Internship and Fellowship Programs

Partners In Health is built upon a foundation of volunteerism and has strived, since its inception, to cultivate a concerted movement of people and communities dedicated to fighting poverty, social injustices and health inequities. As we explore the best and most enriching ways to create both hands-on volunteer experiences and the space for engagement in issues of social justice and health equity, we also are committed to staying true to our core principles, particularly our goal of building capacity and equity by providing jobs and training in the communities we serve.

To move towards better achieving our goal of bringing the fruits of modern medicine to those who need it most, we hope to engage volunteers from around the world and to bring on supporters of all kinds who are dedicated to fighting for justice and equity. Below we’ve outlined the many opportunities, both domestic and international, for involvement with PIH. We also encourage you to explore the many other ways you can take action to support our work.

Programs Hosted by PIH

PIH Institute for Health and Social Justice Summer Internship Program 

Every year, PIH's policy and advocacy arm, the Institute for Health and Social Justice (IHSJ), hosts a summer internship program for a select number of students and young professionals who are interested in learning about current issues in health and social justice. In addition to working on individual projects, summer interns have a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about PIH and gain practical exposure to the administration of a non-governmental organization through interactions with staff members, movie and book discussions, and social activities.

PIH Semester Internships

Once a semester (fall, winter and spring), PIH accepts applicants for the various project descriptions posted on the website (link).  Projects are posted based on the needs of PIH staff, both at our sites and in Boston.  Applicants with the appropriate skill sets and availability work directly with a staff member or team.  Although there is no formal enrichment component to semester internships, interns will have the opportunity to gain insight into the day-to-day functioning of a non-governmental organization by interacting with staff and by attending meetings and events.

Independent Research Projects

PIH does not have the capacity to supervise independent research projects.  However, academic credit can be provided at the discretion of the supervising staff member.    

Programs Affiliated with PIH

PIH works in partnership with a variety of other organizations, both in the United States and in the countries where we work.  Below is a list of opportunities at these affiliate organizations.

Harvard School of Public Health’s François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights

As the first academic center to focus exclusively on health and human rights, the FXB Center combines research and policy development with a specific commitment to children’s wellbeing. Summer interns are given significant responsibilities within the Center’s various projects. Former interns include medical and public health students as well as students with experience in law, community service, and environmental advocacy. Recent graduates and candidates with multidisciplinary interests are welcome to apply at 

Brigham and Women’s Division of Global Health Equity (DGHE) Internships

The Division of Global Health Equity (DGHE) fosters the support and coordination of training, research, and service to reduce disparities in disease burden and to improve treatment outcomes both at home and abroad. DGHE focuses on infectious diseases (e.g., HIV and tuberculosis) as well as non-infectious diseases (e.g., coronary artery disease, diabetes, addiction) and other health problems that disproportionately affect populations in the developing world.

Currently, DGHE has a full year internship program for undergraduates, recent graduates, and master’s candidates. Interns perform a variety of tasks to support the organization in a range of activities from administration to development to research. For more information and application instructions, visit:

With support from DGHE, there is also a winter internship to help organize a course for medical students entitled “Beyond the Biologic Basis of Disease: The Social and Economic Causation of Disease.”  This is an annual course  merges clinical tropical medicine with social medicine, and is offered as an on-site elective in Northern Uganda.  The course will take place at St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu, Uganda ( from January 10 to February 4, 2011. There are two internship positions: one for an individual from the U.S. and another from Northern Uganda.  Together, these individuals work to support the logistical, organizational, and technological aspects of the course.  Responsibilities of previous interns included assistance in preparing the course reader, coordinating with and confirming speakers for the course, taking responsibility for computer set-up and take-down for presentations and films, handling local transportation logistics, organizing a weekend fieldtrip to one of Uganda’s national parks, making photocopies as needed, taking course photos and video footage, and participating in leadership team meetings during the course.  Further, interns are invited to participate in the bulk of the course activities, including lectures, discussions, and field visits. Click to download more information. To apply, please send resume and an inquiry of interest to Michael Westerhaus at [email protected] by July 30th, 2010.

Brigham and Women’s Division of Global Health Equity (DGHE) Residency Program

The Division of Global Health Equity has addressed the need for a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare by launching, in 2004, a novel residency program that combines rigorous training in internal medicine with the advanced study of public health. Through the Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine, dedicated young physicians are able to obtain the medical and non-medical skills they need to improve the health of some of the world’s most impoverished people.

The Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine is a four-year program that leads to eligibility for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and completion of a Masters Degree in Public Health through the Harvard School of Public Health.  Potential applicants must first apply to the Internal Medicine Residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Accepted applicants may then submit an application to the Global Health Equity Residency in November of their first postgraduate year. For additional details and application information, please visit:

Global Health Nursing Fellowship

In partnership with Brigham and Women’s nursing department and Division of Global Health Equity, Partners In Health launched the Global Health Nursing Fellowship, in September 2006, to help address access and equity in health care for the global community.  The fellowship offers the opportunity for BWH nurses to participate in clinical rotations at care sites in impoverished communities around the world that encompass fieldwork, research and development of new models of care.  PIH hosted the first Global Health Nurse Fellow at our site in Rwanda.  The placement of additional nurse fellows is subject to change based on funding and needs at the sites.  

Global Health Corps Fellows

The Global Health Corps (GHC) aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity and improve the quality of healthcare services for the poor by connecting outstanding young leaders with organizations working on the front lines in the fight for global health. Partners In Health is one of Global Health Corps’ partner organizations and will host four fellows at two of our sites in Rwanda and at our site in Boston, Massachusetts in the program’s first year. The scope of this partnership is subject to change based on needs at the sites and the success of the model. For more information and applications, visit