The LGBT Health & Development Program


Intern Header

Intern with the IMPACT Program

Program Description:  The mission of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at Northwestern University is to conduct translational research that improves the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and to increase understanding of the development of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski, IMPACT has multiple NIH- and foundation-funded studies and actively collaborates with community-based organizations to conduct research and translate findings into interventions.  Extensive community ties have been a hallmark of the IMPACT Program since its inception, and it is now a resident partner with the Center on Halsted.

We typically recruit new interns and volunteers three times each year:

  • Summer: Applications accepted from May 1-15. (Internships begin approximately in June.)

*In 2015, IMPACT will also host an intern through the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Summer Research Program. Applications are due February 14, directly to NIDA. Read more.*

  • Fall: Applications accepted from September 1-15. (Internships begin approximately in October.)
  • Spring: Applications accepted from January 6-20. (Internships begin approximately in February.)

Interns who can commit to approximately 10 hours a week over six months are preferred. Internships are unpaid but may be completed for school credit.

Application Instructions:  To apply, please download, complete, and return the application, along with your resume or CV, to Dr. Michelle Birkett ( Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the USA.

Download the Internship Application


Internship Description:  The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently funded the first site to oversee evaluation efforts for 8-17 HIV prevention demonstration projects in the city.  Each funded site will be implementing either a CDC-approved intervention or a locally-developed/adapted intervention.  As the Evaluation Center for this project, we will be working directly with each funded site and CDPH to harmonize evaluation efforts and provide sites with continuous feedback.

The intern in this position will assist in a variety of activities – maintaining spreadsheets to track contacts and performance of demonstration sites, scheduling meetings/calls with demonstration sites, reviewing proposed evaluation measures, and other duties to ensure successful completion of this project.

Qualifications:  Required: Experience or interest in working with community-based organizations; experience or interest in working on HIV issues; strong interpersonal skills; strong organizational skills; basic computer skills. Preferred: Experience in project evaluation; ability to conduct basic quantitative analyses


Internship Description:  In collaboration with a team of developers at the Oxford Internet Institute, IMPACT is involved in two projects: 1) we are developing a touchscreen social network interview for adolescents which is being deployed within a study of 1200 young men who have sex with men (YMSM) this fall; and 2) we have collected and are analyzing the topology and attributes of adolescent online social networks and how these networks relate to individual health behaviors and risk.

An intern working on one of these projects will assist in 1) front and backend development; beta-testing; maintenance of documentation; and/or 2) dissemination activities including conducting literature reviews, data analysis, co-authoring manuscripts.

Qualifications: Preferred: Programming experience in some of the following: C, C++, JAVA, No SQL and Graph Databases (in particular, NEO4j), experience conducting quantitative analysis. Required: strong interest in the intersection of big data, networks, and health; enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration with social scientists; strong organizational skills; strong computer skills.


Internship Description:  This study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It is composed of two elements: 1) a Community Advisory Board of 8 trans individuals who have been involved in providing feedback about the study and 2) a two month daily diary study measuring experiences of stigma, mental health, substance use, and HIV risk behaviors in transmen and transwomen between the ages of 16 and 29. The overall goal of the study is to examine the psychological and interpersonal mechanisms that explain how stigma comes to impact these negative outcomes of psychological distress, substance use, and HIV risk. The intern for this study will help to prepare and send out materials to participants, assist with study retention efforts, social media outreach and advertisements for the study, data entry, and other research tasks as necessary.

Qualifications:  Required:  Strong communication skills; strong organizational skills; ability to work independently; basic computer skills. Preferred: Experience or interest in working on LGBTQ issues, especially on issues that impact the trans community.

VIDEO INTERN (applications accepted on a rolling basis)

Internship Description:  The IMPACT Program uses video as a tool for disseminating information on topics related to our mission statement and research, such as identity, sexual health, and coming out. Videos are housed on the IMPACT website (, which receives over 10,000 visits a month, as well as YouTube and Vimeo. With supervision by faculty and management, the Video Intern will develop and create brief, engaging videos to help translate relevant topics into easily understood web content. The Video Intern will have opportunities to produce original projects and may also be asked to film short, scripted videos for online research interventions.
Qualifications:  Preferred:  Knowledge of lighting. Spanish language proficiency.  Required:  Proficiency at film shooting, editing, and using HDSLR cameras; Must have own film editing software; Ability to work independently, follow through with tasks, and meet deadlines; Excellent communications skills; Experience or interest in working on LGBT issues; Interest in working with community members and stakeholders.
IMPACT Diversity Statement: Northwestern University and IMPACT’s commitment to diversity is critical to our mission of advancing access to excellence in academic programs, world-class research, and health programs. Engagement in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military service, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression will not be tolerated.Through its work, the IMPACT Program advances the health and wellbeing of LGBT individuals.  Staff and trainees should expect to find a diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities among IMPACT staff, trainees, research participants, and in outreach experiences.  We highlight the importance of respecting and valuing this aspect of diversity among staff and trainees.

Latest IMPACT News