Health Grand Challenge Internships
Exploring Global Health Challenges
The Health Grand Challenge (HGC) supports undergraduate internships that explore multidisciplinary aspects of global health and/or infectious disease.
- Established internship positions
- Funding for global-health-related thesis research projects
Funded Health Grand Challenge Internships
- Funding: All HGC internships come with a stipend intended to cover all essential living expenses plus travel to/from the internship site. Stipend levels vary depending on the internship location and duration.
- Eligibility: Freshmen, sophomores and juniors currently enrolled at Princeton are eligible to apply to HGC internships. These internships are not open to graduating seniors, Princeton students on a leave of absence, or students at other universities.
How to Apply
Princeton students can apply to HGC internships using the university's Global Programs System (GPS), except where otherwise stated in the description below. For applications through GPS, click the button next to each internship description for details and instructions on how to apply. (If there is no button linking to GPS then the internship is not currently accepting applications.)
Key dates and deadlines:
- Application open: Sept. 30, 2016
- First round: Dec. 11, 2016
- Second round (for positions still open after first round of selection): Mar. 15, 2017
- Exceptions apply for Princeton-in-Asia internships.
Support for Unpaid Global Health Internships
- Funding: The Health Grand Challenge (HGC) provides funding for unpaid internships that undergraduates identify independently.
- Eligibility: Freshmen, sophomores and juniors currently enrolled at Princeton are eligible to apply for HGC internship grants. These internships are not open to graduating seniors, Princeton students on a leave of absence, or students at other universities.
How to Apply
For unpaid internship opportunities that relate to global health or infectious disease, students must apply through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Do NOT apply directly to the Health Grand Challenge / Center for Health and Wellbeing.
Application deadline: Apr. 23, 2017 (applications are reviewed on a rolling basis)
Health Grand Challenge Positions: Summer 2017
Note: This list of opportunities is subject to change.
Center for Health Policy Studies, Zhejiang University School of Medicine – China
The Center for Health Policy Studies specializes in the following research areas: mental health, health determinants and outcomes assessment, health economics and policy, family medicine and community health services. This internship exposes Princeton undergraduates to the challenge of data collection, analysis and research in field setting, and some summer projects may lead to senior theses. Past projects have focused on topics such as dementia care models, health insurance and maternal mortality.
Following basic field survey methods training, interns will design their own summer research projects and collect data in the practice base (including Lanxi County rural area and the urban Westlake District in Hangzhou) under the guidance of a Ph.D. student. They will then analyze their data and submit a written survey report on their research findings. Other intern responsibilities may include literature review, survey design and organizing interviews.
Applicants who have a basic knowledge of health and ability to communicate in Chinese are preferred. The internship will last for 8-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be determined.
Chronic Disease Research Institute, Zhejiang University School of Public Health - China
The Chronic Disease Research Institute (CDRI) at Zhejiang University School of Public Health is committed to conducting high-quality research on the prevention and treatment of obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other related chronic diseases. Currently, CDRI primarily aims to develop research on obesity and related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Research at CDRI spans across many disciplines, including molecular biology, basic medicine, clinical medicine, epidemiology, health economics, biomedical engineering, nutrition and sports science research, etc. CDRI has also developed five research bases to support its research study.
Following a week designated for lab orientation and basic field survey methods training, interns will design their own summer research projects related to chronic diseases studies. For the remainder of the internship they will collect data in the practice base (Lanxi Cohort Research Base or Chronic Disease Intervention Base at Hangzhou Ziyang Community) under the guidance of a Ph.D. student, review the relevant literature, analyze their data, present their results and submit a written survey report.
Applicants should be able to communicate in Chinese, and those who have a basic knowledge of health or biology are strongly preferred. The internship will last for 8-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be determined.
Communities Health Africa Trust (CHAT) - Kenya
CHAT promotes healthy, empowered and self-sustainable living among poor and excluded communities in Kenya through the use of its integrated mobile health services. Its focus is providing access to family planning which combines ecological awareness; other services include reproductive health, basic curatives, relevant HIV/AIDS & TB services. It also works with community members to establish sustainable systems and enact positive social and environmental change. CHAT providers travel by car, camel, bicycle or on foot to bring services to hard-to-reach populations, and they partner closely with "community own resource persons" (CORPs). An intern with CHAT will assist with data analysis, monitoring, writing for research and fundraising efforts, mapping work, policy review, cooperation with local governments, and web/tech/social media needs. The intern will be based at Mpala Research Centre with periodic visits to CHAT's Nanyuki office and to the field to observe outreach activities. This internship lasts 10 weeks, starting in early June.
Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE) - Benin
Interns will serve as research assistants (RAs) at the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE) in Cotonou, Benin. IERPE is one of the research institutes of the African School of Economics (ASE). They will assist in data collection and analysis for a project entitled "Improving Emergency Health Care in Benin” which seeks to analyse emergency healthcare (EHC) systems in that country. Benin faces many structural challenges in providing emergency healthcare to their citizens, rendering them unable to intervene with rapid coordinated responses. This research project presents two low-cost targeted solutions to improve EHC provision in Benin, with a potential for replication across the West African region. First, the project aims to document structural limitations to EHC in Benin, focusing on poor pre-hospital care and administrative organization. Second, it analyses the effects of these limitations on emergency care. Third, it proposes two experimental solutions. The first is an emergency care intervention using medical taxis to address the lack of pre-hospital transportation. The second is the installation of a centralized communication center to coordinate the existing EHC system. The project will measure the effect of the interventions on response times and access to emergency healthcare.
The internship may enable students to develop research topics for their junior papers and senior theses. Ideal interns will be concentrators in Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Politics or WWS; however, students from any department may apply. Applicants must have a basic knowledge of French; a basic knowledge of statistical analysis is strongly preferred. This internship lasts 8-9 weeks, with start and end dates to be determined.
