What Is the IRP?

The Intramural Research Program (IRP) is the internal research program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), known for its synergistic approach to biomedical science.

With 1,200 Principal Investigators and more than 4,000 Postdoctoral Fellows conducting basic, translational, and clinical research, the IRP is the largest biomedical research institution on earth.

Its unique funding environment means the IRP can facilitate opportunities to conduct both long-term and high-impact science that would otherwise be difficult to undertake.

More than 50 buildings on NIH campuses are devoted to the research enterprise, from state-of-the-art animal care facilities to homes for 7-Tesla MRIs and confocal microscopes, to a neurosciences cluster designed to foster collaborations across disciplines. Our 240-bed research hospital is devoted to clinical research protocols.

With rigorous external reviews ensuring that only the most outstanding research secures funding, the IRP is responsible for many scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, the use of lithium to manage bipolar disorder, and the creation of vaccines against hepatitis, Haemophilus influenzae (HIB), and human papillomavirus (HPV).