team members to achieve a comfortable work-life balance.

 Learn more about working at NIH and find your ideal position today.


NIH is deeply committed to providing all employees with the best environment and experience possible. We work tirelessly to advance diversity and inclusion to ensure that the contributions of all members are valued.


To achieve this, we enlist the help of a variety of offices,working groups, committees, and affinity groups to foster a work environment where equal employment opportunity is a reality, and diversity and inclusion is woven into the fabric of our Agency.

We know that when employees’ unique perspectives are understood and appreciated, creativity and innovation flourishes — leading to important discoveries in biomedical research that advance our nation’s health.

Learn more about our dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion:

NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity

Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity

Common Fund -Enhancing the Diversity of NIH-Funded Workforce

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Our scientists and medical professionals come to work each day to make an impact on our nation’s health. Their skills and dedication drive the research that makes it possible for NIH to make the discoveries that matter.

NIH/NCI's Dr. Apolo was featured in Universum's Top 100. Dr. Andrea Apolo M.D. is dedicated to improving the treatment and survival of patients with genitourinary tumors. Her research involves developing and designing clinical trials to test novel agents for the treatment of urologic cancers. 


 “We can undertake research here that just wouldn’t be possible at many other institutions.”

—Sonja M. Best, Chief of the Innate Immunity and Pathogenesis Unit at the Laboratory of Virology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


Sonja Best performs groundbreaking research to understand how viruses can evade the human immune system. She thrives thanks to having a supportive framework that gives her the freedom to exercise her imagination — which, she says, is “really the only limiting factor here.”


Meanwhile, Bechara Kachar, M.D., is investigating gradual hearing loss by using high-tech imaging. He isn’t just making critical discoveries, but also shaping the next generation of researchers. A stream of fellows has graduated from his lab and are now forging successful careers of their own.


NIH Scientific Training Programs

The NIH IRP offers programs for high school and college students, recent college graduates, graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral and clinical fellows.  The OITE provides career/professional development programming to help intramural trainees take maximal advantage of their time at NIH and progress successfully to the next step in their careers.

Learn More: Scientific Bio-Research Training

NIH FY 2017 Strategic Research Priorities

NIH Loan Repayment Programs for Health Professionals

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The escalating costs of advanced education and training in medicine and clinical specialties are forcing some scientists to abandon their research careers for higher-paying private industry or private practice careers.

Learn more: NIH Loan Repayment Program


Learn more and find the perfect medical or scientific role for you.

Be a Contributor to the Mission

You don’t have to be a scientist to drive biomedical research discoveries forward. At NIH, the administrative professionals support every aspect of our organization, allowing us to improve the health of the nation.

From auditors, to economists, to human resource assistants, the administrative employees make our work possible. At NIH, it’s about life, and our administrative staff are there to ensure the NIH is capable of achieving its mission. 

There are many other non-medical, technical, and admnistrative specialties under the Administrative careers umbrella which do not typically require knowledge or experience in the medical or bio-medical field. Discover some of our careers at NIH:

Financial Management & Budget

Project Management

Security and Emergeny Response 

Information Technology

Grants and Contract Management

Communication and Public Relations

Policy & Legislative Analysis


We welcome the fresh perspectives that students and recent graduates bring to our team. NIH is always looking for talented, motivated individuals to explore our three paths:

  • NIH Internship Program:Gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience with NIH in temporary positions.

  • NIH Recent Graduates: Affords recent graduates the chance to develop their knowledge and skills to lead to careers at NIH.

  • NIH Presidential Management Fellows Program: Gives advanced degree candidates the opportunity to sharpen their leadership capabilities and meet career goals.

NIH Student Loan Repayment Program 

The NIH Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is a non-scientist loan repayment program. Its purpose is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of highly qualified, non-scientist, NIH employees. The SLRP is managed centrally by the Office of Management (OM), Office of Human Resources (OHR) and is not among the eight research-based LRPs administered by the Division of Loan Repayment.

Learn more about how these opportunities can jumpstart your career.

NIH Reviews

Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
NIH NIH Director Francis S. Collins
Francis S. Collins
376 Ratings
  • "Wonderful environment for cutting-edge scientific enterprise"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ph D Biologist in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Ph D Biologist in Bethesda, MD
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NIH full-time (Less than a year)


    Collegiality and sense of common public wellness permeates a scientific environment where virtually everything is possible!
    Opportunities for growth are abundant, you just need to work hard and look around if you feel the need of challenging yourself to grow.
    Principal Investigators are professionally trained to guide students and trainees to best school applications, or writing supportive reference letters that open doors to postdoctoral fellows all across the globe!
    Research is collaborative and extremely well-supported and professionally oriented to accommodate career developments of all kinds.
    Core facilities are comprehensively available, no budget restrictions for using them, there are always possibilities of collaborations.
    NIH in general is a welcoming, internationally diverse, and protective environment for science.
    I just got back as a contractor and feel like I should have never left to anywhere else.
    NIH is a beacon of hope for excellence in biomedical research, and seems to withstand the damaging US government political scenario nowadays that is affecting other agencies very negatively (such as FDA< EPA, etc.). There seems to be a heroic resistance in NIH to still provide the best unbiased approach in scientific research and enterprise.


    As a Federal Agency, NIH is unfortunately subjected to some fluctuations in budget that may cause concerns, from temporary government shutdowns to labs closing out of funds (rarely happened).
    Research pace can sometimes be slow, depending on the lab where people work. To get things done, a lot of politics and pleasing administrative staff are required (supporting administrative staff are not necessarily in sync with research needs and may work in their own pace).

    Advice to Management

    Just keep maintaining the excellence and the excitement of cutting edge science and feeding the hope that we all deposit in this extremely important agency of research for our country, regardless the attempts of this current administration to dismiss everything that is public and good in this country.

See All 1,007 Reviews

NIH Photos

NIH photo of: Aerial view of NIH Main Campus
NIH photo of: The Louis Stokes Laboratories, also known as Building 50, on the NIH campus in Spring 2016.
NIH photo of: Aerial view of the Clinical Center (Building 10), NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
NIH photo of: The James H. Shannon building, also known as Building One, on the NIH campus in April of 2016. Credit: Lydia Polimeni, National Institutes of Health
NIH photo of: Smithsonian Institution Police Ofc. with Shadow and NIH Police
NIH photo of: Annual Veterans Day Celebration
See All PhotosSee All

NIH Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (2)  

    Post-Baccalaureate Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied in-person. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at NIH (Bethesda, MD) in August 2016.


    Sent an email to the PI. He met me the following week. We met at the NIH. I think it was helpful that I was already there. Otherwise, they usually conduct either a Skype or a phone interview. Some PIs will fly you in and interview in person.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to be in this lab? What are your future plans?   Answer Question
See All 154 Interviews

NIH Awards & Accolades

  • 2016 WorldatWork Work-Life Seal of Distinction, WorldatWork, 2016
  • 2016 Dean's Edition of US Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine's "Top Supporter", U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine, 2016
  • Universum's Top 100 Most Attractive Employers, Universum, 2016
  • Universum's Top 100 Most Attractive Employers, Universum, 2015
  • Top 20 Government Employers - Readers' Choice, Equal Opportunity Publications, 2012
See More

Work at NIH? Share Your Experiences

  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
Click to Rate