intern banner

The Sparkman Center is proud to collaborate with international partners in order to offer international global health-related internships and practicum opportunities for eligible UAB students over the summer. These travel awards provide elite educational experiences that enrich UAB students. In-person internships are supported with a $3,000 travel stipend to cover airfare and some living expenses.


Recent internship experiences:

In the summer of 2019, 4 students were selected for internships in Panama, Jamaica, and Nepal. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, we intially did not think summer internships would be able to move forward. Thankfully, with flexbility and cooperation from our international partners and the students involved, 5 students were able to complete remote global health internships. In 2021, we again organized remote global health internships for 5 students.

Read more about what projects global health interns have worked on recently and how these experiences shaped their current studies and future aspirations:

  • 2021 Remote Internships

    Morgan, UNIBE

    Morgan, UNIBE

    Morgan Sisk - 2nd year MD student
    Partner organization: Universidad Iberoamericana, Dominican Republic
    Project: Phylogenetic and epidemiological studies of a COVID-19 variant in the Dominican Republic

    Andrea, UNIBE

    Andrea, UNIBE

    Andrea Johnson - BS, Public Health
    Partner organization: Universidad Iberoamericana, Dominican Republic
    Project:Adaptation of the Finding Respect & Ending Stigma around HIV (FRESH) in the Domincan Republic

    Paramita, CVC

    Paramita, CVC

    Paramita Das - MPH, Epidemiology + MBA
    Partner organization: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coaltion (CVC), Jamaica
    Project: Public health practice, research, and advocacy for improved human rights in the Caribbean

    Haley, Sunrise

    Haley, Sunrise

    Haley Evans - MPH, Health Behavior & Global Health certificate
    Partner organization: Sunrise Centre, Uganda
    Project: Health Education for the Village Mothers Program

    Divya, AKU

    Divya, AKU

    Divya Annamalai - BS Nueroscience + Global Health graduate certificate
    Partner organization: Aga Khan University, Kenya
    Project: Experience of Stigma in Women with Breast Cancer Pilot Study

  • 2020 Remote Internships

    Amy, KEMRI

    Amy, KEMRI

    Amy Jasani - BS, Neuroscience & MPH, Health Behavior
    Partner organization: Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya
    Project: Jamii Bora study

    Activities
    • Developing the assessment form regarding the standard care in Kenya with a focus on HIV couple testing and male testing of pregnant women, including distribution of HIV self-test kits, and related literature search
    • Develop and conduct a survey with JB staff related to COVID-19 outbreak – how it affected them personally, study participants, and health care access

    On shifting to a virtual internship format...

    "Overall, my internship was quite informative. There were difficulties with adjusting to the virtual setting, such as not having the cultural immersion experience or on-site support from the team to carry out the projects. Still, I was grateful that my questions and product development were supported by the team members."


    Regarding global health practice experience gained...

    "I gained new insights in global health practice and communicable disease research. With the pandemic, many of the Jamii Bora study protocols were naturally changed. For instance, the pandemic affected how participant surveys for home visits were filled out given the limited circumstances for patient confidentiality.

    Though I was not involved in the study beforehand, I was interested to learn about the adjustments that needed to be made to cater to the research goals and participants. I also enjoyed discussing different topics in global health with my fellow Sparkman Center interns in areas ranging from global health ethics to flexibility in practice. I hope to translate these lessons moving forward."


    Internship outcomes

    "This internship experience, even with the challenges of the virtual transition, helped me decide on my professional career path and aim to advance communicable disease research. I hope others will reap similar benefits with either an in-person or virtual internship through the Sparkman Center for Global Health in the future."

    Click for Internship Poster

    Benjamin, Sunrise

    Benjamin, Sunrise

    Benjamin Ngumbi - MPH, Maternal & Child Health Leadership & Policy
    Partner organization: Sunrise Centre, Uganda
    Project: Early Home Visit Program

    Activities
    • Adapt existing program materials to include more activities and information regarding male involvement in pregnancy, parental play, bonding, etc.
    • Create an evaluation form to determine knowledge uptake in each of the 21 program areas and to determine participant satisfaction with an emphasis on highlighting the benefits of male/paternal involvement

    On shifting to a virtual internship format...

    "The transition to a virtual internship caught me all thinking. For days I was what I could call the biblical Thomas. I doubted the feasibility of the entire thing especially given the threshold laid down by the university on what constitutes a graduate internship and the work products that ought to be born out of it. However, the reassuring nature of the Sparkman Center internship coordinator brushed off all these doubts. Through the coordinated efforts of the Sparkman Center, UAB SOPH coordinator, faculty advisor, and the Sunrise team, I was able to complete the Internship Description and Agreement Form (ADA) and became ready for what would have been a benchmark for future school coordinated global virtual internships."

