There are a wide variety of opportunities for PhD students, undergraduates, and professional students to get experience with science diplomacy. This page presents opportunities from many different departments at Penn, as well as departments which offer funding for international experiences. If you would like to request that an opportunity be added to this list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Many international internship opportunities have deadlines in very early January, and so have already passed. They are still listed here for the purpose of future planning. Listings will be replaced with opportunities for 2020 as soon as they are available.
Center for Global Health
The Center for Global Health
Deadline for all opportunities: 5pm February 8th, 2019. To apply, submit a statement of interest and CV to Andie Yost at email@example.com. If your qualifications meet the required critieria, you will be contacted for an interview.
For additional information on each opportunity, please contact Erin Reagan.
Title: Nutrition Database Support Assistant
Location: Gabarone, Botswana
Summary: Dietetics Department at Center for Child and Adolescent Nutrition, and Princess Marina Hospital are seeking to organized paper records into a database for monitoring, evaluation, and future research. Volunteer will work with dietetics staff and under Maemo Lesiapeto, who studied Clinical Epidemiology at UPenn under Dr. Elizabeth Lowenthal. Dr. Lowenthal will provide remote support, and pre-travel support to the volunteer. Volunteer may be able to do research with Ms. Lesiapeto.
Eligibility: Strong interest in health and nutrition, desired experience with database development and data entry. Flexible and organized. Experience with REDCap, Excel, and Stata preferred. Online research training required to complete before travel.
Notes: Eligible to apply for Harvey M. Friedman Global Health Travel Award for travel expenses.
Title: Preventive Medicine Research Assistant
Location: Whiteriver, Arizona, USA
Summary: Whiteriver Service Unit is a 40-bed facility providing inpatient and outpatient services to 20,000 members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Northeast rural Arizona. The population has a high rate of diabetes, obesity, rheumatology, substance abuse, and infectious diseases. Dr. Ryan Close, the Preventive Medicine Officer, has several on-going projects including: the impact of invasive Group A Streptococcus, assessing the prevalence of GAS pharyngitis in children <3 years, and assessing effectiveness of injectable naltrexone on alcohol-use disorder. Volunteer would work directly with Dr. Close on projects most aligned with their interests, including joining on-going research, initiating new studies, or both. Volunteers interested in public health can join initiatives controlling outbreaks of syphilis and Hepatitis C or surveillance of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Eligibility: Strong interest in Global Health and/or working with under-served or marginalized populations and knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word. Flexibility, enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and intrinsically motivated. Experience working in cross-cultural context recommended. Prior research experience helpful but not required.
Notes: On-site housing provided, meals provided by hospital cafeteria.
Title: Healthy Development Project Research Assistant
Location: Consuelo, Dominican Republic
Summary: Since 2009, CHOP has worked with leadership and clinicians in Consuelo, DR, to provide primary care and health education to poor children <5 years. This program (Niños Primeros en Salud) incorporates several key pillars, including nutrition, breastfeeding promotion, deworming, and immunization. Recent research focused on reading behaviors with parents in NPS, who reported they wanted to learn more about promoting their children’s healthy development. This follow-up project will collect quantitative information about early cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional milestones from families to inform future interventions. Volunteers, two or three from Penn, will serve as research assistants, helping with data collection, study coordination, patient enrollment, and interviews.
Eligibility: MUST be fluent in Spanish. Must be comfortable speaking with parents in the DR about components of their child’s development, and be able to live and work in the DR for a minimum of 6 weeks. Experience working/living in low-resourced and cross-cultural settings, experience administering psychological instruments, interest in working with young children and families, familarity in data entry and management software such as REDcap desired. Also desired but not required: fluency in Haitian Creole.
Notes: The CHOP Global Health Center will fund the volunteer’s on-site housing.
