Virtual Learning Resources for Scientists at All Career Stages and of All Ages

Guest post by Jon R. Lorsch, PhD, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

During this unprecedented time in our lives, we know that many of you are trying to teach or learn from home. To help meet your biomedical research training and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education needs, I invite you to explore some of the virtual education and training resources supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health.

For undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, we support several free, online teaching and learning resources: 

  • iBiology houses a collection of high-quality video lectures by scientists explaining cutting-edge research, the history of great discoveries, scientific career paths, and related topics. Complete courses are also available on subjects such as experimental design, microscopy, and image analysis, as are a number of whiteboard animations explaining specific scientific topics. iBiology also has resources for flipped courses and tips for moving courses online.
  • The National Research Mentoring Network is a platform designed to help undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty advance their careers through online mentoring and networking activities.

For pre-K–12 students and teachers, we support a range of free and engaging virtual science offerings that align with the national STEM and/or English language arts (ELA) education standards: 

  • Pathways, a collaboration between NIGMS and Scholastic, includes student magazines with corresponding teaching guides, related lessons with interactive games, videos, and vocabulary lists. Current lessons cover basic science, regeneration, and circadian rhythms.
  • The Science Education Partnership Award(SEPA) teaching resources feature easy-to-access STEM and informal science education projects for pre-K through grade 12. The program provides tools such as apps, interactives, online books, curricula, lesson plans, and short movies. Students can learn about sleep, cells, growth, microbes, infectious diseases, healthy lifestyles, genetics, and many other subjects.
  • The Science Education page on the NIGMS website hosts a variety of articles, fact sheets, images, videos, and blog posts on basic science topics and science careers. 

NIGMS is committed to supporting and inspiring current and future scientists. Tell us how you’re using our virtual learning resources with the hashtag #NIGMSVirtualLearning! And email us at to ask questions or share suggestions.

Dr. Lorsch oversees the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ $2.9 billion budget, which supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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