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Department of Laboratory Medicine

Microbiology Fellowship

Microbiology fellows


The NIH Department of Laboratory Medicine Microbiology Fellowship is a two-year postdoctoral training program accredited by the Committee on Postgraduate Educational Programs (CPEP) of the American Society of Microbiology.

The program is designed to develop knowledge and skills in diagnostic microbiology, clinical consultation related to microbiology and infectious diseases, and clinical laboratory management. A strong emphasis is also placed on laboratory research, particularly on the development of new diagnostic tests and on collaborative projects performed in conjunction with clinical protocols ongoing at the NIH. Fellows are eligible to take the American Board of Medical Microbiology certification exam upon completion of their fellowship.

There are two fellowships available total. Fellowships most often begin in July. An additional fellowship slot is available for individuals who bring their own funding.

Please view the CPEP website for more information about Microbiology fellowships.

Program Structure

During the first year in the program, fellows will spend designated lengths of time in each of the Microbiology sections: specimen processing, bacteriology, mycology & mycobacteriology, parasitology, and molecular diagnostics. Fellows are expected to become knowledgeable in the technical and theoretical aspects of the tests used in each section, the clinical and microbiological importance of organisms, and the types of problems encountered in the section. After a few months of laboratory training, the fellow assumes on-call responsibilities (on a rotating basis) to address problems or special requests that may arise on weekends and evenings. The individual on-call also organizes and presents daily laboratory rounds to the infectious disease consultants.

During the latter part of the first year and into the second year, the fellow does rotations in Pharmacy, Hospital Epidemiology, and Public Health as well as in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases services of large teaching hospitals in the DC area. Later on in the second year, the fellow returns to one or two subspecialty sections in the Microbiology Service for a longer period of time. During this second rotation, the fellow is given the responsibility of overseeing the section and becomes more deeply involved with method development for the section, trouble shooting and problem solving, serving as the technical and clinical consultant for the technologists and the supervisor of the section.

Involvement in research projects is required after completion of the initial the rotation through the sections. Appropriate types of research include development of new diagnostic tests, review and analysis of laboratory data to help determine laboratory policies, and collaboration on clinical studies that have a microbiologic component.

Eligibility Requirements

Qualified candidates must have an MD, PhD, DSc, or equivalent degree and no more than 1-2 years of postdoctoral or residency experience U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizenship are eligible to apply. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Visa assistance is available through the NIH's Division of International Services.

How to Apply

Please apply online through CPEP's online portal.


The application period for the 2020 fellowship position is closed.

For fellowships starting in July 2021, applications are open from July 2020 - January 2021.

Program Contacts

Dr. Adrian M. Zelazny, PhD, D(ABMM), Fellowship Director

Current Fellows

Arthur H. Totten, PhD
Arthur H. Totten, PhD
2020-2022 Fellow
Graduate Training: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Craig D. Soutar, PhD
Craig D. Soutar, PhD
2021–2023 Fellow
Graduate Training: University of Regina, Canada

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This page last updated on 05/25/2022

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