We view training at the NIH as a platform upon which to launch an independent career as a research rheumatologist. The fellowship and scholars programs provide up to seven years of post-residency training in basic, translational or clinical research. More advanced trainees who have established a productive research program, will be eligible for promotion to assistant clinical investigator positions, which come with independent laboratory and/or clinical resources, allowing for further development and preparation for a tenure track independent position at the NIH or other academic medical centers.
NIH funds this training through the intramural research program, allowing trainees maximum independence to pursue high-risk, high-reward research, while maintaining a high level of productivity. Advanced trainees are eligible to apply for the NIH K99/R00 pathway to independence award, which provides up to $750,000 in grant support over three years for those trainees who choose to move to faculty positions outside of the NIH.
Those who stay at the NIH are eligible to apply for the Lasker Scholars program, a faculty development program for translational investigators at the NIH.
Alumni of the NIH rheumatology fellowship program have pursued varied careers at the NIH, academic medical centers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, and at the FDA.