The first step in getting a gig at the NIH is to be ready, willing and able to live in the Washington, D.C., Metro area. The D.C. suburbs are home to the NIH, so if you have a problem working in the outlying areas of urban sprawl, you might want to think twice about signing up. Getting a job at the NIH – be it as a research technician, trainee or staff scientist – is no walk in the park. This is one of the premier biomedical research institutes in the country, so expect to have lots of competition. And there’s a limited number of positions too; since research is expensive, lots of money goes into equipment, leaving fewer bucks for hiring real people.