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National Institutes of Health

March 27, 2009

Summer opportunities available for students and teachers through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Raynard S. Kington, M.D., NIH Acting Director

From the NIH Acting Director—

We need your help. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5, has provided NIH yet another opportunity to stimulate science across the country and NIH.

NIH is especially pleased about the opportunity to provide summer research experiences for students and science educators as supplements to existing, funded research grants. We are reaching out to active grantee institutions/organizations with NIH research grants to promote job creation and economic development and to accelerate the pace and achievement of scientific research through these novel supplements. Engaging students and educators in groundbreaking scientific research will allow young people to connect with the excitement of biomedical innovation, and teachers to reconnect with state-of-the-art science. ARRA-supported opportunities will help students interested in research to chart a path toward meaningful careers, working to improve public health.

This is a unique opportunity for students to be a member of a research team already in place. NIH-funded institutions are in the process of requesting and potentially receiving supplements to existing NIH projects that will be dedicated to supporting these summer research experiences. When these institutions receive funds, they and/or their NIH supported investigators will begin posting opportunities. We will provide additional information about these opportunities and the best ways to contact grantee institutions on this Web site as it become available.

a photo of a scientist measuring a green liquid.

In the mean time, teachers and students interested in pursuing a research experience this summer can look at a clickable map of research institutions ( that receive NIH funding and/or at our database of NIH-funded projects to identify institutions that have scientific projects of interest.

The only way this will work effectively with the summer so near, is if laboratories apply for the supplements, and make these opportunities known, and work diligently in matching students to appropriate laboratories. We need to do real matchmaking. These funds are intended for new "hires" for the summer, not to support students who are already on funded mechanisms. We know time is short. Please help us spread the word by sharing information with students and teachers who might be interested.

This special ARRA program is designed to assist students and educators with professional development by offering them new experiences and helping them foster a lifelong interest in science. NIH is hopeful that it will be able to provide at least $20M to support 4,000-6,000 students and/or teachers through summer experience supplements.

These are the basics, but the big picture is that NIH is offering an extraordinary opportunity to engage the next generation of scientists working within our own research environments. We also have an opportunity to affect teachers and to help keep their interests lively. We will make every effort through our new site ( to help both students who are interested and investigators who are willing make matches.

This is a time of great opportunity for which we are grateful to the President and Congress. I urge you to keep track of growing NIH opportunities at and

I invite you to share any comments you have with me, directly, at

Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Acting Director National Institutes of Health

For information about NIH programs, useful health information, and additional resources, see the NIH web site at An archive of the Director's Newsletter is available at
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