Future leaders joined their hosts on the NIEHS patio.
Photo: Steve McCaw
A cadre of future NIH science management and policy leaders made a trek recently from Bethesda to North Carolina. Eighteen Presidential management fellows and NIH management interns traveled to NIEHS to learn about the institute and its programs and speak with staff about potential intern rotations.
The Presidential Management Fellowship is a federal government-wide program that NIH has participated in since 1985. PMFs develop rotational assignments across the various institutes and centers in a broad range of administrative and research support areas including budget and finance, outreach and communications, information technology, grants management, program and management analysis, contracts management, human resources and general administration.
The NIH Management Intern Program was established in 1957 and has trained more than 400 interns. The program offers the opportunity for highly motivated employees to explore different administrative fields, gain invaluable insight into science management and change careers within NIH.
During their visit, the future management leaders were given an overview of NIEHS history and current strategic planning efforts and viewed a video on the field of environmental health, created by the American Public Health Association for the 100th anniversary of its environment section, which features many NIEHS grantees. The visitors then had an opportunity to meet and hear the career stories of former PMFs and MIs who are now working at NIEHS.
After a walking tour of the institute and lunch in the cafeteria, the interns learned about some of the institute’s unique programs through presentations by senior staff. The day was rounded out with a presentation and driving tour of the area.
NIEHS Executive Officer Joellen Austin, whose office sponsored the trip, says that the visit was important. “It provides up-and-coming leaders at NIH insight into who we are and what we do here that they might not otherwise get because we’re not on NIH’s main campus,” she said. “It’s a good recruitment tool as well as another way to keep NIEHS integrated with all of the other NIH ICs.”—Kimberly Thigpen Tart