Lab of Translational Medicine, Zhejiang University School of Medicine – China
This lab conducts research on the molecular mechanism underlying stomach cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in China. Interns will acquire basic laboratory skills and will assist with studies on gastric cancer. They will begin by learning bio-information analysis, which they will use to search for genes differentially expressed in gastric cancer tissues compared with their corresponding noncancerous tissues. Next the interns may participate in cloning one mRNA or long non-coding RNA. Then they will study basic cellular functions of the target gene and submit a written survey report, with research tasks to include literature review, experiments, data analysis and attending a weekly lab seminar. At the close of the internship students will visit Zhejiang University School of Medicine’s Department of Gastroenterology to learn the clinical features of stomach cancers.
Applicants should have basic knowledge and lab skills in molecular biology. No Chinese language skills are required. The internship will last for 8-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be determined.
Mpala Research Centre - Kenya
The Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation is located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya. The facility is operated as a partnership involving Princeton University, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the National Museums of Kenya. Mpala facilitates and exemplifies sustainable human-wildlife co-existence and the advancement of human livelihoods and quality of life. Interns at Mpala will work on research that relates to animal and human health. Past projects have included assistance with research on the epidemiology and vectors of trachoma, and a rabies vaccination campaign. This internship lasts 9-10 weeks, starting in early June.
National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) - Uganda
National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) are regional- and country-level entities established to support evidence-informed decision-making in immunization programs and policies. This internship will provide support for NITAGs in the African region. Intern will contribute to evidence search and quality appraisal; duties may include summarizing and synthesizing literature reviews on topics related to immunization policy, as well as writing and analysis. This position will offer exposure to how research is applied to policy in a developing country setting. This internship lasts 9-10 weeks (with option to extend up to 12 weeks), with start and end dates to be determined.
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit - Vietnam
The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) aims to have a positive and significant impact on global health and, in particular, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. OUCRU's key areas of research are: Dengue fever; malaria; tuberculosis; influenza; enterics; HIV and HIV coinfection; central nervous system infections; animal health and zoonoses; pharmacology; and statistics, bioinformatics, modeling, and mapping. Projects carried out through this internship will address multidisciplinary aspects of infectious disease in clinical and/or field research settings. Past interns have conducted research on Japanese Encephalitis Virus, wastewater treatment systems, and the cost of illness associated with Typhoid fever. Specific responsibilities will be based on each intern’s skills and on project needs at the time of the internship. Typical tasks may include: data collection, data analysis, literature review, policy research, and writing for reporting purposes. This internship lasts 9 weeks, starting in early June and ending in early August.
State Key Lab of Infectious Diseases, 1st Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine – China
Zhejiang University School of Medicine’s 1st Affiliated Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in China, serving more than 100,000 inpatients and 3,500,000 outpatients annually. Its Department of Infectious Diseases and State key Lab of Infectious Diseases rank first in China for infectious disease research and treatment.
Interns at 1st Affiliated Hospital will learn about clinical research with a focus on infectious diseases. They are also encouraged to design their own surveys and collect clinical data under the guidance of a PhD student; this may connect to research topics for their junior papers and senior theses. The internship will include research on the basic mechanism of hepatitis or liver cancer in the State key Lab of Infectious Diseases, as well as visits to the Department of Infectious Diseases and the Liver transplantation Center.
Applicants who have a basic knowledge of medicine or biology are preferred. For projects involving surveys, applicants should be able to communicate in Chinese. The internship will last for 8-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be determined.
Telethon Kids Institute - Australia
Interns at Telethon Kids Institute - University of Western Australia Perth will assist with pragmatic intervention/clinical trials aimed at preventing and treating infectious diseases in children. A variety of projects are currently underway, and interns will focus on a particular area depending on their interests and skills. Current research includes understanding and eliminating barriers to vaccine uptake, clinical trials of empiric treatment strategies of gastroenteritis in Aboriginal children in remote settings, therapeutic trials for bronchiolitis in infants, and understanding and improving rotavirus vaccine efficacy in Aboriginal children. Interns may contribute to a range of research activities including study design and development, participant recruitment, data collection, management and interpretation of underlying immunological and microbiological mechanisms. Interested students should have a strong background in biological sciences as well as strong writing and analytical skills. Knowledge, experience or skills in the fields of infectious diseases, microbiology, immunology or biostatistics would be particularly useful. Interns should be able to work independently and a desire to translate research findings into clinically relevant practices. This internship lasts 8-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Princeton-in-Asia Positions Sponsored by the Health Grand Challenge
The positions below are offered through the Princeton-in-Asia internship program, with stipends provided by the Health Grand Challenge. They have a separate application deadline and require a different application. See Princeton-in-Asia website for details.
Population Services International (PSI) - Cambodia/Thailand/Kazakhstan
Population Services International (PSI) is an international NGO that works to improve the health of vulnerable populations through social marketing of family planning and health products thus engaging private sector resources and techniques. This position requires the combined skills of a solid researcher and someone with a very strong communications background. Responsibilities will include data analysis, research and survey work. Past projects have included: creation and analysis of data from a pricing survey for a new oral contraceptive pill, and writing a qualitative report on health-seeking behaviors of mothers with children under the age of five who had diarrhea or pneumonia. Possible internship locations include PSI offices in Cambodia, Thailand and Kazakhstan. This position is offered through Princeton-in-Asia.
The Grand Challenges Program is a collaboration involving the Princeton Environmental Institute,
the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
The Health Grand Challenge is funded by the Woodrow Wilson School’s Center for Health and Wellbeing and by the Princeton Environmental Institute.
The Center for Health and Wellbeing administers the Health Grand Challenge.