IIP Internships in Singapore
ASTAR Institute of Medical Biology (IMB)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
About: IMB is an institute in the biomedical sciences cluster of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (ASTAR). It started operating in 2007 with a coalescence of research programs from the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the laboratories of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. It has been joined by groups from top institutions in Singapore and the U.S. and from the biotechnology industry.
Intern Responsibilities: The overarching goal of the lab in which IIP interns would be placed is to develop efficient protocols that convert pluripotential hESCs into functional beta cells. If produced in bulk and in a clinically-compliant fashion, these cells could provide an inexhaustible supply of material for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The lab focuses on three general questions: (1) how to produce bona fide DE from hESC; (2) how to assign pancreatic fate to this progenitor population; and (3) how to specifically direct the progressive specification of early pancreatic cells toward the mature beta cell fate. IIP interns will be paired with a senior member of the lab to pursue one of these fast-moving projects.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in molecular/cell biology, biochemistry and developmental biology. Experience working independently in a biomedical research lab is preferred but not required.
Additional background information on the project: A major objective of regenerative medicine is to generate specialized cell types for modeling and treating degenerative diseases. Of particular interest are the Insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells that are responsible for maintaining normal blood glucose levels, and whose failure leads to diabetes. Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (hPSC) have been proposed as an unlimited source of beta cells for studying and treating diabetes. However, the complex, multi-step differentiation protocols used to derive functional beta cells from hPSC inevitably exhibit low efficiencies and considerable batch-to-batch variability, particularly when applied to hPSC from different genetic backgrounds. Their lab has developed conditions for culturing hPSC-derived pancreatic progenitors, which are also capable of long-term expansion but are developmentally much closer to beta cells and therefore represent a much more robust source of beta cells than hPSC. The proposed project seeks to optimize conditions for culturing pancreatic progenitors and further differentiating these cells into mature, functional beta cells. Furthermore, the student will assist with generating pancreatic progenitor lines from diabetic patients that will serve as models of diabetic beta cell failure. The IIP intern will have the opportunity to learn a broad range of techniques including: hESC culture and differentiation, microtissue generation, geneplease (check the appropriate box on your application).
Previous work experiences (in the words of a past IIP intern): I tried to differentiate pancreatic beta cells from human embryonic stem cells, using a protocol provided by someone who collaborates with the lab I was in. Every day, I also did tissue culturing to maintain a few stem cell lines. In addition, I have learned techniques that aren't related to my project but that are still very common and useful, including in situ hybridization of mouse and zebrafish embryo, and immunofluorescence...My postdoc was trying to compare the efficacies of two different differentiation protocols for taking stem cells to pancreatic beta cells. I carried out one of the differentiation protocols, while someone else in the lab is doing the other...Tangibly, I learned a number techniques, including tissue culturing, RT-qPCR, flow cytometry, in situ hybridization, and immunofluorescence, working with stem cells, and mouse and zebrafish embryo. More generally, I learned how long it takes to make progress in science and how often things can go wrong.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: A*Star IMB|
Location: Singapore, Singapore
About: Aidha, launched in 2006, is a Singapore-registered charity organization whose mission is to provide financial literacy and self-development skills to foreign domestic workers and lower income women so that they can create sustainable futures for themselves. Aidha’s holistic program includes money management as well as computer, leadership and entrepreneurship skills. Since its inception, Aidha has impacted more than 2,700 women and helped set them on the path of financial sustainability. 4 in 10 of Aidha's students succeed in opening their own businesses and 7 in 10 invest in assets like land and livestock back in their home countries.
- PROJECT 1: Communications and Outreach
This IIP intern is expected to help create a strategy to boost outreach for increasing student enrollment. Some of the questions that will need answering are: What are the avenues that need to be looked at for reaching potential students? Who are the stakeholders Aidha should consider expanding our outreach to? How can Aidha better reach out to employers and corporate partners?
- PROJECT 2: Impact Research
This IIP intern will research Aidha’s ‘success stories’ – Aidha would like to know: how many students/graduates of Aidha have gone on to successfully set up businesses in their home countries? How are those businesses doing? What is the kind of engagement that alumni typically have with Aidha? Is there any correlation between such engagement and success of their businesses?
- PROJECT 3: "Process Engineering" for Campus Operations
Campus operations on Sundays are at the heart of Aidha’s work, as Sundays are when Aidha’s classes are held (they are typically the only days of the week when foreign domestic workers have a break from work). Aidha would like an intern to study their operations on campus, identify gaps and inefficiencies, and suggest improvements. Production of quantitative metrics for some of the performance indicators would be very helpful. IIP Intern responsibilities will also include collecting data and undertaking impact assessment of the various programs run by Aidha; assisting in conducting any statistical analysis of Aidha’s impact data; creating and maintaining spreadsheets and databases; managing the Alumni database and undertaking systematic filing of business proposals, and assisting in questionnaire development for various research conducted.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with a passion for non-profit work and empowering others and who have interests in any of the following areas: business, law, research, marketing, women empowerment, education, and migration issues, are encouraged to apply. Singapore is an English-speaking country, but an intern with Mandarin, Tamil, Bahasa, or Bangla language skills would be equipped to make a unique contribution. Candidates with strong verbal and written skills, cross-cultural sensitivity, knowledge of Microsoft (MS) Office Suite, strong research, writing, and analytical skills, and the ability to work both independently and in a team are encouraged to apply. Interns need to be available to work 1-2 Sundays a month on campus as required.