    "The virtual internship came up with its challenges like poor network coverage. It would take us a lot of time just to realign ourselves to conduct a virtual meeting. Geographical time difference also played its part. I would have to wake up early than normal to catch up with a scheduled meeting. On the other end, the Sunrise team had to stay long after their actual working hours just to make up time for these meetings. All in all, through hard work, devotion, and will power we were able to overcome all these challenges "


    Regarding global health practice experience gained...

    "Throughout my constant interaction with the sunrise team and as I developed my work products, I was able to learn more about project design, planning, and implementation. I am now more confident in not just preparing training material for public health projects like the Sunrise Early Start Home visit program but also has a deep understanding of the entire process from planning, implementation through evaluation of such like projects."

    "The internship also sharpened my ability to communicate audience-appropriate public health content. That ability to synthesize complex scientific information into simple posters and templates infused with graphics and pictures that people can easily understand. Many beneficiaries and consumers of scientific knowledge are people of low literacy, limited health knowledge and mostly living in rural settings. As such, breaking down this information into simple easy to understand public health content becomes paramount."


    Internship outcomes

    "Lessons learned from this internship would go a long way in shaping both my personal and academic life. It instilled in me life skills that would be useful in my professional journey. I am now more professional-oriented, knowledgeable, more ethically sound, a better program designer, more competent in research, and more suited to pursue a career in the global health arena. Academically, it provided a base for my research interest 'Role of Men in Maternal and Child Health' as I look forward to pursuing my Ph.D"

    Click for Internship Poster

    Shefa, Sunrise

    Shefa, Sunrise

    Khawla 'Shefa' Suhaila, MPH - 2nd year MD student
    Partner organization: Sunrise Centre, Uganda
    Project: Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission Program

    Activities
    • Create pre and post evaluation forms to assess knowledge uptake, program satisfaction and feedback from families enrolled in our Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission Program
    • Create visual materials based on existing curriculum that we can use to assist with training our village health workers in EMTCT and that they can take home as memory strategy prompts

    On shifting to a virtual internship format...

    "A remote internship came with both excitement and hesitation for me. I was looking forward to being at Sunrise Centre in person as their clinic intern to not only work on my designated tasks, but to also explore other components of the organization, the village, and the country.

    Virtual communication was difficult for most of our weekly check-in meetings due to network connection issues. Although we were able to work around the eight-hour time difference to accommodate Uganda’s 5 pm curfew by beginning the meetings at 8 am CST, we were often not able to start on time. This is because sometimes several minutes were spent just to establish a connection."


    Regarding global health practice experience gained...

    "My first task was to create a pre-evaluation form that will be used to assess current knowledge and perceptions of HIV and eligibility of pregnant women to enroll in the program through their Elimination of Maternal to Child Transmission initiative. Next, I created an education guide on HIV and MTCT for Village Mothers (respected women in the community trained by Grace Family Health Centre staff for community education and basic health services) that will be used to train them and by them as a reference. Lastly, I created a post- evaluation form for the enrolled participants enrolled to assess program’s effectiveness."


    Internship outcomes

    "I am genuinely appreciative of this experience. Although I would still prefer to have been able to physically be there for my internship, I am glad I still got the opportunity to work with local personnel and contribute to something that they will be able to use as a part of their role in the community.

    I pursued an MPH so that I could better integrate comprehensive health education and address health care access as a physician in the future. As a current medical student, it was easy to get lost into the rigorous clinical science coursework, forget my public health education, and miss out on community involvement. Through this internship, I had to recall some information from my public health education, communicate with local personnel regarding community needs, and critically think about the target population for my work products, all of which I hope to do in the future."

    Click for Internship Poster

    Tayyaba, CVC

    Tayyaba, CVC

    Tayyaba Khan - BS, International Health & Human Rights
    Partner organization: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coaltion (CVC), Jamaica
    Project: Implementing Comprehensive HIV and STI Programmes with Men Who Have Sex with Men: Practical Guidance For Collaborative Interventions (MSMIT) & Implementing Comprehensive HIV/STI Programmes with Sex Workers: Practical Approaches From Collaborative Interventions (SWIT) programs

    Activities
    • Adapt existing Global Implementation Tools (SWIT, MSMIT) for training of community service organization partners and community members
    • Develop culturally appropriate low literacy training materials and tools for use with the target population to assist with training and sensitization of the target population to support advocacy for effective service delivery models that comprehensively address the needs of each of the target population

    On shifting to a virtual internship format...

