NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship

Training the next generation of clinicians and physician-scientists



The mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Hematology Oncology Fellowship is to use the unique clinical and basic research resources of the NIH to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hematologic and oncologic diseases by developing and training the next generation of clinicians and physician scientists. This program is jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Top 10 Reasons to Do A Hematology Oncology Fellowship at NIH

  1. Unparalleled opportunity to work alongside and be mentored by top scientists and clinicians in cutting-edge research across the scientific spectrum, including basic science, cancer prevention, drug development, and clinical trials, such as the ones described in the Discovery documentary made at the NIH, First in Human.  Research is the antidote to burnout - no contest.
  2. Opportunity to train at world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research, alongside co-fellows from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, with medical training completed all over the world, and with diverse career goals and interests.  Training includes exceptional clinical rotations, dedicated time for didactics - every Friday! - quality improvement initiatives, and TRULY protected time for research. 
  3. Mentorship starting day 1 from program leadership and faculty who are dedicated to the NIH mission to attract “the most brilliant and promising clinical fellows from the United States and abroad.”  Passion, but not experience, required!  Despite being a large program, the program is close-knit and hands-on, with program leadership focused on fostering each fellow's professional growth, wellness, and work-life balance.
  4. Integration of clinical rotations at top area hospitals, including Georgetown, Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, to broaden fellows’ clinical training and exposure to standard of care and various academic institutions.
  5. Outstanding compensation, including salary, the ability to moonlight, and paid relocation.
  6. Non-competitive student loan repayment program for eligible fellows (YES - you can get your student loans repaid as a fellow!)
  7. Formal partnerships with government regulatory agencies, including FDA and CTEP - including opportunities to train at the FDA during your research years through the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force NCI-FDA IOTF.  Ability to earn an MPH through the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program track.  Ability to earn dual training in Hematology and Transfusion Medicine, with unparalleled opportunity to train within the NIH's own Blood Bank.
  8. Exceptional resources to support scholarly activity and research endeavors, including travel to national meetings, workshops, fellows' forums, grant writing resources, the Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences FAES - the NIH "University", etc.
  9. Numerous social events - including research, career development and team-building retreats - outdoor activities, and cultural amenities in the beautiful Washington, D.C. area.  
  10. Above all, the honor of caring for amazing, diverse patients from all over the U.S. and the world who come to the NIH hoping for a chance at therapies that might help themselves and others.


The storied history of medical hematology and oncology fellows at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dates back more than 80 years. Read more...


Faculty members Drs. Ramya Ramaswami and Kathyrn Lurain pose with three fellows they helped to mentor who each earned Young Investigator Awards from the American Society for Clinical Oncology
Faculty members Drs. Ramya Ramaswami and Kathyrn Lurain (l-r) pose with three fellows they helped to mentor who each earned Young Investigator Awards from the American Society for Clinical Oncology (l-r): Drs. Kamil Rechache, Parth Desai, and Thomas Odeny.

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center is among the world’s top cancer research facilities, where many important therapies have been pioneered, including CAR T-cell therapy and other immunotherapy approaches that use adoptive cell transfer. NIH is also involved in efforts to determine the most efficient and effective ways to evaluate new anticancer therapies, such as developing new clinical trial designs for precision medicine and immunotherapies.

The Hematology Oncology Fellowship program builds on NCI’s 50-plus-year involvement in cancer research linked to the discovery and development of approximately half of the chemotherapeutic drugs currently used by oncologists to treat cancer. Fellows also benefit from the extensive body of research conducted in benign hematology and hematologic malignancies within the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Learn more about NCI’s Center for Cancer Research advances and landmarks throughout the years.

Fellows are able to participate in the more than 350 clinical trials in oncology and hematology taking place at NIH, and they are able to serve as principal and/or associate investigators throughout their fellowships.

Fellows working with clinical teams have the opportunity to help design, write, and run clinical trials, and then analyze and publish their findings.

Productivity and PIs

Drs. Kevin Breen and Parth Desai have laboratory-based research projects.
Drs. Kevin Breen and Parth Desai in the lab.

The Hematology Oncology Fellowship is part of the National Institutes of Health’s intramural research program, as are the dozens of principal investigators that fellows can collaborate with during their time in the program.  Our fellows regularly publish papers and present posters, and they also have a good track record for making oral presentations and receiving grants.