Previous work responsibilities (in the words of past interns): Intern #1: Impact analysis - Worked with my supervisor on a new impact analysis system for aidha to measure its social impact. Previously, Aidha had no system for truly measuring the variety of impacts it makes on different groups in communities both within Singapore and back in worker's home countries. The new model relied on numerous short-term and long-term indicators and measurement statistics which proved valuable in demonstrating impact, in order to ultimately procure more government funding, corporate partnership, and social investments. Survey research/implementation/innovation - In order to implement the new impact analysis model, it was necessary to create and enact a survey methodology which could be utilized across randomized survey samples. At the beginning of my project, I noticed that Aidha's research team had a variety of surveys going on, but all of these surveys were written and then manually inputted into an excel spreadsheet. This manual input could take dozens of hours of menial work, depending on the sample and survey sizes. I immediately upgraded the organization to several different online survey platforms which allow for more precise management of extensive data sets. The way in which these platforms cultivate data substantially increases the speed of data analysis, particularly simple tasks such as cross-filtering results to isolate trends. After I taught my supervisor how to utilize these platforms effectively, she expressed great gratitude and claimed that she could now complete her own future projects in a much more timely manner. Data analysis, recommendations for new program planning - I personally initiated and completed a research project to propel the organization towards a new dimension of service provision regarding its micro-business endeavor. One of aidha's end goals is to provide migrant workers with the skills and entrepreneurial knowledge necessary to successfully start and run their own micro-businesses back in their home countries. I was amazed that Aidha's students were learning about topics ranging from cash flow analysis to identifying market trends to product differentiation. Despite this, Aidha has always stressed savings as a primary method of obtaining capital to start a business. It has never included a microfinance component in its model. The survey I conducted found that a large portion of its students had never even heard of microfinance. Part of my project was to create a new program which graduates of the business portion of aidha's courses could engage in. My survey analysis allowed me to identify the components of such a program which would be most beneficial to the students. I ultimately produced a report which outlined a specific structure for this new program, including specific new courses and an implementation timeline to pilot the program for the next 16 months. I also outlined a system for building corporate partnerships via introducing a microfinance component to the new program. Intern #2: I worked on various outreach projects aimed at increasing Aidha's student enrollment and expanding Aidha's network of volunteers. Projects included: surveying volunteers on their engagement with Aidha and willingness to participate in outreach efforts, surveying current students to assess their use of Aidha's referral incentive program and identify ways to adjust the referral program to maximize its impact on enrollment, and seeking out alumni associations and other professional organizations to establish collaborations with Aidha. Generally, I felt that my experience at Aidha helped me to understand the operations of a small organization and gave me the opportunity to take the lead in identifying areas in which I can have an impact and establishing and carrying out my own projects accordingly. From my specific projects, I gained practice in survey development and analysis, as well as communication and presentation skills as I conducted meetings with various external organizations about potential collaborations.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Aidha - Singapore|
American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
Location: Singapore, Singapore
About: The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) is the leading international business association in Singapore, with over 5,500 members representing more than 750 companies. Their mission is to promote the interests of AmCham members in Singapore and the region by providing insights, advocacy and connections through programming and publications. AmCham represents members at the highest levels of government in Singapore and Washington, D.C. and advocates on policy issues concerning them.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP intern projects may include:
- ASEAN Business Outlook Survey (ABOS): ABOS is AmCham’s flagship publication and is produced in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The report comprises data collected from a survey of AmCham members from all 10 ASEAN countries. It is produced in advance of the ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting. ABOS is widely read by government and business leaders across ASEAN. This IIP intern will analyze data, prepare tables and charts, draft content, and edit the report. This intern will also have the opportunity to provide design suggestions for the publication and create info-graphics to communicate insights and promote the findings on social media. Other responsibilities may include preparing PowerPoint presentations to present the findings to government officials and supporting other departmental and interdepartmental initiatives of the Chamber as required.
- Public Affairs and Communications: This IIP intern will support the development and implementation of the Chamber’s public affairs strategy, assist the team in the planning and implementation of the Chamber’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, and support the development of AmCham’s external communications and media. This intern will also support other departmental and interdepartmental initiatives of the Chamber as required.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in communication, trade, commerce and economic development are encouraged to apply.
