NIH Record - National Institutes of Health


MI Program Opens Recruitment Season

Kathleen Tepas sits outside in front of the Capitol
Former MI Kathleen Tepas, in front of the U.S. Capitol early in her career

The NIH Management Intern (MI) Program recruitment season is underway, coordinated by the Training Center in the Office of Human Resources. The program offers highly motivated NIH employees an opportunity to transition from their current field into an administrative management career. 

“When I graduated from nursing school, my dream job was to help seriously ill children and their families navigate the difficult road to recovery,” recalled former MI Kathleen Tepas, legislative coordinator in NIAAA’s Office of Science Policy and Communications. “I immediately gravitated to the one hospital devoted to enhancing life and reducing the burden of disease and disability. Twenty years ago, I stepped nervously into the Clinical Center atrium on my very first day with a head full of ambition and a heart ready to support patients embarking bravely on biomedical research studies. 

“It was thrilling to be an active part of an incredible team devoted to conquering disease and bringing quality of life back to those who suffered in what can best be described as the heartbeat of the ‘National Institutes of Hope.’ Over the years I found myself more and more curious about how NIH operated as a federal agency…I was fortunate to discover NIH supports a program designed to expose scientific or medical personnel such as myself to [administrative] processes and was thrilled to be selected for the class of 2013.”

Management interns gain valuable experience and insight through rotations in a variety of administrative management areas for 2 years. Rotations are available in these career tracks:

  • Administrative Management
  • Financial Management
  • Grants Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Communications
  • Contracts Management
  • Information Technology Management
  • Management or Program Analysis

Program features include access to a senior-level mentor, an individual training budget, an opportunity to participate in challenging projects and committees, and face-to-face interactions with NIH leaders. 

“I was able to meet the executive officers of each of the institutes and centers, sit in on advisory council meetings and shadow our Health and Human Services colleagues downtown,” Tepas noted. “Through my various rotations I learned about the different grants available to researchers and the important steps needed to continue their efforts, from the first time a grant is reviewed to its renewal application seeking to expand on preliminary results. I was able to hear how NIH leaders and scientists share their findings at congressional briefings, highlighting the importance of continued research to develop new therapies and evidence-based prevention methods.

"Twenty years after that first step into the Clinical Center, I still work for an incredible team devoted to conquering disease and providing quality of life for those who suffer, but in a slightly different way…Had I not been part of the MI program and had the experiences I had, I might not be in the position I love now. Today I still enjoy the vast network of mentors and leaders I cultivated during my time as an intern. I continue to push my career to new horizons..I am grateful for the MI program jump-starting this exciting new career path and can’t wait to see where the next 20 years will take me at NIH.”

For program details, eligibility requirements and information on the application process, visit

A “Coffee with an MI,” run solely by current management interns, will be held on Mar. 9 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., via WebEx. Registrants can drop in to ask questions and hear more about MI experiences. To register, send an email to For reasonable accommodation to participate, email at least 4 days before the session.

The MI job vacancy announcement opens Mar. 22 and closes Mar. 26 in ( Current GS-7 through GS-12 NIH employees are invited to apply.

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

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