Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Health Internship (paid) in Boston

The Center for Connected Health (CCH) in Boston is accepting applications for undergraduate and graduate student interns for summer 2014. Although this is a paid internship, it would probably only work for folks who already have some sort of Boston connection since expenses of living in Boston in the summer might not be covered by the internship salary. Note that the deadline is this coming Monday, March 17.

Founded in 1995, Center for Connected Health (CCH) is a division of Partners HealthCare in Boston, founded by Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. CCH is working to create a new model for healthcare delivery, by developing programs and innovative strategies to move care from the hospital or doctor’s office into the day-to-day lives of patients.  Leveraging information technology – cell phones, computers, networked devices and simple remote health monitoring tools – CCH is helping providers and patients manage chronic conditions, maintain health and wellness, and improve adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. By collecting and presenting accurate physiologic and behavioral data to both patients and providers, our connected health initiatives are facilitating data-driven coaching and as-needed provider involvement to help achieve patient care goals.

As a summer intern at CCH, you will be a member of an interdisciplinary research team comprised of clinicians, social and behavioral scientists, public health and healthIT professionals. Interns will participate in day-to-day CCH activities, including meetings with collaborators from affiliate institutions, other Partners centers, and corporate sponsors.

Undergraduate interns will have a general interest in healthcare delivery and technology. During the summer, undergraduate interns will work with the CCH research staff and graduate interns on a variety of programs and research projects. Tasks could include, but are not limited to literature reviews, survey design, focus group coordination, data analysis, team presentations, patient recruitment/retention and overall administrative support. At the conclusion of the summer, undergraduate interns will complete a two-page summary of their activities and describe what they have learned during the internship program. CCH is planning to accept between two and five undergraduate interns.

Who Should Apply?

Internships are open to students enrolled across the full spectrum of disciplines, including, but not limited to:

  •  Clinical (medical, nursing, or other healthcare professions), physiology and biology
  •  Public health, health communication, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science
  •  Business, economics, health care organization and policy, and marketing
  •  Computer science, information technology (IT), human computer interaction (CHI), health informatics, and social media
  •  Internships are open to students at different levels of academic study including those in bachelor’s, master’s, medical school, and Ph.D. programs. Exceptional high school students will also be considered.
  •  Summer interns need not be U.S. residents or in school in the U.S.; indeed, we encourage international students to apply.

Time Commitment, Office Hours, Pay and Benefits

Summer internships are part-time positions (20 hours/week) for 10 weeks. Our Summer 2014 program runs from about Monday, June 2 through Friday, August 8. Interns will have regularly scheduled office hours and be expected to attend weekly meetings to receive training and update mentors on work in progress.

Undergraduate interns are paid $11.50 an hour. Limited support may be available for graduate students.

Please be forewarned that you will be required to cover all of your living expenses during your stay in the Boston area. No other benefits are provided, and interns must make their own housing, insurance, and transportation arrangements.

Summer 2014 Research Opportunities

CCH is focused on the following research topics during Summer 2014.

(1) Clinical Outcomes and Interventions to Improve Healthcare – CCH has a long history of creating innovative programs using CHT to improve healthcare and clinical outcomes. This research includes the use of remote teleconsultation services, remote monitoring and care for patients with chronic conditions, and using wireless activity trackers to provide tailored feedback to encourage physical activity and weight management. CCH is making increasing use of social media platforms to target interventions and connect people with similar health issues to create communities to provide social support and tailored information. In this focus area, you may be expected to evaluate completed programs, create evaluation plans for on-going programs, or assist with data collection, transcription, analysis or manuscript preparation. Current projects at CCH include:

  •  Evaluation of existing remote monitoring programs to determine cost effectiveness and impact on clinical outcomes.
  •  Mobile application to improve cancer pain management; adherence to oral anti-cancer medications.
  •  Text messaging programs aimed to improve knowledge and self-care among pregnant women.
  •  Programs using social media (e.g., Facebook) for nutrition and weight management programs aimed at women with young children and women in disadvantaged communities.

(2) Patient Engagement, Technology Adoption and Acceptance, Health and Digital Lifestyles – The rapid diffusion of mobile devices and wireless Internet connectivity presents a tremendous opportunity to create new connected health systems designed to empower patients to be proactive in managing their health and medical treatment. To ensure the success of these new healthcare systems, CCH is beginning a multi-year survey project designed to collect patient data on to understand patient’s current needs, preferences, and adoption of CHT. We are particularly interested in research investigating:

  •  Creation and validation of a survey instrument to assess technology acceptance and likelihood of engagement with CHT
  •  Identifying key social, demographic, ecological, and psychological factors that limited the effectiveness of CHT interventions (e.g., how health literacy may limit the usefulness of  CHT)
  •  Patient adoption of self-tracking to monitor physical activity and health status.
  •  Research investigating how to improve the adoption, usability, and satisfaction with new CHT among patients.

(3) Mapping Theories of Motivation Psychological Well-Being, and Behavior Change – Understanding human motivation is central to developing effective health behavior programs, including those using technological tools. This project aims to create a concept map that brings together some of the more widely studied theories and models of motivation and behavior change (e.g., Transtheoretical Model, Self-Determination Theory, BJ Fogg's Behavior Model, Social-Cognitive Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, etc.). Deliverables for this project would include both a visual map as well as a written document communicating how these different theories connect, overlap, and offer distinct perspectives on motivation and health behavior.

  •  A review of the literature on theories and models of motivation and behavior change.
  •  Review of available research/program funding opportunities and the development of a proposal seeking to secure funds for future research or program.
  •  Design and pilot testing of programs designed to increase motivation for sustained behavior change.

(4) mHealth and Smartphone Application Development – CCH is working on a number of projects that make use of smartphones and tablet computers to collect data, deliver actionable information to patients and clinicians, and enable communication between patients (peer-to-peer) or between patients and healthcare providers. We are seeking interns with skills and experience in computer science, human computer interaction, and related fields to aid in generating research proposals, identify new ways to use smartphones and tablet computers to improve healthcare, and the development and testing of mHealth applications (apps).

How To Apply

Complete the required application materials listed below for either the undergraduate or graduate internship position. Email Word documents or PDFs to before the application deadline.

The deadline is Monday, March 17 at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time.

Be advised, we receive a large number of applications. To ensure that we have time to review all of the applications, we cannot consider applications that arrive after the deadline. It is recommended that you submit your application prior to the deadline. A confirmation email is sent to notify applicants that the email and attachments have been received.

Required application materials

Undergraduate students, we require the following application materials:

  1. A cover letter describing your interests and skills. You should consider the following questions in drafting your letter: What are your academic and career goals? Why are you interested in the internship at CCH? What specific research topics or projects are you most interested in studying? What do you hope to gain from your experience at CCH and what will you contribute? How will this internship contribute to your academic and career goals? Feel free to address any other issues or topics that you think are relevant.
  2. A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  3. Contact information for two references, academic or professional.

What Happens After I Apply?

Applications submitted before the deadline will be carefully reviewed by the research team at CCH. Top candidates will be contacted by Friday, March 28 to arrange for a phone interview to discuss their qualifications and interest in the CCH Summer Internship Program. Interviews will take place in late March and early April. The announcement of the selected interns will be made in early April. We ask those offered an internship to make a decision to accept or decline in 7 days, so that we have time to offer the opportunity to another candidate.

Do You Still Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Center for Connected Health, please review the Center’s website ( If you have questions that are not answered on the website or in this Call for Applications, email Tim Hale at:

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