The NICHD Connection

Letter to the Fellows: The Summer Interns are Here! (July 2024)

Dear Fellows, 

Summer is now well underway. I hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy the warm air at picnics and barbecues with friends and family as we recently celebrated the Juneteenth and Independence Day holidays. This past month, NICHD saw a new flutter of activity as about 60 summer interns joined us for eight to twelve weeks of research. For many of these interns, it will be their first intensive research experience. I encourage you to seek out and talk with these new interns, sharing your wisdom accumulated through your years of professional and educational experiences. These interns are beginning to form their interests and professional values, and the opportunity to refine their research or clinical interests is priceless. 

But the interns also have some things they can teach you. The new energy and perspective they bring might just add a fresh element to the lab bench. Listen to what gets them excited, to what they think the future needs. Beyond that new energy, mentoring an intern is also a valuable opportunity to enhance your academic (or private sector) leadership skills. By guiding and supporting a young researcher, you develop your own ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. Mentoring fosters your skills in project management, problem-solving, and teamwork, all essential for leadership roles.  

And finally, speaking of mentorship, I encourage you to think about your own mentors at NICHD and consider sending us a nomination for the 2024 NICHD Mentor Awards. Each year, we recognize two exceptional mentors, one investigator and one fellow. Good mentorship lies at the heart of scientific progress and the future successes of a diverse and innovative scientific community. 

As always, please reach out to the Office of Education anytime you need assistance or guidance related to your research or professional endeavors. We are always here to help.  

Kind regards,
Megan Bohn, Ph.D. 
Director, NICHD Office of Education

This newsletter is for NICHD fellows and by NICHD fellows. We want to hear from you! Please send your questions, comments, and ideas to the NICHD Office of Education Director, Dr. Megan Bohn, at