Several REN MEMBERS have inquired how to find interns. Advice from our Members follows below. Thanks in advance to Kari Rosbeck (TS Alliance), Danielle Boyce (), Thometta Cozart (EF), Kathryn Atchley (KIf1A), Heidi Grabenstatter (IFCR), Vanessa Vogel-Farley (Dup15q) and Bina Shah (Project 8p) for your thoughtful comments and guidance.
Types of Interns
The two main groups of interns include undergraduate students and graduate students. They may be available to work with your organization as part of a class project (See KIF1A Organization example). Graduate students will likely work in a more official capacity and actually help to complete research on specific topics.
Ways to Bring Interns onto the Team
First off, there are more ways than listed here for finding an intern or researcher, but these techniques are fairly straightforward and offer quality people willing to intern and research for your organization.
Formal Ph.D./Co-op programs: Oftentimes universities and colleges (in the United States specifically) have university-wide programs that give employers the chance to easily distribute their internship position to an entire program. Some universities with established programs include Vanderbilt, University of Colorado Boulder, Columbia University, and Drexel University.
International League Against Epilepsy, Young Epilepsy Section (YES): This is an organization with goals of improving professional development and expanding involvement for young people in the early stages of their career focused on Epilepsy. By registering your organization with YES, you will be able to access their Slack and utilize it by posting internship opportunities. More information and registration can be found here.
Reaching out Directly to college/high school internship coordinators: If you are unable to find an established program, creating a job description and giving it to career counseling offices at colleges or directly to internship coordinators at Public Health Programs or Communications Departments, is another great option. Even local high school students can be a viable option for projects. Thometta Cozart (EF) has offered to disseminate job descriptions for public health students to her network. You can reach Thometta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the Internship, Engage the Intern in a Publishable Summary of Their Work
Look for ways to publicly share the work of your interns through research summaries, e-newsletters, blog posts and the like. Kathryn Atchley shared an example of a project summary written by a researcher and a template.
Consolidated and Edited by Sebastian Druehl, Class of ‘21, Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda Maryland.