Getting Started

To begin searching within the
Government Manual simply type
in a keyword or phrase
to find your match.

National Institutes of Health

1 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892


DIRECTORLawrence A. Tabak, Acting
Principal Deputy DirectorTara A. Schwetz, Acting

The National Institutes of Health seeks to expand fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge for improved health, longer life, and for reducing disability and illness.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is made up of 27 different components called Institutes and Centers. Each component has its own research agenda, typically focusing on particular diseases or body systems. Of these components, 24 of them receive their funding directly from the U.S. Congress and administrate their own budgets.

The Office of the Director sets policy for the NIH and plans, manages, and coordinates the programs and activities of NIH Institutes and Centers.

The organizational chart of the Office of the Director is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.


The NIH supports biomedical and behavioral research domestically and abroad, conducts research in NIH laboratories and clinics, trains research scientists, and develops and disseminates credible, science-based health information to the public.

Clinical Research

The Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital for the NIH. By doing clinical research, investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies, and interventions to improve the Nation's health. The Center conducts clinical and laboratory research and trains future clinical investigators. Nearly 500,000 volunteers from across the Nation have participated in clinical research studies since the Center opened in 1953. About 1,500 clinical research studies are currently in progress.

Complementary and Integrative Health

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health defines the utility and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. This science-based information helps the public, health care professionals, and health policymakers make decisions on the use and integration of complementary and integrative health approaches.

Global Health

The Fogarty International Center addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs. It also supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships.

Information Technology

The Center for Information Technology provides, coordinates, and manages information technology to advance computational science.

Scientific Review

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of grant applications submitted to the NIH. These groups include experienced and respected researchers from across the country and abroad. Since 1946, CSR has ensured that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews—free from inappropriate influences—so the NIH can fund the most promising research. CSR also receives all incoming applications and assigns them to the appropriate Centers and Institutes that fund grants.

Translational Sciences Advancement

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences focuses on what is common across diseases and the translational process. The Center emphasizes innovation and deliverables, relying on data and new technologies to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate advances in translational science that tangibly improve human health.


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) conducts and supports research on the aging process, age-related diseases, and other special problems and needs of older people. It is also the lead NIH Institute for research on age-related cognitive change and Alzheimer's disease. The NIA provides information on aging to the scientific community, health care providers, and the public.

Alcohol Abuse / Alcoholism

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism leads the national effort to reduce alcohol-related problems by conducting and supporting biomedical and behavioral research into the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-use disorders.

Allergy / Infectious Diseases

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducts and supports research to study the causes of infectious diseases and immune-mediated diseases and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing, and treating these diseases.

Arthritis / Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases supports research on the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the basic and clinical training of scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress.

Biomedical Imaging / Bioengineering

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering supports research, training, and the dissemination of research advances for accelerating the development and application of biomedical technologies to improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of disease. It integrates the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.

Biomedical Library Services / Information Resources

The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest biomedical library, serves as the Nation's principal medical information source, providing medical library services and extensive online information resources to scientists, practitioners, and the general public. It conducts, fosters, and supports research and training in biomedical informatics and supports development and dissemination of clinical terminology standards.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. It coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other activities associated with diagnosing, preventing, treating, and finding the cause of cancer and with the continuing care of cancer patients and their families.

Child Health / Human Development

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducts and supports basic, clinical, and epidemiological research on the reproductive, rehabilitative, neurobiological, developmental, and behavioral processes that determine the health of children, adults, families, and communities.

Deafness / Other Communication Disorders

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research and training on normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. The Institute also makes science-based health information publicly available, and it supports efforts to create devices that substitute for lost or impaired sensory and communication function. | Email:

Dental and Craniofacial Research

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research funds research on dental, oral, and craniofacial health and disorders. It also conducts research in its own laboratories and clinic, supports research training, and promotes the timely transfer of research-based knowledge and its implications for health to researchers, to health professionals, to patients, and to the general public.

Diabetes / Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducts, supports, and coordinates research and research training. It also offers science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; on digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, weight control, and obesity; and on kidney, urologic and blood diseases.

Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse supports and conducts basic and clinical research on drug use, its consequences, and the underlying neurobiological, behavioral, and social mechanisms. The Institute also ensures effective translation and dissemination of scientific findings to improve the prevention and treatment of substance-use disorders, and it works at raising the public's awareness that addiction is a type of brain disorder.

