BESIP Application Information

BESIP Eligibility 

Below are requirements for the Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program:
  • Applicant must have completed at least three years (6 semesters or 9 quarters) of undergraduate study in a biomedical engineering or bioengineering degree program by the start of the 2020 summer, i.e. be the equivalent of a rising senior.
  • Applicant must plan to be returning to undergraduate school for at least one term following the summer BESIP internship.
  • Applicant must be a United States citizen or permanent resident attending college in the U.S.
  • Because of the structure of the program, the orientation procedures and the planned group activities, the student must be present on the Bethesda campus to participate in the entire ten-week program between June 1, 2020 and August 7, 2020. Please do not apply if any other plans would preclude you from being present for the full 10 weeks. It is possible for quarter term students to attend the full 10 weeks if they can get permission from their professors to take some final exams proctored at NIH.

How to Apply to BESIP

This is a photo of a student pipetting in a research labBESIP uses the same application form as SIP. BESIP is a special Subprogram of SIP and BESIP must be selected in the drop-down box of Section 9 of the regular SIP application form. The BESIP selection and mentor matching process differs from the SIP hiring process. BESIP asks that you do NOT call any mentors on the project list until you have been selected as an intern for the BESIP program. This process differs from the regular SIP project matching system which is the process described on the SIP website. 

The on-line application form will require the following four items, which will be used in selecting the interns:

1. A resume, which should contain:

  • Addresses and phone numbers for both school and permanent residence
  • An e-mail address
  • A statement affirming the U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status of the applicant
  • Information about the student's education, recent work experience, activities and awards

2. An unofficial transcript or listing of courses and grades (copy and paste into the online application). NOTE: an official transcript will be requested of the selected interns before they start the internship program.

3. A written essay briefly discussing items such as:

  • Career goals
  • Technical and research interests
  • Reasons for applying for the BESIP 
  • Potential benefits that will come about as a result of the student's participation in BESIP

Information listed in item 3 constitutes the "Cover Letter" mentioned in Section 6 of the online application form. The Essay and the Cover Letter are one and the same. 

4. Two letters of recommendation: These letters should come from individuals who are familiar with the student's academic or work performance, such as faculty or supervisor, and who can comment on their suitability for this program. Requests for these letters of recommendation will be sent automatically from the online web application system via e-mail to the two recommenders listed in the application. Only after you complete your own online application will the recommenders be given instructions for submitting the letters of recommendation directly to the online system.

The intern selection process will be performed by a panel of NIH scientists using a scoring system based on the information submitted in the four items of the application.


BESIP Deadlines

The BESIP deadlines are different from the SIP program, which are stated on the SIP web. It is the applicants’ responsibility to be sure that all application materials, including letters of recommendation, are submitted on time for BESIP.

  • The deadline for submitting the online application is February 03, 2020.
  • The deadline for reference letters is February 10, 2020.
  • Notification of selected interns will be on or about February 24, 2020.
  • Intern must accept or decline by March 09, 2020.


Other NIH Summer Programs

Applicants who are not selected for the BESIP will automatically have their BESIP applications released for viewing by the general NIH staff so that the applicant may become eligible for hiring into the regular summer internship program (SIP). Any inquiries about admission to SIP must be made to the Office of Education and Training, Dr. Yeown Cheon (cheony@mail.nih.gov) and not to BESIP.


Stipend and Benefits

The BESIP summer stipend is approximately $5600 for the 10 week program. The amount is based on the NIH Policy Manual for Intramural Research and Training Awards (IRTA) stipends for the Summer Internship Program (SIP) as a rising senior. A small stipend supplement is often available to STEM interns to cover the high cost of living in the DC area. Stipends will be dispensed in arrears as a prorated amount at the end of the months of June, July and August for the ten-week duration of the program. BESIP interns frequently elect to share local housing to reduce the housing costs. Information about housing can be found at the Office of Intramural Education and Training (OITE) website https://www.training.nih.gov/assets/Moving_Guide.pdf. The intern must pay any travel expenses to and from NIH from the summer stipend.