Internship Program

Quick Facts | Program Description | Current Interns

The Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP) Internship Program


Recruitment for this program is now closed. Thank you!

What is the focus of the program?

Training the next generation of leaders to catalyze solutions that benefit population health and welfare through research and diverse learning opportunities that focus on how social conditions affect health and well-being.

Who is it for?

  • McGill undergraduate and graduate students.

What do students do?

  • They are paired with IHSP faculty and staff, and spend 10-15 hours per week on a project defined by their supervisor
  • Students meet with their supervisor regularly
  • As a cohort, students attend training sessions for 1 to 2 hours every week

Where and when does it take place?

  • At the IHSP (Charles Meredith House).  The program runs twice per year (Fall and Winter semesters).

How much is the award?

  • $2000

How many awards are available?

  • 7-11 internship projects are offered in both the Fall and Winter terms

Program Description

The Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP) Internship program trains and develops the next generation of leaders to catalyze solutions that benefit population health and welfare. The program offers research opportunities and diverse training that build on the strengths of graduate and undergraduate education at McGill University in investigating how social conditions affect health and well-being. A major component of the internship is the work carried out in collaboration with a supervisor, while a weekly seminar/workshop series exposes interns to a variety of disciplines and provides training in translating research into policy.

Through hands-on experience in a research setting, interns will participate in a vibrant academic environment, learn how to communicate research findings to the media or general public, and gain insight into different disciplinary approaches.  Students will develop their professional network by interacting with fellow interns, graduate students, faculty and staff at the IHSP.

Winter 2017 Cohort

Bilun Naz Böke is a graduate student in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. Stemming from her own experiences with her (ongoing) transition to adulthood, Naz is interested in learning more about this period of human development. Her research experience and graduate training have generally revolved around health outcomes and the psychological aspects of development. With a growing interest in policy processes, Naz comes to the IHSP in hopes to pursue this interest and gain skills within a policy context to build on her research background.

Clark Bray is in his final year at McGill. He majors in English Literature and minors in Sociology. Time Clark spent away from McGill addressing his physical and mental health has inspired him to improve the health of others. He hopes to go to Public Health school after McGill so that he can work on improving mental health policy. His internship at the IHSP is with Dr. Frank Elgar. Their research team is investigating the relationship between the school neighbourhood environment and health outcomes in Canadian students. In his spare time Clark loves to read, lift weights, and follow the NBA. He is also an avid cinephile. 

Rene Iwo is in his final term of joint honours Sociology and International Development Studies. His interests mainly relate to health demography and child welfare. He has previously worked with a local NGO in Lebanon focusing on Syrian refugee children, as well as as an intern in the Indonesian Ministry of Development Planning (Child Protection Division). He also had the chance to work with Cree children in Eeyou Istchee (Cree territory in Northern Quebec), which sparked his interest in indigenous health. This led him to pursue this internship, examining health behaviours of high school students in Eeyou Istchee under the supervision of Prof. Mylène Riva.

Gal Kramer is in her final year at McGill. She is pursuing a degree in Geography (urban systems) and International Development Studies with a minor in Environment. Her interests include sustainable urban development, urban agriculture and social connectedness in relation to urban design. Her previous research experience has included various community studies of Jews in the United States, an internship investigating accessibility to public transit in Panama City and a study of the environmental impact of academic related long-distance travel here at McGill. This semester at the IHSP, Gal will be working with Professor Barrington-Leigh exploring urban sprawl in cities around the world. 

Alexandra Matas is a third year student majoring in Honors International Development with a minor concentration in Economics. Before coming to McGill, Alexandra lived in several countries in Latin America, West Africa and the Caribbean. This contributed to her interest in development, economic empowerment, and food security. Her recent experience working with the World Food Programme sparked her interest for public-private partnerships. She is looking forward to interning at the IHSP and working with Professors Anna-Liisa Aunio and Daniel Weinstock on the Food Justice and Sustainability project.

Mark Onderwater is a Master of Urban Planning student, specializing in transportation planning at McGill University. He has particular interests in mapping and spatial data analysis for cycling, pedestrian, and public transit planning initiatives. Mark’s past projects have included the development of a bikeability map for Quebec City, a route modelling study to estimate the utility and usage of proposed bike lanes in Quebec City, and a multivariate accessibility map called the “Liveability Index” for The City of Calgary. Mark’s IHSP internship with Professor Chris Barrington-Leigh will use OpenStreetMap data to look at indices of connectivity and sprawl in transportation networks, within varying global contexts. 

Hannah Reardon is a U3 student pursuing a Joint Honours program in Anthropology and Political Science with minor in Hispanic Studies. Her research interests include Latin America, development initiatives, bureaucracy and the role of foreign interests in development. Her participation in the McBurney Latin America Fellowship led her to the IHSP and this term she will be filling the role of the outreach intern for the institute. 

Jeffery Sauer is currently pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Geography (graduating in April 2017) under the supervision of Professor Berrang-Ford, with a thesis focusing on estimating and hierarchical modeling malnutrition present in the Batwa Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Southwest Uganda). Although a Geographer by training, Jeff's true passion is statistics and spatial modeling. His research interests include small population methodologies, hierarchical linear modeling, and Bayesian inferential simulation. This winter, Jeff will be working with Professor Riva on data visualization projects and data management.

Tzu-Wei (Joy) Tseng is a U4 student honoring in Microbiology and Immunology, and minoring in Psychology. In Summer 2016, thanks to the Cavazzoni Award of McGill Global Health Programs, she had the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Baumgartner and her Master’s student on elucidating the links between traditional cooking stoves, human health and the environment, in order to determine if more ergonomic stoves could have a positive impact. This field research experience in the Tibetan Plateau has made her eager to be part of Dr. Baumgartner's project again as an IHSP intern so that she can learn how the research findings she helped collect last summer can eventually lead to policy making. After being inspired by the book Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, she hopes to use her multi-disciplinary research background to advocate for empirically-based health care reform.

Heather Whiteside is a first year student at McGill's Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo in History and Political Science. Her research interests lie at the intersection of law and health, particularly relating to sexual and reproductive health law, medical liability, and disability rights. She is currently an editor for the McGill Journal of Law and Health and contributes to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association's Rights Watch Blog. As an IHSP intern, she is working with Professor Daniel Weinstock on research relating to Quebec's childcare and parental leave policies and barriers in access to childcare. 

For inquiries regarding the internship program, please contact the Student Affairs Administrator by studentaffairs [dot] ihsp [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email).