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NSF 24-083

Dear Colleague Letter: Graduate Research Internships at National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NSF-NIBIB/BETA INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity

April 30, 2024

Dear Colleague:

Fostering the growth of a globally competitive and diverse research workforce and advancing the scientific and innovation skills of the Nation is a strategic objective of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF and Center for Biomedical Engineering Technology Acceleration (BETA) housed in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)- National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have entered into a partnership to support the training of graduate students to meet both the NSF's strategic workforce development objectives as well the NIBIB's mission to transform through engineering the understanding of disease and its prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment and NIBIB's support of the next generation of diverse, interdisciplinary researchers across the career continuum.

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) describes this unique partnership with NIBIB/BETA and is aligned with and conforms with the NSF INTERN opportunity described in the Dear Colleague Letter: Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity. This DCL is referred to as the NSF - NIBIB/BETA INTERN DCL.

Recipients submitting an INTERN supplemental funding request are required to have a policy or code of conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault. For more information, read about NSF policies regarding harassment.


NSF will consider supplemental funding requests that enable a Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI to request up to six months of additional support for a graduate student supported on an active NSF award with the following goals:

  • To provide graduate students with the opportunity to augment their research assistantships or NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellowships with non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training.
  • To allow graduate students to engage in professional development experiences that will enhance their preparation for multiple career pathways after graduation.
  • To encourage the participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


Recipients with awards that include funding for graduate students, including institutional Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards, are eligible to submit a supplemental funding request. The PI for an active GRFP fellowship (not the GRFP fellow) should contact GRFP ( regarding specific requirements before submitting a supplemental funding request on behalf of a GRFP fellow.

To be supported through an INTERN supplement responding to this DCL, graduate students (including graduate research fellows) being considered must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate programs (master's or doctoral), be in good academic standing and demonstrate satisfactory progress towards their research.


PIs and co-PIs of NSF grants and the research advisor of the GRFP fellows are encouraged to contact Dr. Manu Platt ( at NIBIB/BETA, to explore suitable opportunities for research traineeships at NIBIB/BETA in Bethesda, Maryland, for the graduate students who are supported on their NSF grants.


Information about requesting supplemental support is contained in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter VI.E.5. In addition to the PAPPG requirements for supplemental support, the following materials must be included.

  1. The first line of the Summary of Proposed Work must include the NSF-NIBIB/BETA INTERN DCL title and NSF publication number and include these components:
    1. A two-page summary that describes the internship
    2. A one-page personal statement from the graduate student describing career goals, accomplishments, and how the activity will better prepare the individual to enter the workforce.

  2. Under supplementary documents provide the following:
    1. A resume of the graduate student (up to 2 pages) that contains (but not limited to) the following information:
      1. Research summary to include contribution(s) to research discipline
      2. Educational Preparation
        1. Institution(s)
        2. Major(s)
        3. Year of study (1st year, 2nd year, etc.)
        4. Completed coursework
      3. Employment and volunteer/outreach history
      4. Publications (accepted only)
      5. Other information relevant to the proposed internship

    Graduate students supported by funding described in this DCL are encouraged to register for an ORCID ID and for this identifier to be provided to NSF in the student's resume as well as the PI's annual project report. ORCID® ( is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. An ORCID identifier provides a unique and persistent digital identifier to distinguish individual researchers. While NSF encourages the use of an ORCID ID, submission of the ORCID ID is optional.

    1. A letter of collaboration from an authorized official at the host organization that describes the internship opportunity and mentoring the student will experience during the internship.
    2. An endorsement letter from the PI that confirms that the student meets the eligibility requirements specified in this DCL. The letter must describe how the proposed internship activity will contribute to the student's graduate education experience and how it may impact time to degree.

  3. A budget and a clear justification for all requested budget costs.


The total amount of funding requested must not exceed $55,000 per student for one six-month period. NSF plans to fund about 5-10 supplements per fiscal year, depending on the availability of funds.


The supplement funding will provide up to six months of support for an internship. Note: only one supplemental funding request may be submitted for a given student. A PI or co-PI may submit no more than one request per year of their award if there are multiple graduate students supported by the award, with the exception that GRFP will consider requests for internships for more than one GRFP Fellow from a single GRFP award.


Supplemental funding requests may be submitted at any time.


Requests for supplemental funding must be submitted via A PI or Co-PI with an NSF award should contact the program director who manages the award prior to submission. GRFP INTERN supplement requests are submitted by the GRFP PI, not by the GRFP fellow or the fellow's research advisor. Requests for supplemental funding submitted in response to this DCL will be reviewed internally by NSF program directors. All supplements are subject to (a) the availability of funds and (b) merit review of the supplemental funding request.


Intellectual Property Rights: Internships under this DCL are considered equivalent to traineeships. The National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering claims no rights to any inventions or writings that might result from its traineeship awards. However, trainees should be aware that NSF, another Federal agency, or some private party may acquire such rights through other support for particular research. Also, trainees should note their obligation to include an Acknowledgment and Disclaimer in any publication.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Prakash Balan,


Susan Marqusee, Assistant Director
Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)

Dilma Da Silva, Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

James L. Moore III, Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EDU)

Susan Margulies, Assistant Director
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)

Alexandra Isern, Assistant Director
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)

C. Denise Caldwell, Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

Alicia Knoedler, Office Head
Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Kendra Sharp, Office Head
Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE)

Sylvia M. Butterfield, Assistant Director
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)

Erwin Gianchandani, Assistant Director
Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnership (TIP)