Internship Program at Genetic Alliance
Genetic Alliance has a very laid-back environment that allows you to set your own goals. I enjoyed having the freedom to tackle my projects any which way I liked. It allowed me to hold myself accountable for everything during the internship. - Nancy Matti
The Internship Program at Genetic Alliance began in 1997. Since then, interns have come to Washington, DC each year for the learning experience of a lifetime. The program offers exposure to cutting edge issues in health advocacy and research, and interns participate in challenging roles across all Genetic Alliance programs.
Interns may attend an event at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, help build a patient registry survey, or conduct outreach to a vast network of health advocacy organizations - and those are only a few examples of intern activities. This competitive program is a perfect start for anyone wanting to jump into the field of health advocacy!
The staff allowed me to explore interests that surpassed the focus of the internship, which was very exciting. Unlike in other companies, Genetic Alliance relies on their interns to supply a significant amount of work which enables you to take ownership of projects. -Erika Lutins
Our work in Expecting Health focuses on improving the health delivery system for women, children, and families across multiple points in life. We use the lens of screening and testing throughout the preconception, prenatal, and childhood periods to increase knowledge and promote the dissemination of evidence-based materials and resources. A cornerstone of this area is Baby's First Test (www.BabysFirstTest.org), the nation's center for newborn screening for parents and health providers.
This program integrates grassroots education, national policy, and broad public awareness to highlight one of the most successful public health programs in the nation. This internship is valuable for those interested in health education, genetic counseling, health policy, advocacy and outreach, research, business development, and new and traditional media relations.
Genetic Alliance provides a great opportunity for interns to serve active roles in a variety of projects relating to the advancement of genetic technology and health advocacy. During my time here, I felt engaged in my projects and felt that my work was meaningful. -Will Gluckin
Help Genetic Alliance empower consumers to take charge of their health. This internship focuses on communicating Genes in Life resources to consumers, health care providers, and the public at large. Learn about public health systems, point of care technology, and engaging individuals and families interested in genetic and genomic services. Hone your research, writing, outreach, and social media skills by communicating about topics such as whole genome sequencing, genetic testing, family health history, patient support, and advocacy.
Interact with our network partners through meetings, listservs, and webinars. Genes in Life programs include GenesInLife.org, the National Genetics Education and Consumer Network, state-based public health screening, genomics and health information technology, and family health history. This internship is valuable for those interested in genetic counseling, public health, health information technology, medical school, nursing, allied health professions, health education, medical anthropology, community-based health work, and more.
My time at Genetic Alliance has been truly wonderful and I have gained so much valuable insight and experience in a field that has always intrigued me. This internship has certainly increased my interest in public health and has helped me decide that this is indeed a career path I'd like to pursue! -Lyndzie Sardenga
Genetic Alliance's BioTrust Enterprise accelerates solutions by envisioning people at the center, and inventing and creating tools that will empower the crowd. We offer tools and platforms that empower people to participate in research that supports translational and clinical science and contribute their data, samples, and ideas. Throughout this internship, you will work along side Genetic Alliance staff and partners.
You will work on programs and initiatives that are cutting edge and support programs Genetic Alliance has designed as part of several national and international initiatives, including: the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (PCORnet), the participant focus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the 'precision medicine initiative' of the President. These efforts involve a multidisciplinary approach to science, community engagement, policy, and education. The work is not siloed: it involves multiple partners and crosses over with Genetic Alliance's other projects and programs.
Interns will be tasked with creating concrete products, including peer-reviewed papers, white papers, surveys, tools, best practices, and web-based training modules. Interns are also encouraged to develop and propose projects relevant to the work of the BioTrust enterprise. This internship targets individuals who are interested in biomedical research, bioinformatics, translational science, clinical data management, bioethics, clinical medicine, and medical research. A scientific background and strong communication skills are preferred.
Today, 'big data' is sweeping translational science as a means to a BIG end.At Genetic Alliance, much of the work centers on PEER, the Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly. PEER is Genetic Alliance's innovative registry platform, built to power translational and clinical science by connecting patients, disease advocacy organizations, health providers, and researchers in new partnerships for health. By working with PEER, you will gain experience with registries, biobanks, and natural history studies; and develop valuable skills in data management and survey instrument design. You will obtain firsthand exposure to the power of data repositories to facilitate information sharing, power translational research, and inform clinical decision-making; and you will learn how partnerships among stakeholders will advance research initiatives that influence prevention and intervention.
