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New Employee Orientation Information

Welcome to the National Institutes of Health

Washington, DC, Area

Applies To:

NIH Operating Status:

We’re glad that you've chosen to pursue your career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is the Nation’s medical research agency - making important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH offers a diverse environment that provides many opportunities for you to grow professionally and personally.

It is mandatory that you visit each link and follow the directions prescribed in ALL eight topics below prior to your first day.

  1. Employee Checklist - Items that must be completed prior to and after your first day and items to bring to orientation
  2. Orientation - Date, time, location, and directions
  3. New Hire Forms (Onboarding Manager) - Employment and Benefit forms instructions
  4. Benefits - Federal benefit program information; additional benefit information will be provided at orientation
  5. ID Badge - How to obtain your NIH identification badge
  6. Parking and Transportation - NIH parking permits and transportation subsidies information
  7. E-Verify - NIH employment eligibility verification process for all new Federal employees
  8. Ethics - NIH ethics principles and contact information

Employee Checklist

To ensure that you have a successful on-boarding experience, you are required to print and follow ALL of the items outlined in the Employee Checklist. If your first day is something other than an orientation date (see calendar), you will need to contact your Client Services Contact.


You are scheduled to attend a New Employee Orientation on your first day at NIH (or the first orientation available). Go to the Orientation calendar and agenda web sites to obtain your orientation date, location and schedule. Directions to the NIH campus and your orientation location are available on the Directions to Orientations web page.

The Office of Human Resources is here to serve and support you as you join the NIH community. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in orientation or have any questions, please notify your Client Services Contact. If you are hearing impaired, please call through the Maryland Relay Service at 1-800-735-2258.

New Hire Forms (Onboarding Manager)

There are a variety of forms that must be completed as part of the new hire process. To complete and/or print these forms you must complete a questionnaire in the Onboarding Manager system. If you are having issues completing and submitting your forms in the Onboarding Manager system, please notify your Client Services Contact.

Employment Forms:

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT SEVERAL EMPLOYMENT FORMS THROUGH THE ONBOARDING MANAGER SYSTEM AND PRINT ALL OTHER EMPLOYMENT FORMS NOT AVAILABLE FOR ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION AND BRING THEM WITH YOU TO ORIENTATION. Failure to print and bring these forms to orientation will delay your appointment process. If you are unsure which forms are to be submitted electronically or printed, please contact your Client Services Contact.

When you report to the orientation session, you must present documents that provide proof of your eligibility and identity. Please bring:

  • Either an original Social Security card or United States certificate of birth
  • A driver's license or state issued identification card, which contains a photograph or physical description.

Alternatively, any ONE of the following is also acceptable:

  • A United States passport
  • Certificate of United States Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization, or
  • Resident Alien card.

EXCEPTION: For non-immigrants (an individual who is "not" a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) please contact the Division of International Service (DIS) for proper documentation.

Benefits Forms:

You have some time to turn in your benefit forms; however the sooner you turn them in the sooner they will be effective.

  • Beneficiary forms will be available at New Employee Orientation for you to complete, if necessary. These forms do not need to be completed if you agree with the following order of precedence – spouse, children, parents, executor of state, next of kin.
    • You have 60 days after your EOD to turn in your Health Election form (SF-2809) and Life Insurance Election (SF-2817)
    • The TSP Election form (TSP- 1) can be submitted at any time, however, you will only have access to submit this form electronically in Onboarding Manager for 90 days after your start date.

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The Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) manages the administration of NIH employee benefits. For details and information about all of the Federal benefits please visit the New Federal Employee Enrollment External Web Site Disclaimer (OPM) page. Benefit forms cannot be submitted in Onboarding Manager prior to your start date. New Hires should wait until after the benefits presentation at Orientation before finalizing your benefit election forms in Onboarding Manager and electronically submitting them. BPLB staff will be available following the benefits presentation to answer questions and assist you with submitting your benefit election forms electronically in Onboarding Manager.

Employees Transferring from Outside of HHS
As a transfer Federal employee, most Federal benefits will transfer with you automatically; for these benefits you do not need to enroll again. Please review your first Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) to confirm that your benefits transferred appropriately. You will also need to send BPLB staff a copy of your final LES upon receipt from your previous agency.

Refer to the Transfer Fact Sheet .pdf icon for detailed information that includes your action-items.

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ID Badge

All new Federal employees must be fingerprinted and must submit to a background investigation based on the security clearance required for your position. This is a Federal Government requirement of Executive Order 10450. Only security personnel and suitability and investigative professionals, who have the appropriate security clearance and have a demonstrated need, will be authorized to access your personal information.

You will receive an e-mail from the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) administrator with instructions on how to initiate this process. We strongly encourage you to submit your NED information as soon as possible and to visit the Getting a Badge for New Employees page for tips on how to expedite your badging process. You will not be able to begin the badging process, obtain an NIH e-mail account or receive a parking permit or Transhare subsidies without being accurately entered and sponsored in the NED system. Furthermore you will be required to enter NIH facilities as a visitor until you receive your badge.

To check on your NED status, go to

You will be issued an NIH ID badge after your fingerprints have cleared, approximately one week after your enrollment appointment (identity verification, photographing, and fingerprinting). You are strongly encouraged to schedule your enrollment appointment at least 5 days prior to your first day by calling 301-496-0051. Scheduling in advance will allow you to pick up your badge sooner; which will give you employee access to NIH campus and satellite buildings. If you prefer to attend an enrollment appointment on your first day, you do not need to schedule an appointment. The Division of Personnel Security and Access Control has reserved appointment times for new Federal employees and will provide you with your enrollment appointment date, time and location during orientation registration. For additional information on the fingerprint and ID badge process, visit the Getting a Badge for New Employees page.

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Transportation information for your first day is available on the Orientation Directions web page. Please note that if you choose to drive to the NIH New Employee Orientation, validation will only be provided for the MLP-11 parking garage (at the Gateway Center).

Temporary parking permits will be available at the orientation session for employees who will work on the NIH main campus. Parking permits must be displayed when parking on the NIH main campus. After you are entered into NED you will be able to apply for a regular parking permit, which will require a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration. Information about parking permits can be found on the DATS Parking Permits and Transportation Services page. If you work in a satellite location (outside of the NIH Bethesda Campus), you will need to contact your Administrative Officer for parking information at your duty station. Campus parking hangers may be provided in addition to parking accommodations at the satellite location.

NIH also participates in Transhare, a transportation incentive program for NIH employees. After you receive your NIH identification number, you will be able to apply for this program. For information and details go to the NIH Transhare Program page.

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The NIH participates in the USCIS Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify) established by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. This program assists employers in verifying the employment eligibility of all newly-hired employees. Federal law requires that all employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new employees (including U.S. citizens) within three days of hire. Employees are required to complete a Form I-9 and provide employers with documentation establishing both identity and eligibility to work in the United States. The use of E-Verify by the NIH entitles you to certain rights and responsibilities. Please visit the E-Verify Employee RightsAdobe PDF icon document for more information.

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The National Institutes of Health inspires public confidence in science by maintaining high ethical principles. As such, the NIH has developed criteria for ethical conduct that are described at NIH Ethics Program website. For more information, please contact your Ethics coordinator Adobe PDF icon

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