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Sabbatical in Clinical Research Management: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Purpose and Mission

Q. Why is the Clinical Center offering this Sabbatical?
Re-engineering the clinical research enterprise—including training in the discipline—is one of the initiatives in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research (now the NIH Common Fund), launched in 2004. The Clinical Center's sabbatical program is an innovative approach to assuring leadership in clinical research, which will lead—in turn—to more rapidly moving advancements in medical science to improvements in health and health care for all. This program will provide management training to help ensure that participants have the knowledge and skills to develop clinical and translational research programs with safe, ethical, and efficient standards.

Q. How does the Clinical Center's unique mission and environment compliment the program?
The NIH Clinical Center is the nation's clinical research hospital and the world's largest hospital devoted exclusively to clinical research. Here, individuals can learn about how to manage a complex clinical and translational research enterprise. The Clinical Center is truly a place for learning and discovery, with approximately 1,500 studies in progress at any given time. In this context, sabbatical participants will be focused on learning management skills and growing their careers. And since training and education of clinical researchers are pillars of the CC mission, you can be certain that you will be guided by experienced professionals who care about your skill development.

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Q: Who is eligible to participate in this program?
Extramural professionals and NIH investigators with at least seven years of meaningful clinical research experience beyond the advanced degree in their field are eligible to apply. Typically, candidates should fit in one of the following categories:

  • Principal investigator conducting research
  • Administrative professionals managing a clinical research program
  • Healthcare professionals managing a clinical research program
  • Institutional officers overseeing research

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Q. How do I apply to this program?
To apply, please email your curriculum vitae and personal statement (500 word maximum) to Based on your personal statement and CV, you may be invited for a phone interview. Acceptance into the program is based upon an individual's eligibility, professional experiences, sabbatical goals, and space in the program. Please remember that if you are accepted into the program, a letter from the dean or supervisor indicating his/her support of your participation is required.

Q: Can non-US citizens apply to this program?
Yes, non-US citizens may apply to the program. However, prior to applying, non-US citizens working internationally must already have approval to enter the U.S. prior to participating. Acceptance into the program is based upon an individual's eligibility, professional experiences, sabbatical goals, and space in the program.

Q: How soon should I apply for the Sabbatical program?
Please apply at least 12 weeks before you wish to begin your sabbatical experience. This allows for processing of your application and a phone interview. You may apply as soon as you have the endorsement of your current employer (if applicable) and have an approximate start and end dates for your stay.

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Program Information

Q. How long will it take to complete the program?
Sabbaticals last approximately 1 to 3 months. Each sabbatical experience is tailored to the unique interests of each participant. All sabbatical participants will be encouraged to complete an online training in advance of arrival. Sabbatical experiences can occur simultaneously with another fellowship or clinical research program with approval of the participant's fellowship or program supervisor. Each participant will be required to establish a learning plan before beginning the sabbatical which outlines their elective schedule. NIH Clinical Center staff will assist in this process as needed.

Q. Are there certain core electives I am required to take within the program?
No. There are no "required" electives. Within each of the six modules, you may take the electives you think will further your goals for the program.

Q. Will I receive any type of degree or certificate upon completion of the Sabbatical?
NIH does not grant accredited degrees. However, participants who complete the Sabbatical in Clinical Research Management will receive a certificate of completion signed by the Clinical Center Director and the Director of the CC Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education.

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International Applicants

Q. When should I apply to the program?
Non-US citizens must apply to the program at least 12 weeks (3 months) prior to your desired start date.
Q. If I apply, am I automatically accepted into the program?
No. In order to participate in the program, you must apply and be selected to participate. The following procedures must be followed in order to be considered for acceptance:

1. You must submit a completed application online. In order for your application to be reviewed, you must include your most current curriculum vitae and complete all fields in the application.

2. Under some instances, you may be invited to take part in a phone interview.

3. After your phone interview, you may be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency in the form of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. You can request the score be sent to use from the ETS using the NIH TOEFL Code: 5499.

4. We will review your completed application. If you are accepted into the program, you will receive a contingent approval letter from the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education.

5. Within seven business days of receiving your contingent approval letter, you must submit a copy of your B1/J1 Visa or J2 Visa with EAD card. These are the only acceptable visas to participate in the sabbatical program.

6. You must also submit copies of the following:

a. A copy of your I-94
b. Proof of private health insurance with English translation
c. Highest earned degree with English translation

7. Once all of these items are submitted, they are sent to the NIH Division of International Services. Your acceptance and start date are subject to approval by the NIH Division of International Services (DIS) and availability. You must submit all of the required documentation in order to be considered for full acceptance in the NIH Clinical Center Sabbatical in Clinical Research Management.

Q. When can I begin my sabbatical?
Typically, you must wait at least 90 days from the time that you receive a contingent approval letter to receive full acceptance and begin your sabbatical. Your acceptance and start date are subject to approval by the NIH Division of International Services (DIS) and availability.

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Program-Specific Elements

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This page last updated on 08/10/2018

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