Environmental Health Sciences

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences supports research that explores how the environment affects people's health. Its research centers on environmental exposures and understanding their effects on human biology and health with an emphasis on disease and disability prevention. The Institute also houses the national toxicology program, a cross-agency organization that coordinates toxicity testing across the Federal Government.

Eye and Vision Diseases

The National Eye Institute conducts, fosters, and supports research on the causes, natural history, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the eye and visual system. It also directs the National Eye Health Education Program.

General Medical Sciences

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS-funded scientists investigate how living systems work at a range of levels, from molecules and cells to tissues, to whole organisms and populations. The Institute also supports research in clinical areas, primarily those that affect multiple organ systems. To assure the vitality and productivity of the research enterprise, the NIGMS provides leadership in training the next generation of scientists, in diversifying the scientific workforce, and in developing research capacities throughout the country.

Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides leadership for a global program in sleep disorders, blood resources, and diseases of the heart, blood vessels, blood, and lungs. It conducts, fosters, and supports a comprehensive program of basic research, clinical investigations and trials, observational and implementation science studies, as well as demonstration and education projects.

Human Genome Research

The National Human Genome Research Institute supports research to uncover the role that the genome plays in human health and disease; studies on the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics research for individuals, families, and communities; and the application of genomics research to medical care.

Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health works to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Through basic and clinical research, it advances the prevention, recovery, and cure of mental conditions that disable many Americans.

Minority Health / Health Disparities

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities leads scientific research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities. The Institute plans, reviews, coordinates, and evaluates all minority health and health disparities research and activities of the NIH; conducts and supports research on minority health and health disparities; promotes and supports the training of a diverse research workforce; translates and disseminates research information; and fosters innovative collaborations and partnerships.

Neurological Disorders / Stroke

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke works to better understand the brain and spinal cord and to use that knowledge to mitigate the effects of neurological disease. It conducts, promotes, coordinates, and guides research and training on the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological disorders and stroke. It also supports basic, translational, and clinical research in related scientific areas.

Nursing Research

The National Institute of Nursing Research supports clinical and basic research and research training to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, to prevent disease and disability, to manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, to enhance end-of-life and palliative care, and to train the next generation of nurse scientists.

Sources of Information


The NIH Almanac is a reliable source of information on the Federal Government’s principal medical research agency. Federal employees, journalists, lawmakers, and members of the general public consult the almanac when seeking NIH-related information.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that NIH records have been assigned to record group 443.

Career Opportunities

For information on employment opportunities, visit the "Jobs at NIH" web page.

In 2020, the NIH ranked 63d among 411 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Ranking.

Climate Change

The NIH is concerned about climate change for these reasons: "[Its] effects worsen many existing illnesses, diseases and conditions, by increasing exposure to increased temperatures, introducing new pests and pathogens, and impairing air quality and water resources. As the planet warms, oceans expand and sea level rises, floods and droughts become more frequent and intense, and heat waves and hurricanes become more severe. Certain populations—including children, the elderly, the poor, and those with underlying health conditions—are at increased risk for health impacts from climate change. Climate-related events can also stress health care infrastructure and delivery systems." To learn more, visit the website of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and see the "Climate Change and Human Health" web page.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences maintains a curated and integrated bibliographic database of global peer-reviewed research and gray literature on the science of climate effects on human health.

Contact Information

Information for contacting the NIH by mail or phone is available on the "Contact Us" web page.

Environmental Health

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences maintains a "Brochures and Factsheets" web page.


The NIH posts upcoming events on its "Calendar of Events" web page.

Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that the NIH recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA requires of the NIH to disclose records that any person requests in writing; however, some records (or parts of them) may be shielded by one or more of the nine disclosure exemptions that the law contains. | Email:

The NIH maintains a FOIA library that contains both on-site and electronic records.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The NIH posts answers to FAQs.


A short history of the NIH is available online.

The DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Museum of Medical Research, also known as the NIH Stetten Museum, preserves and interprets the material culture of the NIH's scientific work through physical and virtual exhibits.


The NIH posts news releases on its website.

The monthly newsletter "NIH News In Health" contains practical consumer health news and information that is based on NIH research.

Site Map

The website map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

Social Media

The NIH tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The NIH has a Facebook account.

The NIH posts videos on its YouTube channel.


The NIH posts important health information in Spanish.

Staff Directory

The NIH enterprise directory allows users to search for staff members by email address, name, or phone number.

Visitor Information

Maps and information on access and security, parking, tours, the campus shuttle, and more are available on the NIH website.

Weight Management

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' website has weight management information and resources.