    "Overall, I had a great learning experience with a few challenges as well, mainly because of the internship format being remote. Some of the challenges that I came across while designing and developing these materials were not being able to meet the target populations and assess/get to know their actual needs and challenges. I had to rely majorly on online information, research, asking questions from the partner organization, and using my best judgement to get to know about them."


    Regarding global health practice experience gained...

    "The biggest skill I gained was to take an existing global health tool, like this 200-page document developed by the WHO through extensive research, and condense that information to create comprehensive training materials in order to reach the target population in an engaging way. Identifying what information to include and what to omit, how to modify high-level professional, well-researched academic information to simple, understandable, contextualized information and actionable items was challenging but also very interesting and rewarding. The host organization has theses resources and materials to use for training and advocacy purposes now and in the future as well."


    Internship outcomes

    "I am truly thankful to both CVC and the Sparkman Center for this wonderful learning experience despite the challenges posed on us by this pandemic and remote/distant learning curves. I am positive that it will greatly help me in my future endeavors as I make my way in the field of global health."

    Click for Internship Poster

    Bridget, CVC

    Bridget, CVC

    Bridget Awolowo - MPH, Health Behavior
    Partner organization: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coaltion (CVC), Jamaica
    Project: TRANSIT program

    Activities
    • Collaborate with the United Caribbean Trans Network (UCTRANS) to adapt key modules from the TRANSIT and develop culturally appropriate low literacy training materials and tools suitable for the Caribbean context specifically
    • Pre-test training materials and tools for the target audience, making revisions & edits based on feedback.

    On shifting to a virtual internship format...

    "In person interactions offers a multitude of opportunities to be involved with the international organization, their partner, and the community. So, it was difficult to connect with CVC, UCTRANS and the target population given that we were working remotely. Computer and internet access are essential in communicating with each other... Despite the limitations of working remotely we were able to utilize technology to facilitate communication throughout the internship."


    Regarding global health practice experience gained...

    "My effort in developing educational material for the TRANSIT project, helped me understand the process of making materials for a specific group. I now understand that to address the needs and alleviate the struggles that people with trans experience face, health programs should emphasize social justice and social mobility."

    "My work with CVC has helped me see how Global health can be put into practice. I also learned how to apply a multidisciplinary approach to develop material for a health program. Currently, I am working towards a career in public health, so my experience will help me in the near future. My skills in collaboration, communication and networking has improved over the duration of the internship."


    Internship outcomes

    "In retrospect, I can say that I learned first-hand what it would be like to work in the global health field remotely. There were many limitations throughout the virtual internship, however I was able to learn how to collaborate with international partners and create educational materials for a health program."

    Click for Internship Poster

  • 2019 In-person Internships

    Claire Wilson

    Claire Wilson

    Claire Wilson is a Nutirtion and Global Health Trends major with interests in working to partner with international healthcare providers with American healthcare providers to teach about the cultures, customs, and healthcare methods in the global community. She will be interning in Nepal with Dhulikhel Hospital and Kathmandu University. 
    Madelyn Wild

    Madelyn Wild

    Madelyn Wilson is a Public Health major with interests in maternal and child health, reproductive health, global health, and access to preventative and clinical care for children and family populations. She will be interning in Panama with USF Health. 
    Maria Jiminez

    Maria Jiminez

    Maria Jiminez is an Undergraduate Senior majoring in Public Health with interests in Maternal and Child Health. She will be interning in Panama with USF Health. 
    Hannah Comstock

    Hannah Comstock

    Hannah Comstock is a Public Health major with minors in International Studies and Spanish. She is interested in working in the field of disaster relief and emergency managment, particularly working with vulnerable groups like refugees. She will be interning in Jamaica with the Carivvean Vulnerable Communitites Coalition. 

 

Interested in being a global health intern?

Eligibility Criteria:

UAB junior or senior undergraduate students (3.25 GPA minimum), graduate, and doctoral students in good academic standing who will be enrolled at the time of travel are eligible for placement. (Domestic and International students are able to apply.)

Application Process:

Applications for summer 2021 internship placements have closed. The application form will show on this webpage when the next application cycle opens for Summer 2022. Only electronic applications will be considered. For an application to be considered for selection, all fields need to be completed.

*Note: do not reach out directly to the organizations that will be hosting interns this summer. All applications & placements will be proccessed through the Sparkman Center.*

All necessary approvals for the training and potential foreign travel related to this award, including approvals from the UAB Office of Education Abroad and UAB Institutional Review Board if applicable must be obtained prior to the travel start date, but are not required to submit an application. Contact your departmental advisor and in case of School of Public Health students the Office of Public Health Practice at https://www.soph.uab.edu/ophp for further requirements and academic credit.

Questions or more information:

If you have questions, please contact Anna Helova, UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health Program Director; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone: (205) 975-7770