Colgate University
Study Group
@The National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Colgate University offers a rare opportunity for undergraduate students interested in the biomedical sciences to spend a full semester working in some of the most exciting, "cutting edge" research laboratories in the world while still meeting the course requirements of their undergraduate curricula.

What is the NIH Study Group?

The NIH Study Group is a 14-week academic program that takes place on site at the National Insititutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland. The study group is on site during the fall semester each year. Historically, most participants have been full-time matriculated students at Colgate, but the group is now open to a few outstanding students from other campuses who have met the criteria for admission.

Where is the NIH Study Group?

The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland serves as the Federal focal point for biomedical research in the United States. The 300-acre campus houses over 5000 active researchers in 70 buildings. The goal of the NIH is to promote basic and clinical research to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability, and to improve the health of the country and the world. In addition, the NIH serves as a training ground for both research investigators and students interested in careers in biomedical research.

Bethesda, MD and the NIH are just 10 miles north of Washington, DC--the thriving metropolitan area of our nation's capital. The Medical Center stop on the Metro underground is nine stops north of Metro Center Washington on the Red Line, toward Shady Grove. Housing for study group participants is in Rockville, near the Twinbrook Station on the Metro. Congressional Towers and Rollins Park apartments are directly behind the Congressional Shopping Center at Rockville Pike.

Why Go to NIH?

The NIH attracts some of the world's best scienctists, and produces some of the world's best science. Four Nobelists made their prize-winning discoveries in NIH laboratories: Doctors: Christian B. Anfinsen, Julius Axelrod, D. Carleton Gajdusek, and Marshall W. Nirenberg. Another 79 Nobel Prizes have gone to scientists whose work has been supported by funds from the NIH program. The level of excitement in scientific discovery is unmatched. A typical day at the NIH is so packed with lectures and public programs that the campus has its own daily news sheet just to keep its population informed.

The National Library of Medicine, located on the NIH campus, is the world's largest medical library. Its collection of 5 million medical books, journals, pamphlets, rare manuscripts, films, and other items has been called the "Fort Knox of health information." The Library produces Index Medicus, a comprehensive monthly listing of articles appearing in the world's leading medical journals. The Library also operates a computerized Index Medicus, known as MEDLINE, and has pioneered the introduction of large medical bibliographic data bases.

Students who have gone on previous NIH Study Groups with Colgate University since the program's inception in 1992 have gone on to medical school, graduate school, jobs at the NIH and other prestigious positions. Their NIH experience has put them among the nation's top science undergraduates and most desirable candidates for jobs and graduate study. For many, the semester at NIH has resulted in publications and presentations at regional and national meetings. A semester at NIH positions you for a bright future in biomedical research and the health sciences.

Who Oversees the Study Group?

The NIH Study Group is sponsored and administered by Colgate University. Students on the groups are accompanied to Bethesda by a Study Group Leader--a full-time faculty member in the sciences at Colgate University--who is familiar with the workings of the study group. This person remains in Bethesda for the duration of the semester and acts as the liaison between study group memegbers and the NIH. She or he also oversees such administrative matters as housinig, course credit, laboratory placement, and student life.

The Academic Program

The academic program on the NIH Study Group is a challenging combination of scientific research and traditional classroom-based courses.

What Courses Do Students Take?

The hallmark of the off-campus program at NIH is the intensive laboratory experience involving 30+ hours of research per week. Participants will be affiliated with an NIH research lab for the duration of the semseter. There they will participate in an ongoing research project related to the research program of the host lab. This experience will count as the equivalent of two college science courses. At the end of the semester, their work will be evaluated by their NIH mentor and the Colgate Study Group Leader. Grades will be assigned by the Study Group leader in consultation with the laboratory mentor.

In addition, students will enroll in two classroom-based courses: All students are required to participate in a seminar course that addresses current topics in biomedical research. Additional courses in science and the liberal arts vary from year to year, but the 1998 group will have the option of taking Biochemistry or Medicinal Organic Chemistry.

What is the Academic Calender?

The NIH Study Group is on site in Bethesda from Labor Day until mid-December. There is a two-day fall break in October and a two day break at Thanksgiving. Students are required to be in residence for the duration of the semester.

What are the Financial Arrangements?

Students who are selected for the group will remain enrolled at their home institutions and pay tuition as they normally do. Students will receive a transcript and course credit from their home institutions. Colgate will arrange with the home institution to collect tuition equivalent to that paid for one semester at the home campus, and a modest administrative fee. In the past, Colgate has made these arrangements by entering a one-time consortium agreement with the home college or university. Each student will be resposible for housing and incidental costs, including meals, transportation and entertainment.

Application Information

Applications are due by November 15 of the year prior to the study group. Students will be notified of their acceptance status by December 15, and will be expected to notify Colgate of their decision to attend the program by January 10. Download your application today. If you don't have Acrobat reader you must download it first.

For information about fees and application procedures, write to:

Mr. Ken Lewandoski
NIH Study Group Information
Off Campus Study
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
send email to:

For information about the academic program, write to:

Nancy Pruitt, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Colgate University
Hamilton, NY 13346
send email to:
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