Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IHSP internship program?

The IHSP internship program is an exciting program offered by the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University. Each semester, a team of 8-11 students from diverse academic backgrounds are selected to take part in this internship. Each student works in collaboration with their supervisor, while also attending weekly workshops focused on improving research skills, professional development, and translating research into action.

Who is this internship program aimed at?

Any full-time degree student (undergraduate or graduate) who has an interest in health and social policy is encouraged to apply. We welcome students from all faculties and departments.

Am I eligible for the internship program?

To be eligible for the internship program, applicants must be registered as a full-time degree student (undergraduate or graduate) at McGill University at the time of their internship.

Is the internship paid?

Interns will receive an award of $2000 (CAD) upon successful completion of the internship.

How and when do I apply?

Recruitment for the fall semester takes place in March of the previous academic year. Recruitment for the winter semester takes place in September. During recruitment periods, specific application requirements and instructions will be available in the “Student Programs” section of the IHSP website.

Applicants are required to include the following in their application (all files must be emailed in .pdf, .doc or .docx format, unless otherwise specified): 

  • Two letters of recommendation (academic and/or employment), in English or in French. These letters must be emailed directly from the referees to the Student Affairs Administrator
  • A completed Cover Letter Template (available during the recruitment period)
    • Cover letters should be 1 to 2 pages long
    • Cover letters should be submitted as Word documents
  • Current CV that includes the applicant’s contact information
  • An electronic copy of all post-secondary transcripts
    • Official transcript preferred—unofficial copies must clearly indicate the source of information
  •  A 5-10 page writing sample of previous work in either English or French
    • The writing sample may be an excerpt from a longer document but you must be the sole author
    • The purpose of the writing sample is to assess your ability to write professionally/academically
  • Proof of enrollment as a full time student

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Do you accept late applications?

Due to the competitive nature of the selection process, late applications will not be considered. All application materials and reference letters must be received by email by the application deadline.

Can I submit documents like letters of recommendation or transcripts in French?

Yes. While the program is primarily conducted in English, all documents can be submitted in either English or French.

What happens after all my application materials and reference letters are received?

All completed applications will be reviewed by the Student Affairs Administrator and IHSP staff/faculty. Students selected for interviews will be contacted in April for the fall internship program and in mid-November for the winter internship program. Interviews will be conducted in mid-to-late April for the fall internship program and late November for the winter internship program. The IHSP will communicate its decisions to all applications by mid-May for the fall internship program and mid-December for the winter internship program.

How are applications and candidates assessed?

Applications are evaluated based on: fit with the supervisor’s needs, compatibility with the goals of the IHSP, GPA, writing ability, and specific skills (e.g. STATA, Photoshop). Applicants should have a clearly defined interest in health and social policy, as well as an understanding of the IHSP’s goals and current research. Applicants should also be able to explain what they hope to gain from the internship, and how the internship fits in with their career goals.

Do my references have to come from professors?

No, but your references should be in a position to speak confidently of your academic capabilities and your ability to work independently. Typically, academic, research and work supervisors provide the best references.

How many interns do you select and how many people apply?

We typically receive around 50 applications per semester (though we have had as few as 30 and as many as 90), from which 8-11 interns are selected to participate in the Internship Program.

What is the time commitment of the internship?

Interns are responsible for completing 10-15 hours of work per week (for a total of no more than 195 hours). Eight of these hours should be completed at the IHSP between the hours of 0900h and 1800h, Monday to Friday. IHSP internships are not-for-credit work-experience opportunities that will require at least as great a time commitment as an academic course. It is recommended that students selected to be interns reduce their workload accordingly for the semester.

Can I get academic credit for my internship?

Yes, it may be possible to receive academic credit for your internship if you are a student in the Faculty of Arts (including Bachelor of Arts & Science students). The following conditions must be met:
1) Your supervisor agrees that your internship may be for credit.
2) You meet your department's specific requirements for receiving internship course credit in your academic program.
3) You complete the necessary steps to receive course credit approval for your internship.
For more information, please consult the Arts Internship Office's website 

What sort of work would I be expected to do as an intern?

The internship is one semester in duration and is separated into two components. 

  •  Students will work with a professor or staff member on a defined project and/or task(s)
  •  All interns will attend weekly workshops focused on professional development and improving research skills. During these weekly workshops, students will also work on a group policy project.  

Interns may complete a wide variety of tasks including but not limited to: literature reviews, data collection and analysis, outreach and communications, updating social media, field and laboratory work, and meeting with members of the general public and media.

What are the projects that I can apply to as an intern?

The available projects vary each semester. During recruitment periods, the list of available projects can be found in the “Student Programs” section of the IHSP website. For more information about the research being conducted at the IHSP, please consult the “Research” section of the IHSP website.


Applicant Timeline


Fall internship program

Winter internship program

Applications due

Late May

Late October

Successful candidates contacted for interviews

Early June


Interview period

First two weeks of June

Late November

All applicants informed of their status

Late June

Early December