Scholars in Translational Research Program

Program Overview

As part of its commitment to train the next generation of leaders in rheumatology research and education, the Intramural Research Program of the NIAMS created the Henry Metzger and Lawrence Shulman Scholars Programs in Translational Research. These programs are designed to give outstanding candidates advanced training in rheumatology and related fields in genetics, immunology and inflammation biology after completing clinical training in adult or pediatric rheumatology, and to create a bridge for these advanced trainees to progress to independently-funded positions.

The Shulman Scholars Program, for those pursuing primarily clinically-based research, is named for Lawrence E. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., the first Director of the NIAMS and a noted clinician-investigator. The Metzger Scholars Program, for those pursuing primarily lab-based research, is named for Henry Metzger, M.D., a distinguished immunologist and the first Scientific Director of Intramural Research at the NIAMS.

Program Details

Scholars are fully funded for up to four years, including tuition support for a master’s degree from the Duke-NIH program in clinical research. They will work under the supervision of a NIAMS or other NIH senior faculty member, and will have access to the extensive core facilities at the NIAMS and other institutes on the main NIH research campus in Bethesda, MD. Scholars will have the opportunity to write and carry out investigational clinical trials at the NIH clinical research center, the world’s largest and most advanced research hospital, winner of the 2011 Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award for excellence in biomedical and translational research.

Scholars working on more clinical projects are eligible for the Duke-NIH training program in clinical research leading to a Master's degree in Health Science. Scholars normally undergo up to four years of mentored training, as part of a pathway towards an independent research career. Depending on productivity, Scholars will be eligible for promotion to assistant clinical investigator positions or tenure-track faculty positions at the NIH, including the Lasker Scholars program a faculty development program for translational investigators at the NIH.


Trainees who have completed accredited rheumatology training at the NIH or other U.S. training programs are eligible to apply for the scholars program. Scholars are expected to contribute to clinical activities through teaching in the outpatient clinics, attending on the consult service, taking calls, and initiating and working with patients on NIAMS or related clinical protocols. However, no more than one month a year of clinical service work not directly related to their research activities will be expected.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send inquiries to NIH faculty members and to Dr. Robert Colbert, Clinical Director, NIAMS, at General inquiries can be sent to

Applicants must submit a CV and statement of research interests by March 1 in the year they intend to start the program. Applicants must be accepted into a lab or research group related to rheumatology research at the NIH prior to starting the program.