NIH Clinical Bioethics Predoctoral Fellowship

Supports two years of research in the field of bioethics at the NIH.

The Department of Bioethics is pleased to offer a limited number of two-year post-doctoral and post-baccalaureate fellowships. Fellows will have the opportunity to learn many aspects of bioethics and will develop and implement an independent scholarship agenda, with guidance from faculty mentors. Fellows participate in the activities and the intellectual life of the department, and study ethical issues related to conduct of research, clinical practice, genetics, and health policy.

Fellowships are two years in length and stipends are based on the applicant's previous experience and the current US government schedule. Past post-doctoral fellows have gone on to academic careers in philosophy, medicine, law, science, health policy, political science, and related departments; some are also active in legal practice, the medical field, and in government jobs. Past post-baccalaureate fellows have attended top graduate programs in numerous fields including medicine, law, public health, health policy, psychology and sociology.

Deadline Information

Application Deadline for Post-doctoral Fellowship Program: Thursday, December 31, 2020

Application Deadline for Post-baccalaureate Fellowship: Friday, January 15, 2021


Post-baccalaureate and post-doctoral fellows participate in weekly bioethics seminars, case conferences, ethics consultations, and IRB deliberations, and have access to multiple educational opportunities at NIH. Fellows conduct mentored conceptual and empirical research related to the ethics of health policy, human subjects research, international research ethics, genetics, or other bioethical topics of interest. For a typical fellow, this research yields multiple first-authored publications in premier academic journals.

Eligibility Requirements


Eligibility Criteria:

Post-baccalaureate fellows:

  1. Completed or expected to complete undergraduate or masters degree prior to start of fellowship;
  2. Completion of undergraduate degree no more than 3 years prior to start of the fellowship; completion of masters no more than 6 months prior to start of the fellowship;
  3. Planning to pursue MD, JD, PhD or other degree in related field;
  4. Applicant must be a US citizen;

Post-doctoral fellows:

  1. Completed or expected to complete graduate degree (MD, JD, PhD or other in related field) prior to start of fellowship;
  2. Completion of terminal graduate degree no more than 5 years prior to the fellowship.

Application Process

All complete applications are reviewed by multiple internal reviewers to evaluate academic achievements, analytical thinking, and ability to contribute to bioethics scholarship. A small number of applicants are invited for interviews. Selection is very competitive: completion of an application does not guarantee a slot.