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here:
American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
Location: Singapore, Singapore
About: Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based Social Enterprise (SE) dedicated to creating vibrant social capital markets in Asia Pacific. The company’s three investment capital-raising platforms allow SEs to raise capital by amplifying their social and environmental impact and giving them greater opportunities to scale and expand their work. IIX’s internship program focuses on developing and stimulating products and platforms that will create a more transparent and engaged marketplace for impact investments to take place. SHUJOG is a legally separate but affiliated not-for-profit organization that helps SEs raise growth capital by showcasing and highlighting their social impact. Shujog develops the thought-leadership, advocacy and research that strengthen social enterprises in Asia Pacific. In particular, it provides the tools, awareness, and knowledge that social enterprises need to measure and communicate their social/environmental impact as well as to build organizational and financial accountability to attract investment capital. Shujog’s internship program focuses on strengthening the knowledge and investment capacity of SEs across the region, through assessment, research, and advocacy work.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP intern will work on one of these projects.
- PROJECT 1- Impact Accelerator: Impact Accelerator is an intensive acceleration program that provides tailored mentorship, seed capital and ongoing investment support services to Social Enterprises (SEs) over a period of 6 months. These SEs can be based in any of the countries in South and Southeast Asia. IIP intern will: assist with the planning and logistics of the Accelerator; assist with the required workshop requirements including preparing for workshop presentation materials using powerpoint and assist with liaising with the entrepreneurs on helping them to scale their impact and raise capital.
- PROJECT 2: Women’s Livelihood Bond: The Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB) is IIX’s commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that sets out to address the needs of one of the most important groups in the equation of equitable and sustainable development: Women.
IIX will develop and implement a US$20 million WLB to be listed on Impact Exchange, allowing underlying borrowers to reach millions of additional beneficiaries. Many organizations – including both NGOS and Social Enterprises – recognize the importance of focusing on women in development. However, alarmingly, existing funding channels fall drastically short of development goals focused on women. The WLB sets out to boldly change this, providing impact organizations with the capital they need upfront, to support women in the most vulnerable communities today. IIX acknowledges the dire need to empower women by supporting and expanding the sustainable livelihoods value chain through supporting existing Social Enterprises (SEs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) as ideal for the WLB. There are many SEs and MFIs that focus on empowering women to overcome gender-based constraints and socio-economic barriers to achieve a sustainable livelihood. However, lack of access to funding is a major barrier to growth; preventing SEs and MFIs from scaling up to empower a greater number of beneficiaries. The WLB will have an expected maturity of four to five years and will be available to impact investors. IIP interns will assist in the structuring of the first bond, assist in fund raising for the bond, assist in the research and assist in outreach of the program to ensure that there is a proper pipeline of SEs who are ready to participate in the Bond
- PROJECT 3: Impact Growth Fund: IIX is developing an impact venture fund – IIX Growth Fund (IGF) – to invest into and support high potential Impact Enterprises (IEs) in Asia. The IIX Growth Fund is a $50M for-profit, growth equity fund that will invest into innovative early-stage Impact Enterprises operating within developing countries in South East and South Asia. The Fund is a continuation of the work that IIX has been doing over the years to develop an impact investment eco-system and deepen capital markets in Asia to deliver large social impact. IIP interns will contribute to IGF strategy and provide support across the complete investment life-cycle; assist in the investment due diligence process including: conducting relevant industry research, engaging with prospective investees, developing and maintaining detailed financial models for evaluating potential investments; conducting financial due diligence and valuation, assist in preparing detailed investment memoranda, legal agreements and other investment process documents; support the active management of portfolio companies - including on-going monitoring of portfolio companies, preparing monthly operational and financial performance reports, information memos for quarterly board meetings, development and implementation of strategic initiatives (including further debt and equity raises)
- PROJECT 4:Shujog ACTS: Shujog ACTS (Assistance for Capacity-building and Technical Services) is an innovative technical assistance program that allows social enterprises to work with ecosystem partners to raise much needed growth capital so that they can scale and impact more lives. Shujog ACTS prioritizes helping women-focused businesses to grow and prosper. IIP interns will assist the Manager to manage all aspects of the ACTS program, including liaising with the various technical assistance providers, donor agencies, corporate foundations, and social enterprises, assist the Manager to contribute to the technical content and design of the program, as applicable, taking ACTS to the next level. He/she will be expected to create and direct new business opportunities, provide strategic business planning, including exploring and executing grant funding and other revenue opportunities for Shujog ACTS.
Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in finance, capital markets project management,marketing and business development are encouraged to apply. Applicants should also have an interest in social entrepreneurship, banking and finance, corporate finance, policy research, international development, or impact assessment. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (excel, powerpoint, word); knowledge of a regional Asian language is a plus.
Previous work experiences (in the words of a past IIP intern): I primarily worked on consulting projects. This responsibility included: desktop research on countries, companies and topics; creating content for training social enterprises and talking to them directly to give them comments and feedback and helping get them investor pitch ready; and creating a lot of decks/storyboards. I also have completed CSR research on financial institutions and consumer facing retail corporations, as well as, research on the Japan Humanity Bond and projects in the Philippines, Cambodia and Afghanistan. In addition, I completed several storyboards including one for a Ted-talk and have edited materials for the Impact Academy and Impact Accelerator BC Ghana project…I've learned a lot about work presentation; my research skills have gotten faster.
View a PowerPoint (.pdf) by a past IIP intern:
|For UPDATED information on SUMMER 2017 and TO APPLY, click here: Impact Investment|