Volunteering at the NIH Clinical Center

Volunteer Opportunities

A smiling volunteer gets coffee.
Volunteers provide valued support to the NIH Clinical Center departments in the areas of customer service and program assistance.

Volunteer at the NIH Clinical Center

Consider Volunteering at the Clinical Center if you ...

  • Have a sincere interest in helping patients, families, and visitors
  • Are warm and empathetic towards others
  • Are willing to accept and follow hospital policies and procedures
  • Have a sense of responsibility and dependability
  • Are willing to learn and accept supervision
  • Have a professional and positive attitude
  • Want to make a difference in the community

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities focus on providing customer service and performing clerical and administrative tasks. Individuals can be detailed to inpatient or outpatient units and to medical teams or administrative departments. Some volunteer opportunities have been with:

  • Admissions Department
  • Hospitality Department
  • Medical Records
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Office of Communication and Media Relations
  • Office of Hospitality
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Outpatient Phlebotomy Department
  • Patient Recruitment Call Center
  • Perioperative Medicine
  • Pharmacy Department
  • Radiology and Imaging Services
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Medicine Department
  • Social Work Department
  • Surgical Family Waiting Room
  • The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge

Volunteer Placement and Shifts

Individuals are matched to specific volunteer positions based on their volunteer essay and availability. Specific volunteer positions are discussed during the interview process. Volunteer shifts primarily occur during weekdays and are typically between the hours of 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Typical shifts can be one to two days per week and between two to three hours in length.

Volunteer Commitment

Individuals interested in volunteering on an ongoing basis must commit to a minimum period of at least six months (unless otherwise pre-approved) and the hours agreed upon for the volunteer assignment. The hourly commitment per week is based on the volunteer assignment. Individuals are not permitted to volunteer more than eight hours per day.

Individuals interested in volunteering during the summer months (typically from June to August) must commit to a minimum period of at least eight weeks and the hours agreed upon for the volunteer assignment. Summer volunteers should submit a volunteer application and their two letters of reference no later than April of each year.

Volunteer Onboarding Process

Completion of the onboarding process can take up to four weeks.

Step 1: Submit a volunteer application and two letters of reference.
Step 2: Interview at NIH.
Step 3: Complete medical and security background clearances and attend a half day Clinical Center orientation.

Employment at the End of the Volunteer Services Program

A volunteer assignment is not given on the basis of future employment at the Clinical Center. The Volunteer Services Program can provide a letter of service to volunteers.


If you have additional questions about the Clinical Center Volunteer Program and current volunteer positions, please email: ClinicalCenterVolunteerProgram@mail.nih.gov

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This page last updated on 08/16/2022

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