Internship Program at Genetic Alliance
The Internship Program at Genetic Alliance has been in place since 1997. Genetic Alliance internships enable individuals to contribute meaningfully to significant work in empowering individuals, families, and communities to reclaim their health. Interns are an integral part of the Genetic Alliance team, and assume responsibility for various aspects of programs and projects. Interns are expected to be self-starters, self-guided, and able to work independently. Our program is extremely competitive. We provide internship opportunities of varying duration, from semester to year-long.
Design your internship experience around one or more of the following areas:
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.
Topic Based Internships
- Expecting Health: Maternal and Child Health
- 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.
- Genes in Life: Genetics and the Public’s Health
- 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.
- BioTrust: Translational and Clinical Research Platforms
- Genetic Alliance's BioTrust Enterprise aims to advance translational and clinical research, and accelerate solutions for human health. This is accomplished by offering tools and platforms that empower citizens to participate in research and contribute their data, samples, and ideas. These initiatives also serve as a way of bringing together different healthcare stakeholders (patients, disease advocacy organizations, health providers, and researchers) to facilitate the clinical innovation process.
- In this internship, you will be working on Genetic Alliance programs and initiatives, including: Genetic Alliance Registry and Biobank, Registries for All, Free the Data, and Trialsfinder.
- You will also be able to focus on how partnerships among stakeholders will advance research initiatives that influence prevention and intervention; gain experience working on biobanking and registries, natural history studies, and open access and privacy; obtain firsthand exposure to how the power of technological and data repositories can facilitate the translation of research into treatments, open access to information, and improve decision-making; develop valuable skills in data management and survey instrument design; build the technology and outreach aspects of campaigns to engage the public and patient communities; and access the ethical implications of Genetic Alliance's work with a renowned team of ethicists who provide guidance on data access, data sharing, engagement, and trustworthy research practices. 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 is valuable for those interested in bioinformatics, biomedical research, ethics, clinical data management, translational science, medical school, and more. A scientific background and strong communication skills are preferred.
Skills Based Internships
- Technology & Health Internship
- Focus on the power of technology to transform health. Interns will have the opportunity to further develop tools and work on systems at the cutting edge of the interface between health and technology. Projects will include web-based tools like Registries for All and Disease InfoSearch, 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.
- Outreach and Public Engagement
- 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.
- This internship is valuable for those interested in community outreach, underserved communities, social media, marketing, and analytics.
- In the past, most interns have been college students, but Genetic Alliance encourages individuals in various stages of their academic and professional careers to apply. The organization does require, however, that individuals demonstrate through previous experience a passion for improving health systems to better meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities or have previous experience in the internship for which they are applying. Genetic Alliance internships are highly competitive and encompass work requiring prior knowledge in each specific program.
- Location of Internship & Transportation
- Genetic Alliance is conveniently located adjacent to 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.
- Acknowledgments and Compensation
- All interns receive a stipend to assist in travel and living expenses: full-time interns receive a stipend of $100/wk, and part-time interns receive a stipend of $50/wk. We gladly work with interns to accommodate class schedules, volunteer opportunities, degree requirements, and attending meetings of interest.
International applications are welcome, however, Genetic Alliance does not sponsor international applicants for a work visa or offer assistance in relocation fees.
Each applicant may choose only one position for which to apply. 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 an ongoing basis, but suggested deadlines are as follows:
Winter/Spring: November 14
Summer: February 20
- Application Materials:
- 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 internship (at) geneticalliance (dot) 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.
Submitting Your Application Materials
Because Genetic Alliance encourages environmentally friendly behavior, we prefer applicants to email their application materials to Kyle McEvilly at internship (at) geneticalliance (dot) org. 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.
Summer 2014 interns pose at "Genome: Unlocking Life's Code" in the National Museum of Natural History
Experiences of Summer 2014 Interns
"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 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." (Meggie Hotard)
"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)
"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 is more of a community than an office. It fosters each individual's creativity and unique perspectives while also supporting group interaction and engagement." (Summer 2014 Intern)
"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)