Internship Program

Quick Facts | Program Description | Current Interns

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

Recruitment for Winter 19 is closed.

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.

Fall 2018 Internship Cohort

Holly McGarrHolly McGarr is a graduate student in the School of Population and Global Health. She is completing a Master of Science in Public Health and aims to combine her knowledge of social epidemiology with her background in nutritional sciences to influence health and social policies. Her research interests include the impact of the social determinant of health on nutrition-related outcomes and the development of non-communicable diseases. Currently, she is working on the Food Justice and Sustainability Research Project with supervisors Dr. Anna-Liisa Aunio and Hugo Martorell. Her research on this project focuses on identifying municipal policy options to reduce childhood food insecurity in order to inform the implementation of the Montreal Policy on Children.

Supervisors: Dr. Anna-Liisa Aunio, Hugo Martorell
Project: Montreal Policy on Children: Food Security and Health Eating (Politique de l’enfant: Sécurité alimentaire et saine alimentation)


Winter 2018 Internship Cohort

Somaya Amiri is a third-year Honours Political Science student minoring in French. She is interested in understanding how policy outcomes impact the health and welfare of the most vulnerable populations in Canada. Somaya will be working with IHSP Director Dr. Daniel Weinstock on the mental health impact of family separation on unaccompanied refugee minors in Canada.

At McGill, Somaya is the co-director of the Comparative Healthcare Systems Program (CHSP), a student-run organization that provides students with opportunities to compare healthcare systems within Canada and abroad. Last year, Somaya organized a conference on Women’s Health through CHSP at McGill, consisting of 8 speakers and 150 attendees. She is also a former policy intern at Broadbent Institute and Youth Program Coordinator at the Quaich, a health-consulting agency.

Emma Avery is in her final year at McGill, completing a double major in Anthropology and Geography Urban Systems. She is also a Managing Editor at The McGill Tribune. Her interests include writing and communications, as well as the intersection of immigration and culture with urban/rural relations and how social policy affects and is affected by these dynamics. This semester, she is working with Professor David Wright on a geospatial analysis of the immigration of foreign-trained doctors to Canada between 1961-1976.

Dylan Davies is a third year undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Biology and minoring in Ecological Agriculture. This semester, he is working with Professors Anna-Liisa Aunio and Daniel Weinstock on the Food Justice and Sustainability Project. His experience with sustainability and urban agriculture initiatives has provided him with a foundation for this project. He intends to contribute his experience as well as his background in ecology and agriculture to the project’s goal of assessing Montreal’s complex food system. He hopes that this internship will further develop his skills in research and policy-making.

Saskia De Vries is a third year undergraduate student studying History with a minor in Anthropology. Her interest in health and social policy started in high school when she began to advocate for organ donation in her community, as a member of the BeADonor Committee. She has since expanded on her interests through various courses and club involvement at McGill. This winter, Saskia will be working with Dr. Wright on his project concerning the immigration of foreign-trained doctors to Canada and its impact on public policy.

Alize Gunay is a third year student majoring in Microbiology & Immunology and minoring in International Development Studies. She is currently working with Dr. Maxwell Smith on how social justice and health equity is theorized in the non-health policy sectors and education. Alize has previously worked as a community health worker assistant, and has been involved in social work focused on the social determinants of health. Alize is currently a council member of the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) chapter at McGill. Through challenging drug patent policies and demanding transparency by McGill, she works with a group of motivated students to strive for the equitable access to essential medicines globally.

Arisha Khan is an undergraduate student studying Comparative Social Policy with minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Education. She is passionate about ensuring that policies and programs are reflective of those they serve. As a Public Appointee on the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, she helped lead the first province-wide listening tour to gather and report on the perspectives of marginalized youth in Ontario. She also served on the policy team responsible for the reform of child and youth mental health services in Ontario. Arisha is currently the Vice-President of Youth in Care Canada, a national charitable organization that conducts research and policy advocacy, and provides resources to current and former foster youth. She also currently sits on the Investigations Advisory Board of the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. Arisha is very interested in the intersections of health systems and social inequalities and is extremely excited to be working under Dr. Daniel Weinstock on the new Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms.

Megan Phyper is completing her last semester of her Bachelor's degree in Honours Sociology and Psychology. Her interests lie in the intersections of law and health, and she is interested in legal and policy interventions for public health issues. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Bertrand Stoffel to examine anti-doping policy in Canada.

Hugo Tartaglia is in his third and final year completing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and will begin a Master’s in Public health in the year to come. He has a keen interest in the complex and emerging problems of healthcare systems - and their solutions. Hugo will be working with Prof. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée on the Observatory on Health and Social Services Reform. He hopes to engage critically on the health and social conditions of populations as well as assist in bridging the gap between research and the broader public understanding of public health issues.

Maddi Thomas is finishing up her undergraduate degree in Winter 2018 at McGill University with a double-major in Sociology and International Development. She is passionate about a career in health policy, with a focus on standard of care, access to treatment, and research transmission. This winter, she will be working on Professor Amelie Quesnel-Vallee’s team at the recently opened Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms.

Kabisha Velauthapillai developed a commitment to social justice through informal education. Her curiosities about health equity led her to pursue a major in Environment, with a focus on ecological determinants of health. She is building her understandings of how environmental factors can affect the health of marginalized and vulnerable communities.

More importantly, Kabisha is learning how communities are challenging their marginalization and improving their environments through activism and organizing. The IHSP internship is an opportunity for Kabisha to further reflect on how she, as a researcher, can better support communities advocating for their health. She looks forward to investigating the relationships between traffic-related air pollution and health in older adults in urban Colombia under the mentorship of Dr. Jill Baumgartner and hopes to put this research into action through knowledge translation activities, such as informing actionable policies. 

Emily Xing is an undergraduate student studying Psychology and Sociology. Having been involved extensively with the mental health services community on campus, she is interested in how neuro-scientific and cognitive research can impact individual experiences with mental health systems. She is working with Dr. Suparna Choudhury on analyzing the impact and context surrounding neuroscience applications in modern education. 

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