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What is Project SEARCH NIH?


In September of 2010, The National Institutes for Health (NIH) Clinical Center, SEEC, and Ivymount School launched a replication of Project SEARCH for young adults in Montgomery County who have developmental disabilities. The program is a collaboration among NIH, SEEC, The Ivymount School, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration, and the Maryland Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Project SEARCH interns are immersed in the NIH workplace, receiving classroom instruction and rotating among three distinct internships in positions that are meaningful to the mission of the Department to which they are assigned and are based on each jobseeker’s strengths and interests.

As a result of the first three years of the program, 30 of 36 graduating interns are now NIH employees, working a minimum of 20 hours per week and earning competitive wages and benefits.

Examples of internships and task performed include:

  1. Pharmacy-assisting techs to supply basic medications to units and floors, and restock supplies in central pharmacy. Check expired supplies, and organize inventory
  2. Housekeeping-providing light maintenance support to office and patient units throughout the facility
  3. NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)-providing database support for the National Database on Autism Research (NDAR)
  4. NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders)-providing clerical assistance to the Ethics office
  5. Clinical Center Cafeteria-helping with baking cookies, doing light cleaning and dish-washing
  6. ORS-Mail Services-assisting with mail delivery and pick up, and completing “look up” support for wrongly-routed mail

NIH supervisors involved in the program are supported by SEEC’s workforce development staff and job coaches. Classroom instruction is provided by Ivymount School.

Read the Project SEARCH NIH Inter Quarterly Newsletter

Click here to download the newsletter in PDF format.



For more information contact:

Denise Ford, Director of Hospitality Services, NIH Clinical Center at dford@cc.nih.gov 

Steve Blanks, SEEC’s Director of Workforce Development at sblanks@seeconline.org

Lu Merrick, Director of Post High School, Ivymount School at lmerrick@ivymount.org

Maryanne Sacco, Instructor, msacco@ivymount.org


This page was last updated on 10/20/15.