Apply to the NEI’s Diversity in Vision Research and Ophthalmology program

The National Eye Institute seeks exceptional candidates for its Diversity in Vision Research and Ophthalmology program.

The mission of the NEI is to conduct and support research that helps prevent and treat eye diseases and other vision disorders. Because we believe that a diverse group of scientists plays a crucial role in accomplishing this mission, NEI seeks to increase the number of African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander scientists in vision research by promoting career development opportunities for science students interested in pursuing a career in research.

Training assignments

DIVRO offers participants the opportunity to work closely with leading NEI scientists. Training typically begins in May or June of the selection year for eight to 12 weeks on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. Students are provided a monthly stipend that is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The program is designed to:

  • Provide hands-on training in a research environment and an opportunity to present scientific research at NIH Poster Day.
  • Prepare students to continue their studies and advance their career in clinical and basic research.
  • Apply knowledge gained during their academic studies to actual experiences in a laboratory.

Eligibility requirements

  • Students 16 years of age and older who are enrolled at least half time in high school or in an accredited U.S. college, university, or professional (medical or veterinary) school.
  • Completed course work relevant to biomedical or statistical research.
  • Cumulative grade point average or science course GPA of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must not have a relative who works for the NEI.

Application process

  • Complete online application for the NIH Summer Internship Program at by March 1,  and indicate in Question #8: Preferred Institute: National Eye Institute (NEI).
  • In your Cover Letter, please indicate your interest in the DIVRO program.
  • Additionally, applicants must contact Cesar Perez-Gonzalez ( once the online application is completed.

Candidates will be selected based on their academic achievement, personal goals and interests, and letters of recommendation. The number of positions varies based on the availability of scientists, funds, and mentors.

Information about the DIVRO program:

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