NIH -It’s Not Impossible!

Miriam Van Dyke, 2nd year Epidemiology Student 

Those three initials… N… I… H… What do they really mean? Of course, many public health people are well aware that NIH stands for the National Institutes of Health. However, for me during my first year at the Rollins School of Public Health those initials meant more like “Never in Heck”—meaning never would I ever have an opportunity to work there—it’s a nationally recognized, and prestigious public health institution. It’s like the F.B.I for criminal justice majors or Google/Apple for technology people.

As a first-year at Rollins, I was in search for internship opportunities to satisfy my 200-hr practicum requirement as a MPH Epidemiology student. Luckily, I came across a wonderful program, the Introduction to Cancer Research Careers Program at NIH ( and applied. I am telling you this long rant of a story just to say that I fully believe that the only reasons I was accepted into this Summer fellowship program was because of 1.) an amazing recommendation from a professor here at Rollins 2.) the coursework I had completed at Rollins 3.) the research experiences I had completed at Rollins (e.g. working for the Georgia Center for Cancer Statistics—housed in Rollins– ).

My time at NIH was amazing. I worked in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in the National Cancer Institute (that was a mouth full). I highly recommend seeking out internship opportunities well in advance and to never stop yourself from applying just because you think “N.I.H.”

Poster presentation on research done while working for the NIH


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