On Your First Day
Security, ID Card, and e-mail

Once you arrive on campus, you need to enroll in all the formal systems of NIH campus. Some things you should handle with the Administrative Assistant are the following:

  • Emergency Contact Form
  • Setting up your telephone voicemail



The NIH campus has greatly increased security in the last few years. It is not possible to enter campus without going through a checkpoint. Allow extra travel time to deal with security. If you have anything you are unsure of, do not bring it. For example, do not bring pressurized cans, gasoline, flammables, knives, or other dangerous items. If you have any questions, ask NIH Security & Emergency Response Resources.

When you first come to campus and do not have an official NIH ID to show, you will have to go through the NIH Gateway Center to obtain a visitor pass.

Vehicles entering campus will be inspected, which includes letting a guard look in the trunk and use a “sniffer” wand. If everyone in the car has a valid NIH ID and the car has an NIH employee parking hang tag, inspection can be avoided. Even visitors who come in the car of an NIH employee must have a pass from the Gateway Center. The passenger's vistor pass can be acquired by driving through the vehicle inspection lane.

Cars that enter the parking garages are subject to another inspection.

If the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) is raised to the level “Orange” or higher, additional security screening procedures may significantly delay entry of passenger vehicles.

The campus is surrounded by a fence known as the Perimeter Security System (PSS). There are several pedestrian portals in the fence. Once you have your validated NIH ID, you can pass through the pedestrian portals.



Until you have your official NIH ID Card, you will have to obtain a visitor pass every time you enter campus.

fellow tips Fellow Tip: “You can get new forms for parking permits, metro passes, etc., at the same office where you get your ID.”



For all use of NIH computer systems, your unique NIH e-mail address serves as your user identity. Get your e-mail address from the Office of History, National Institutes of Health's Administrative Assistant. Be aware that certain uses of e-mail and the Internet are not allowed.


Before You Come to Bethesda > On Your First Day > In Your First Week > Day-to-Day Responsibilities > Day-to-Day Resources > Long Term

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Office of History and Stetten Museum | Bldg 60 | Suite 230 | National Institutes of Health | Bethesda, MD 20814-1460
Phone: 301.496.6610 | Email:
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Last updated: 12 January 2017
First published: 2 February 2005
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