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Become a Summer Intern

The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) offers a summer research internship for students interested in exploring careers in cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetics. The program is open to high school, college, and graduate students, including medical and dental students. Successful applicants join the Division for at least 8 weeks between May and September. Under the supervision of a Division researcher, summer interns conduct research in selected areas of epidemiologic investigation. Interns are encouraged to attend lectures offered under the NIH Summer Seminar Series, participate in DCEG meetings and seminars, attend formal NIH lectures and symposia, and participate in the NIH Summer Research Program Poster Day and the DCEG Poster Day.

What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology is often called the science of public health. It is described as the study of the distribution and determinants of disease risk in human populations. Epidemiologists study a diverse range of health conditions as well as the impact that various exposures have on the manifestation of disease. See the American College of Epidemiology.

DCEG Research

Most DCEG researchers work on analyses of large populations, cohort studies, and case-control studies.

Laboratory Research

DCEG offers a limited number of summer laboratory research positions, mostly in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics. Students who are interested in laboratory research should also visit the NIH Research and Training website for information about research at other NIH institutes.

Areas of Research


  • Population-based estimates of cancer risk
  • Methodology and survey research
  • Descriptive studies of cancer

Clinical Genetics

  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Hereditary bone marrow failure
  • Familiar testicular cancer

Genetic Epidemiology

  • Family cancer studies
  • Pharmacogenetic studies
  • Population genetics

Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology

  • Hormonally-related tumors
  • Human papillomaviruses
  • Rare malignancies

Infections and Immunoepidemiology

  • Prospective cohorts at high risk of AIDS
  • Oncogenic viruses
  • HIV and cancer

Nutritional Epidemiology

  • Diet and early life exposures
  • Gene-nutrition interactions
  • Vegetables, fruits, and micronutrients

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology

  • Pesticides and agricultural exposures
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Environmental exposures

Radiation Epidemiology

  • Medical radiation exposures
  • Occupational radiation exposures
  • Environmental radiation exposures

Translational Genomics

  • Bio-informatics
  • Advanced genetic analyses
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the application process start?
The application process begins in mid-November and ends on March 1st.

How long is a summer internship?
A typical summer internship lasts 8 to 10 weeks with a minimum requirement of 8 weeks. There is some flexibility depending on the student's schedule.

When does the summer internship start and end?
The internship begins in late May or early June and ends in August or September, but exact dates depend on the student's and the mentor's schedules.

Is the summer internship a paid position?
Yes. Summer interns receive a stipend based on academic level.

Where is the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) located?

DCEG is currently located on the NCI campus at 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850. Employee and validated parking will be available at the building.  Public transportation, using a combination of Metro and bus, is also available. The closest Metro stop is “Shady Grove” on the Red Line, from which NCI shuttle buses run regularly to the NCI campus. Find more transportation information.

Where can students live?
There are a variety of housing resources (see below) in the nearby surrounding areas, including Rockville and Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

Housing Information

Below are web sites which have information about available housing in the area.

NIH Fellows Handbook - Housing Information

Montgomery County Gazette Classifieds
Local county newspaper classified ads page with search capabilities for housing, employment, goods, and services.

Washington, DC Registry
The Washington, DC Registry is an Internet guide to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It has a comprehensive directory listing of Washington, DC area web sites, including housing rental ads.

International Student House (For men and women. Students only.)
1825 R St., N.W.
Washington D.C., 20009
(202)387-6445 or (202) 232-4007
Fax: (202) 387-4115
Metro: Dupont Circle - Red line

American University
Phone: (202) 885- 2599 or (202) 885- 3370
Metro: Tenleytown/ AU - Red line
Open: Mid-May through mid-August

Catholic University
Phone: (202) 319- 5277
Metro: Brookland/CUA Red line
Open: Mid May through mid-August

Georgetown University
Information about on- and off-campus housing.

George Washington University
Phone: (202) 994- 9193
Metro: Foggy Bottom Orange/Blue line
Open: Early May through mid-August

Howard University
Phone: (202) 806- 5661
Metro: Shaw/Howard - Green line
Open: June 1 through July 31

Summer Research Fellowship Program Catalog Living Arrangements
This list is provided by the NIH Office of Education to summer students.

Thompson-Markward Hall (For women aged 18 - 35 yrs. Mostly students and interns.)
235 2nd Street, N.E.
Washington D.C., 20002
(202) 546-3255 Metro: Union Station - Red line