Title: Charts Auditors and Data Recorder
Location: Consuelo, Dominican Republic
Summary: Same program as above. Over the past two summers, two volunteers each year have performed an audit of medical charts in the NPS program. Info collected has been used to set and track progress toward program goals. We need two more student auditors to review NPS patient charts to collect and compile info related to the program’s key pillars, analyze trends, and think critically about how to improve data collection and patient records in the future to better track info about the pillars. Volunteer will be encouraged to participate as a co-author to present findings from this project in a poster presentation at CHOP’s annual Global Health conference. Authorship role depends on volunteer’s abilities: 1st-authorship is a possibility.
Eligibility: MUST be fluent in Spanish. Must be able to live/work in the DR for 6-8 weeks. Must have some familiarity with data entry and data management using software such as REDCap, Excel, Access, Stata, etc. Experience living/working in low-resourced and cross-cultural settings desired
Notes: The CHOP Global Health Center will fund the volunteer’s on-site housing.
Title: Assistant Data Coordinator/Data QC Assistant
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Summary: Person-centered Public Health for HIV Treatment in Zambia (PCPH) seeks to develop a measurement approach based on SMS surveys, exit interviews, and interventions among a random sample of lost patients — a public health patient experience measurement system. This will accurately capture the patient experience and will be built with the intention for widespread use at scale in Zambia and beyond. The study will also evaluate systematic use of facility-level performance and patient experience info on effectiveness and efficiency through a stepped wedge trial. It will assess implementation experience, costs, projected cost-effectiveness, and impact of scaling-up patient centered care in Zambia.
Eligibility: Candidate should have degree in information management, computer science, or related field, as well as experience with Microsoft Access or other relationship databases. Should also have experience with either NVIVO, STATA, MYSQL, or other qualitative analysis software, and experience with any programming language. Should also have experience in conducting trainings and data quality control processes, have strong analytical and problem solving skills, the ability to work with minimal supervision and ability to meet tight deadlines.
Title: Oncology Research Assistant
Location: Rwanda or Botswana
Summary: Research Assistants will work within cancer programs in either Rwanda, at Butaro Hospital, or Botswana, at Princess Marina Hospital. RAs will be embedded within the oncology team and have 1-3 projects to focus on. Projects are often centered around analyses of patients with a particular disease and related treatment aspects, gaps in care, and ultimate outcomes. RAs will have an on-site mentor, plus remote mentoring by US oncologists. These projects have usually resulted in presentations at international meetings, as well as publications.
Eligibility: Should have very basic understanding of disease processes, without specific knowledge of oncology. RAs will need to repeat and learn about the diseases they are studying. They will need to be meticulous in data accrual and entry into a database, and will have mentoring in this regard. RAs are not required to independently analyze data via statistical programs, though if they know how they may be able to do this on their own.
Notes: Work in Botswana is eligible to apply for funding from the Harvey M. Friedman Global Health Travel Award for travel expenses.
Title: Baseline Data Collection Tool Developer, Food and Nutrition Program
Location: Gbarnga City, Liberia
Summary: B4 Youth Theatre offers a free summer arts-intensive program to students, but there are often difficulties making sure students come with food. As we consider beginning a food and nutrition program, we must collect data on how many students are bringing food, what sort of food they can bring, whether they ate breakfast, if they live near enough to have lunch at home over the lunch break, etc. The data will be used in community meetings with parents to devise a plan for the health of our students while they’re involved in physical activity and may later include writing grants for food assistance for the students.
Eligibility: We require a strong interest in qualitative and survey research and experience working in low-resourced and cross-cultural settings. A desire to work with children and youth is desired, and familiarity with Liberian English or local Liberian language Kpelle is preferred (though not required by any means).
Notes: Host-country peer mentors and housing and meals with families of students are available at a reasonable charge.
Global Research and Internship Program
GRIP collects and supports dozens of Penn Abroad opportunities for undergraduates and graduates at Penn. Some are internships at businesses, some are research opportunities at universities, and some are placements at NGOs that deal with international science policy and diplomacy. This list is a small selection. Website
Deadline: The 2019 deadline was January 6th, 2019. Deadlines for 2020 programs are expected to be the first week of January, 2020.