Another aspect of this initiative is GaugeRx, an interactive, web-based analytics and assessment tool designed to support decision-making in drug development. By assisting advocacy organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and other health care stakeholders to pinpoint possible areas of collaboration, GaugeRx will enable a variety of new partnerships within the translational science space, leading to new and improved treatments and therapies. GaugeRx will build on participant - and organization-level data aggregated through PEER, Genetic Alliance's own Disease InfoSearch, and a variety of other public and private databases to help disease organizations identify next steps in their research agendas, and to simultaneously help researchers identify suitable partners for new translational and clinical research projects. By working with GaugeRx, you will gain valuable experience with a variety of research data repositories, learn about the power of evidence-based decision making, and develop and fuller, more nuanced picture of the network model of drug development.
Where once biomedical research thought it could thrive without too much of the messy interface with people, we now know that engaging and empowering individuals will be the road to robust participation in large cohorts, data sharing, and innovative discoveries. Within this program, interns will work with dozens of communities to discover the best ways to enliven people to participate in registries, surveys, and to ultimately 'reclaim' their own health. This internship offers a number of areas for project focus based on existing Genetic Alliance programs, including initiatives that focus on women's health and cancer; on rare disease and pediatrics; and on the sensitive role of genetic data in health. Interns will have the opportunity to design their own projects around these topics within the broader themes of advocacy, participatory research, and community engagement.
No science can proceed without a solid policy base. You will explore the ethical implications of big data and participant engagement with a renowned team of ethicists who provide guidance on data access and data sharing, privacy, engagement, and trustworthy research practices.The programs of Genetic Alliance, which reach into the lives of millions of people, are conveyed through all sorts of media – including the typical social media formats, as well as enormous amounts of video, infographics, and the like. You will be articulating the value of citizens being at the core of translational science, in an eloquent and engaging format.
No one judges your work or thinks it is less important than anything else. Genetic Alliance is like a factory for papers, projects, and networking strategies. -Kavia Khosla
Disease InfoSearch is a website providing information and support for genetic, medical, and mental health conditions. Each of over 9000 condition pages aggregates links to quality disease information across the Internet and pairs them with up-to-date, curated information on support groups and resources. Viewers can find information ranging from scientific articles to active clinical trials and everything in-between. Disease InfoSearch acts as an all-in-one resource for newly diagnosed individuals and their families, as well as the medical community.
Work with our social media and optimize our Google Ads to increase site traffic
Track visitors through our site using Google Analytics and determine areas which need improved flow
Design marketing and targeted outreach campaigns
Policy, guidelines, and guidance's
Interact with teams from the other Genetic Alliance enterprises to maximize connections
Compose new content for Disease InfoSearch condition pages including descriptions of medical, genetic and mental health conditions
Reach out to new support and advocacy organizations
Design marketing and targeted outreach campaigns
Work directly with an army of advocates to update condition pages
Identify educational resources and tools to populate the site
Conduct user testing and debugging of new Disease InfoSearch update
Work with staff to launch beta of Alert and Notifications features
Research new resources to connect to Disease InfoSearch
Work directly with an army of advocates to update condition pages
Identify potential technology, lab, and healthcare partners
Skills Based Internships
Focus on the power of technology to transform health! Interns will have the opportunity to gain experience with and work on systems at the cutting edge of the interface between health and technology. Projects will include web-based tools such as the Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER) and Disease InfoSearch, and GaugeRx; website design/development; and managing information technology systems. If interested, interns will also have the opportunity to engage in our work around genomics and health information technology, with a specific focus on electronic health record standards and Meaningful Use implementation. This internship is valuable for those interested in web design/development, information technology, and database management. Applicants with experience in information technology and/or web development are strongly preferred.
"From a group effort towards contributing to Disease InfoSearch to collaboration on an entirely new development project, an internship at Genetic Alliance allows you to freely learn about the interdisciplinary field of public health, while utilizing a variety of skills, such as research, writing, and critical thinking. It was an amazing experience! -Joowon Choi
Outreach efforts are essential to the work conducted by the diverse array of organizations in Genetic Alliance's network. They are particularly important to those with a special focus on underserved communities and health and disease advocacy. Interns may work on direct outreach campaigns to engage with Disease Advocacy Organizations by phone, or on promotional outreach campaigns for Baby's First Test, Genes in Life, Genetic Alliance Registry and BioBank, Disease InfoSearch, TrialsFinder, and Registries for All. Interns will develop and enact effective strategies to communicate the benefits of joining our network, be the point of contact for non-profit leaders, maintain organized and up-to-date outreach progress reports, and track outreach success. Specific project activities may include outreach through social media, news jacking, and the creation of original blogs. Interns will gain valuable outreach and online marketing experience while helping Genetic Alliance to revolutionize access to information and promote an environment of openness. For this internship, we strongly prefer individuals with outreach experience, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and experience with social media tools, aggregators, and applications. Most programs in America reach only majority communities – we are very interested in changing this. What can you do to enable access for underserved and underrepresented communities? This internship is valuable for those interested in community outreach, underserved communities, social media, marketing, and analytics.
