Health Grand Challenge Internships and Thesis Research Grants
The Health Grand Challenge (HGC) supports undergraduate internships and thesis research projects that explore multidisciplinary aspects of global health and/or infectious disease.
HGC offers established internship positions and provides funding for unpaid internships and thesis research projects that undergraduates identify independently.
Funding: All HGC internships come with a stipend to defray the cost of living expenses and international travel. Stipend levels vary depending on the internship location and duration. HGC thesis research grants are based on proposed project budgets.
Eligibility: Freshmen, sophomores and juniors currently enrolled at Princeton are eligible to apply to HGC internships. Rising or current Princeton seniors are eligible to apply for thesis research funds. These internships and research grants are not open to graduating seniors, Princeton students on a leave of absence, or students at other universities.
How to Apply for Internships*
- Review the position descriptions.
- Select up to three** positions (not including Princeton in Asia internships).
- For each position, prepare a single application document (PDF) with the following information:
- Name, PUID, department, class year and any certificate programs in which you are currently enrolled
- Position to which you wish to apply
- Statement of interest summarizing why you wish to apply to this position and how your interests, background and experience make you a good candidate (maximum of 2 pages)
- Submit the application document via email to email@example.com, using the subject header Health Grand Challenge internship application: [internship name].
- Submit a PDF version of your Undergraduate Academic Record (unofficial transcript obtained from SCORE) to firstname.lastname@example.org. (NOTE: An *official* transcript is NOT required.)
All applicants should receive a confirmation response upon submission of an application. If you do not receive this confirmation within 5 days of submitting your application, please send a follow-up message to confirm that your application has been received.
Application deadline: January 11th, 2015 (unless otherwise stated*)
*Princeton in Asia positions have a separate deadline (5pm on February 13, 2015) and require a different application process. See individual descriptions for details.
**You can apply for a maximum of three (3) positions (not including positions with other Grand Challenges programs or with Princeton in Asia). You should prepare and submit a separate application document for each position.
How to Apply for Funding
For unpaid internship opportunities or thesis research projects that relate to global health or infectious disease:
All applications for funding in support of undergraduate activities including summer study abroad, internships (not counting paid employment), senior thesis research and junior independent work or special projects (including individual student travel to conferences) must be submitted through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE).
To apply for internship and/or thesis research funding, please submit an application through SAFE. Do NOT apply directly to the Health Grand Challenge / Center for Health and Wellbeing.
- Fall/winter thesis research funding: October 26, 2014
- Summer funding: March 15, 2015
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and early submission of applications is encouraged.
Health Grand Challenge Positions
Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP)
India / Washington, DC
The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) produces independent, multidisciplinary research to advance the health and well being of human populations in the United States and around the world. CDDEP employs economics, epidemiology, disease modeling, risk analysis and statistics to produce actionable, policy-oriented studies on malaria, antibiotic resistance, disease control priorities, environmental health, alcohol and tobacco, and various other diseases. The internship exposes Princeton undergraduates to challenges of data collection, analysis and research in field settings, and many summer projects lead to senior theses. Past project topics have included: antibiotic resistance, health insurance, health communications, neonatal sepsis and drug resistance, and antibiotic usage patterns. Interns' research tasks typically include literature review, data manipulation and analysis, informational phone interviews, and organizing meetings.
This internship lasts 12 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Desmond Tutu TB Centre
The Desmond Tutu TB Centre is a research centre of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa. It combines clinical grassroots investigations in tuberculosis with sophisticated laboratory research involving various departments and disciplines within and beyond the university campus, providing a launching pad for research projects that attract myriad international students and researchers. Its multidisciplinary collaborative clinical work translates into application, most notably impacting on TB as well as HIV/AIDS in children and infants. Two interns will assist the Desmond Tutu TB Centre with its website, publicity efforts, social media presence and other duties as assigned.