Title: GRIP World Medical Association
Location: Ferney-Voltaire, France
Eligibility: Background in medical, human rights, or project management. Proficient in English. Basic knowledge of organizations like the UN. Proficiency in office applications and social media. Self-motivated. Good communicator and problem solver. Strong team-player. Preference for: fluency in second language besides English.
Funding: $3000 (estimated cost: $6,950)
Title: GRIP UNESCO
Location: Paris, France
Eligibility: Current grad student. Background in ethics, medicine, policy, environment, philosophy, human rights, international relations, or project management. Strong interest in organizations like the UN. Fluency in one of UNESCO’s languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese) other than English. Preference for: ability to work in multicultural team and take initiative when necessary.
Funding: $3000 (estimated cost: $6,275)
Title: GRIP Science Workshop
Location: Hong Kong, China
Eligibility: Major in STEM. Native or near-native fluency in English. Energetic, positive, enthusiastic team player. Preference for: enjoying or having experience working with children in activity-oriented environment.
Funding: $2,575 (estimated cost: $5,150)
Title: GRIP Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Location: Washington D.C. and either Ascunsion, Paraguay or Guatemala City, Guatemala
Eligibility: Fluent in Spanish. Have basic training on research ethics, highly self-motivated and responsible, interested in bioethics, strong academic credentials, excellent communication skills. Preference for: familiarity with ethics review process, technology-savvy, basic web-design skills, teaching experience, and health research experience.
Funding: $3000 (estimated cost is $5,014 for Paraguay placement or $4,514 for Guatemala placement)
Title: GRIP Generations for Peace
Location: Amman, Jordan
Eligibility: Excellent attention to detail, time management skills, computer skills (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, email), cultural sensitivity, interest in global current affairs, conflict resolution, peace building and international development. Proven ability to fit into a young, diverse, and dynamic team. Preference for: experience in research, fundraising, marketing, or communications and proficiency in Arabic.
Funding: $2,120 (estimated cost $4,420)
Title: GRIP Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology
Location: Gashora, Rwanda
Eligibility: Outgoing and social, adept at working with students in small and large groups, self-driven, ready to jump into a fast-paced, high-achieving secondary school, high level of written English skills. Preference for: experience in tutoring or mentoring, and training in SAT preparation.
Funding: $1,680 (estimated cost $3,360)
Penn Career Services funding for Summer Opportunities
Award: $3,500 (maximum)
Eligibility: Full-time returning student. Preference to undergrads but grad students in Annenberg, Arts and Sci, BGS, Engineering, Design, Education, Nursing, Social Policy, and Wharton are encouraged to apply. Must have applied for summer opportunity in the US or abroad, must be at least 6 weeks in length. Must agree to write summary of experience for Penn and Beyond publication.
Summary: Many students are unable to take advantage of excellent positions, which are sometimes the first step towards a career in a given field. Other students wish to participate in not for profit or NGO work abroad, or to do a research project, but the travel costs to get there are prohibitive. This year, [NOTE: not yet updated for 2019] thanks to generous donors, Career Services has a fund of money to allow students to pursue unfunded or under-funded summer opportunities. The funds could cover travel expenses, living expenses, or both. Website
Deadlines: Application Round 1—January 30th-March 2nd. Application Round 2— January 30th-April 2nd. Summer experience offer confirmed by April 15th for both rounds. (Note: These dates are for 2018; 2019 dates have not yet been published as of 12/29/2018).
Global Research and Internship Program Funding-Only Award
Eligibility: Full-time returning student in good academic standing. Must have been given an offer for a summer opportunity abroad, 8-12 weeks in length.
Summary: The Funding-Only component of the Global Research & Internship Program provides funding awards to students who have secured their own internship or research opportunity abroad for the summer. Award amounts are intended to be a partial funding source and will vary based program length, program location, and student need. Website
Deadlines: Priority Deadline — January 6th, 2019 (10pm EST), decision Feb 22. Final deadline — April 1st, 2019 (10pm EST), decisions on rolling basis from Mar 1 for applications after Jan 6th.