The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship Program (AFP) provides opportunities for recent library/information science graduates interested in a career in health sciences librarianship. The program combines curriculum and project efforts at the NLM on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Program Learning Objectives

The NLM-AFP offers an insider’s view of the world’s largest medical library.  The program will provide knowledge and skills in project efforts ranging from:

  • Data wrangling, data analysis, data visualization, programming, and data policy
  • Policy and standards analysis and development
  • Creation of online tutorials and educational videos, conducting user needs assessments
  • Development of an in-depth understanding of the development, production, implementation of NLM product and services

The program also offers opportunities for professional development through:

  • Participation in lectures, exercises, short and extended visits to other health sciences libraries
  • Attendance at local and national conferences, including the Medical Library Association annual meeting
  • Workshops on work style, resume review, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Mentorship from a program coordinator and NLM staff who serve as preceptor

Appointment Length

This appointment is a twelve month residency research appointment starting September 1, 2021 and ending August 31, 2022.  A second year appointment may be possible upon recommendation of NLM contingent on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits

  • Annual stipend of $59,534
  • Health Insurance Supplement $500 per month – Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance, for participants who live more than fifty miles, one-way, from the assigned facility
  • Training and Travel Allowance for attendance at local and national conferences

Nature of Appointment

The appointment is full-time at NIH NLM in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of NLM, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with NLM or any other agency, this opportunity will require a suitability investigation/background investigation.  Any offer made is considered tentative, pending favorable outcome of the investigation.

This program, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM).

For additional information about the program, see the NLM-AFP web site at:

For information about the program, contact Kathel Dunn, PhD, Program Coordinator, at [email protected].


The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship program is open to those who meet the following qualifications:

  • Hold United States or Canadian Citizenship
  • Be at least 18 years old by August 1, 2021
  • Have earned an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited master’s degree, by August 2021 or within the previous two years

Preferred Qualifications include:

  • United States Citizenship
  • Work Experience in a library or health sciences environment
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in leadership