This internship lasts 8-9 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Epidemiology of Antibiotic Use in US Hospitals
Washington, DC / Princeton, NJ
Interns will participate in a research project that aims to characterize the general epidemiology of antibiotic use in selected hospitals. The research will use data that has been gathered from chart reviews at six varied acute-care facilities on antimicrobial prescriptions, patient’s clinical information at the time of the prescription, subsequent changes to the antimicrobial therapy, and clinical information at the time antimicrobial prescription changes are made in hospitals. Interns will help to collect additional data on the performance of antibiotic stewardship programs from the six facilities and to conduct analysis that will characterize the general epidemiology of antibiotic use in the selected hospitals. Responsibilities may include: data collection, cleaning, analysis; literature review; drafting of articles of publication; other duties associated with the study.
This internship lasts 9-10 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE)
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.
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit
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.
PLAY SOCCER Nonprofit International
Trenton / Ghana / Malawi / South Africa
PLAY SOCCER Nonprofit International (PSNI) is recruiting student interns to help research and design an evaluative framework for its development-through-sport program. The PSNI "Play for Fun, Learn for Life" program targets children and youth as agents of change through a well-defined curriculum that integrates health, social and soccer skills into activity-based education. The program has operated internationally in Africa since 2001 and since 2011 in the USA. The research will assess the broad public health benefits of the program, and it will assess the hypothesis that PSNI's physical curriculum and activity-based education constitute an important replicable community intervention to further health and wellbeing and prevent disease.
Interns will be involved with the activities of the Play for Fun, Learn for Life program as well as with collaborative research projects. They can work in Trenton and/or in Africa; possible work sites include Ghana, Malawi and South Africa. In South Africa, interns will be placed in Johannesburg where the program operates in two communities. The research will be conducted with the University of Witswatersrand (WITS) with two collaborating research projects in the WITS School of Clinical Medicine and School of Public Health.
Applicants should have a strong interest in: public health and socioeconomic development; theories of change; impact assessment, performance metrics and ideally, but not necessarily, in the sport of soccer. Internships are a minimum of 10 weeks; longer engagement is desirable with start and end dates to be set in consultation with interns.
Population Services International (PSI)
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 strong communication and research skills. Responsibilities may include: writing reports, conducting background research, and entering and/or analyzing data. Interns at other PSI offices have done projects such as: analyzing 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. Applicants must have French language skills.
This internship lasts 8-9 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School’s HIV/AIDS Program
The Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School’s HIV/AIDS Program consists of three areas of concentration: 1) a busy HIV testing program, 2) a research program that focuses on clinical studies among HIV-infected persons a well as HIV prevention trials in uninfected individuals, and 3) a high-quality, high-volume comprehensive HIV practice housed within the Division of Infectious Diseases. The program integrates cutting-edge activities across these three areas. The program conducts a range of innovative and collaborative community and clinical interventions across a broad spectrum of topic areas, with research partners based throughout the U.S. An intern with the HIV/AIDS program will assist with clinical and public health research projects, participate in community outreach, and document program activities and progress. Task areas may include retrospective chart reviews, data cleaning and analysis, literature reviews, and assistance with surveys and questionnaires. There may also be the opportunity for independent research.
This internship lasts 9 weeks, with start and end dates to be set in consultation with the intern.
Telethon Kids Institute
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. 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.
Uniformed Services University, Military Tropical Medicine
Maryland / Peru
Addressing transnational challenges such as global public health security requires cooperative action between countries and between sectors. The US government contributes substantially to global health and increasingly the interagency is cooperating so as to synergize and leverage their efforts in this era of cost-containment. The US military has a long and significant history of engagement in global health and tropical medicine. This summer fellowship in global health is based within the Military Tropical Medicine Program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. It will expose students to several aspects of global health, from interagency coordination efforts to policy experts from a variety of the key stakeholders in global health, to didactics relating to global health and tropical medicine and culminating with a four-week field experience in Peru where global health efforts can be viewed first-hand. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to participate in a public health field evaluation project that potentially can lead to an academic abstract and/or manuscript.
This internship lasts 10-11 weeks, starting in mid- or late June and ending in late August.
How to apply
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 (5pm on February 13th, 2015) and require a different application. See Princeton-in-Asia website for details.
Population Services International (PSI)
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 (WWS). WWS’s Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) administers the Health Grand Challenge.