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Future Research Leaders Conference

June 29-30, 2021 | Virtual

Discover Scientific Opportunities at NIH

The Future Research Leaders Conference (FRLC) was a career development opportunity for talented early-career scientists interested in pursuing careers at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) world-class Intramural Research Program (IRP).

The 2021 FRLC was a 2-day virtual conference held Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29-30, 2021. The FRLC provided the selected FRLs an opportunity to showcase their research and learn about the pathways for joining the IRP at NIH, the largest biomedical research institution in the world, with approximately 1,200 principal investigators (PIs) and more than 4,000 postdoctoral fellows. During the conference, FRLs learned from NIH leadership and tenure-track investigators about strategies for developing an independent research career at NIH. FRLs connected with scientists from across many of NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers, including in their scientific focus areas.

Note: Dr. Marie A. Bernard highlights the virtual 2021 FRLC in her blog post on April 15, 2021.


NIH IRP Careers

The NIH IRP offers an unparalleled opportunity to pursue a tenure-track career with vast research resources, mentoring of junior PIs, and collaboration and networking opportunities with leading scientists at and outside of NIH. Pathways for joining the IRP include, but are not limited to:

  • The Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigators program recruits upwards of 10 researchers each year. This program’s approach allows candidates to bring their creative ideas to the NIH and if selected, NIH works to create a tenure-track position in one of the ICs to match that talent.

  • The Lasker Clinical Research Scholars program provides a unique opportunity for clinician-scientists to receive a combination of intramural and extramural support. The program aims to support early-stage clinical researchers in their development to fully independent positions.

  • The Distinguished Scholars Program (DSP) aims to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community within the IRP. 15 principal investigators from underrepresented groups in biomedical research are selected each year and provided with mentoring and other professional development activities that foster research and career success.

  • The Independent Research Scholar Program focuses on building workforce diversity of independent research scientists by selecting scholars who have a commitment to building a diverse IRP. Scholars will be independent, non-tenure track Principal Investigators.

FRLC Eligibility

We welcome applications from scientists with the following qualifications:

  • Postdoctoral or junior faculty investigator currently active in biomedical or behavioral research and no more than 10 years post-conferral of PhD, MD, MD/PhD, or other doctoral degree.

  • Working toward an independent research career with career goals aligned with the NIH and IRP mission.

  • Demonstrated leadership experience and promotion of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the biomedical research workforce.

Please note the additional eligibility criteria below:

  • Applicants may be U.S. citizens, resident aliens, or non-resident aliens with, or eligible to obtain, a valid employment-authorization visa. These criteria are similar for the Intramural Research Program (IRP) career pathways, such as the Stadtman program and other tenure-track positions.

  • All scientists, including current NIH staff, who meet the other qualifications and eligibility criteria are eligible to apply.

For questions about the FRLC, email:


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