This internship allows the freedom to let your interests direct what kind of work you do. Interns have the chance to hone research and writing skills as they learn about data sharing, drug development, and ethical, legal, and social issues related to genetics. Interns spend a majority of their time doing meaningful work rather than busy work. -Petra Schubert
Genetic Alliance's BioTrust Enterprise aims to accelerate solutions for human health by engaging a diverse group of professionals within healthcare (ranging from people within disease advocacy organizations to researchers) to advance translational research. Translational research refers to 'translating' basic scientific findings about biology and genetics into treatments and therapies that can be tested in clinical trials – an area of drug development that can be a major obstacle for researchers. We work to bridge this gap by offering tools and platforms that empower citizens to participate in research and contribute their data, samples, and ideas. These initiatives serve as a way to bring different healthcare stakeholders together to facilitate the clinical innovation process, beginning with the communities who are sharing their data.
In this internship, you will work on Genetic Alliance programs and initiatives involving PEER, the Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly. PEER is Genetic Alliance's innovative registry platform, built to power translational and clinical science by connecting patients, disease advocacy organizations, health providers, and researchers in new partnerships for health. This is an important tool for organizations seeking to engage their communities around research on health and disease, and your work as a community engagement intern will be essential to supporting these efforts.
During this internship you will develop and enact effective strategies to engage public and patient communities in PEER projects; this entails being the point of contact for non-profit leaders and advocacy organizations, assisting PEER partners in identifying and developing new contacts, maintaining organized and up-to-date outreach progress reports, creating informational material to disseminate to various patient populations, and tracking outreach successes and obstacles for each disease advocacy organization. You will gain valuable outreach and online marketing experience and will learn firsthand how partnerships among stakeholders can advance research initiatives that influence prevention and intervention in healthcare. This internship is valuable for those interested in community outreach, underserved communities, social media, marketing, analytics, designing outreach materials, and writing. Applicants with outreach experience and excellent verbal and written communication skills are preferred.
See what past interns have to say about the projects they worked on:
We offer both topic-based and skill-based internships. When considering the internship opportunities, you may be interested in:
- A specific topic and you have a number of relevant skills
- A specific skill and you are agnostic to the topic (but are interested in health in general)
- A specific skill you wish to apply to a specific topic
Your expression of your creativity and ingenuity begins with the application: use the cover letter to describe why you are an excellent fit for the internship for which you are applying. If selected to intern with Genetic Alliance, you will be encouraged to develop and propose your own projects to the organization. See other requirements below.
Location of Internship & Transportation
Interns may receive academic credit if an agreement is made between Genetic Alliance and the intern's college or university. All interns are subject to the applicable Genetic Alliance Personnel Handbook.
Each applicant may choose to apply for one or more positions. Experience for each specific position must be addressed in a cover letter.
Intern applications are considered on an ongoing basis. We offer single and multi-semester internships, in addition to summer or yearlong opportunities. Intern applications are considered on a rolling basis, but suggested deadlines are as follows:
Winter/Spring: November 14
Summer: February 10
- Download and fill out the Application Form.
- One (1)-page letter of interest or cover letter (strictly enforced) – Please share with us how working with Genetic Alliance will advance your professional and academic goals. In particular, describe what skills you offer and those you wish to gain during your internship. Please also be sure to indicate which of the above internship opportunities you are interested in (you may list more than one).
- Resume or CV
- Two letters of recommendation from professors or previous employers. Recommendation letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org either with the application or separately; whichever is preferable to the writers.
- A three-to-five-page writing sample (excluding citations) – Samples should not be scientific research papers. Samples may be excerpts of longer papers. If a sample exceeds the limit, only the first three pages will be considered. In your email providing the above materials, please tell us why you have chosen this writing sample to submit with your application. You may provide more than one writing sample if you feel it necessary to demonstrate a range of skills important to the internship of interest.
- Any forms relevant to fulfilling requirements for your school or external program. This may include forms relevant for receiving funds or a grant to supplement the internship stipend or receiving academic credit.
- Genetic Alliance Interns come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, but all interns share a common passion for strengthening health systems and taking the health advocacy community to a new level.
- Location of Internship & Transportation Genetic Alliance is conveniently located above the Van Ness metro stop on the Red Line in Washington, DC. Address: 4301 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 404, Washington, DC 20008 (See Directions) Academic Credit Interns may receive academic credit if an agreement is made between Genetic Alliance and the intern's college or university. All interns are subject to the applicable Genetic Alliance Personnel Handbook. Compensation All interns receive a stipend to assist in travel and living expenses. The stipend is $20 per day worked. We gladly work with interns to accommodate class schedules, volunteer opportunities, degree requirements, and attending meetings of interest.
Submitting Your Application Materials
Applications are only accepted by email. Please send your materials to email@example.com. Due to the volume of applications we receive each year, only those applicants who are asked to interview will be contacted.
Thank you for your interest!