WE Engage 4 Health Internships links students to the local community to explore hands-on community-based research experiences and to lead citizen science. Having interested students engaged in these experiences enhances the economic, social, cultural, and educational capacity of the community while preparing students for a lifetime of active citizenship by helping them learn the challenges and rewards involved in creating positive change in underserved communities using partnered research approaches.
WE Engage for Health is a five-year citizen science-based community program designed to engage citizens currently living in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati in health science and science research. The program’s goals are to improve health and science literacy and community health of participants, decrease health disparities and increase citizen engagement in solving their own communities’ problems. The program will offer health science and research training workshops, community-led health fairs and family education days and walking neighborhood audits to map community assets and challenges.
WE Engage Programming offered to community participants will focus on knowledge and self-efficacy of genetic predisposition, environmental exposures and nutrition/lifestyle choices related to common, disparate chronic diseases and disorders such as asthma, COPD, obesity/diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Currently, we are in year 1 of the program. The program is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (R25) funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Internship goals for students:
Participation in the internship will increase student interns’ awareness and understanding of the challenges and rewards of making positive change in underserved urban communities in Cincinnati using partnered research approaches. Rather than studying a population, or working on, in or for communities, interns will learn to work with a community to co-design and implement research studies.
Through interaction with community partners, researchers, educational and clinical faculty members and members of Cincinnati non-profits/social service organizations, students will have the opportunity to exercise and further develop their leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.
Students will support projects that meet goals and expectations established by community partners working in collaboration with WE Engage 4 Health staff and research faculty at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, and at Miami University.
Dates and Pay
We Engage 4 Health internships are offered as a part of the BRIMS (Biomedical Research Internship for Minority Students) and SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) programs at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Starting dates will range between late spring and early summer 2019, depending on the specific internship program. Pay will depend on the specific internship program as well. Visit the internship program pages for details.
Required abilities and activities:
- Must be starting as a high school senior in fall 2019 or in college.
- Strong interest in learning about community-partnered research and citizen science.
- An intensive community orientation at the beginning the internship
- A comprehensive tour of affiliated underserved predominantly minority communities
- Reflection and leadership discussions held weekly throughout the program
- Share project results at a final presentation event open to community and campus partners held at the close of the internship
- Willingness to spend additional work time throughout the academic year OR a second summer with the program (with approval)
Potential projects include:
- Developing WE Engage educational materials and health and research related stories for participating
- Supporting program offerings/workshops to community participants; optimizing approaches
- Working with WE Engage participants to assess levels of air pollution; researching and documenting water quality
- Planning community events that incorporate research and data collection, education and health screenings
- Working with participants to survey local residents regarding housing/neighborhood satisfaction, safety and health, etc.
- Mapping foreclosed/vacant properties throughout the neighborhood in addition to neighborhoods’ assets/strengths
How to Apply
If you are a minority student who is a 2021 graduating high school senior or a college freshman, you can apply to work with We Engage 4 Health through the BRIMS internship program. BRIMS applications are not yet being accepted for 2021. Visit the CCHMC/BRIMS page to learn more about the program and to check for when new applications start to be accepted. If you do later apply, indicate on your application that you have an interest in community-partnered research and citizen science.
If you are a college undergraduate in any year, you can apply to work with We Engage 4 Health through the SURF internship program. SURF applications must be submitted electronically by February 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Use the application links on the UC/SURF page, and indicate that you have an interest in community-partnered research and citizen science.
If you will be a high school senior in fall 2020 or are a graduate student, we have some internship opportunities outside the BRIMS and SURF programs. Submit the form below to receive a We Engage 4 Health internship application.
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