The LGBT Health & Development Program


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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 5 – 19. (Internships begin approximately in June.)
  • Fall: Applications accepted from September 1 – 15. (Internships begin approximately in October.)
  • Spring: Applications  accepted from January 1-15. (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 IMPACT Program maintains a strong online presence through its comprehensive website ( and social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Tumblr.  The IMPACT website, which receives over 125,000 visits each year, contains weekly youth and research blogs, interactive LGBT youth quizzes and videos, research project descriptions, and a publication library. Contributing to the success of the program website is $10k/month online marketing campaign through a non-profit grant from Google AdWords.

With supervision by a Program Manager, this internship will encompass two areas: (1) social media –engaging with IMPACT’s followers, promoting the program, and growing our online community through social media campaigns, and (2) hands on experience using Google AdWords to maintain on online marketing campaign. The social media aspect of this internship will be an opportunity to help develop and implement a social media strategy for the program and gain experience communicating in a nonprofit program’s voice. Coordinating the Google AdWords campaign will involve writing ads to promote web content; using web analytics to make decisions on key words and existing ads, in order to stay within budget and drive high quality traffic to the website; and generating monthly reports using analytic data. In this role, the Marketing & Communications Intern will become familiar will all facets of the IMPACT Program.

Qualifications:  Required:  Experience with Twitter and Facebook or other social media; Experience or interest in working on LGBT issues; Excellent grammar with the ability to write creative and succinct messages; Detail-oriented; Strong communication skills; Ability to work independently, follow through with tasks, and meet deadlines. Preferred:  Experience with Google AdWords, Google Analytics; Adobe design software.


Internship Description:  ChiGuys is the first adolescent extension of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ChiGuys is recruiting 600 young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Chicago and surrounding areas using two recruitment strategies: respondent-driven sampling and online advertising. The study aims to determine the most efficient strategies for recruiting and surveying adolescent YMSM in order to inform future waves of CDC’s NHBS efforts. Additionally, the study seeks to estimate the prevalence and incidence of HIV in this population, as well as behavioral predictors of HIV risk behavior and HIV infection. This innovative adolescent extension of CDC’s NHBS is also being conducted in New York City and Philadelphia.

The intern in this position will assist in recruitment activities at community events, participant retention activities including those utilizing social media, data entry tasks, and various other research tasks as necessary. Duties may include writing blogs for the IMPACT website and/or conducting study assessments. The intern will primarily be located at the Center on Halsted or at the downtown Northwestern campus, between 10 and 15 hours per week. All levels of experience encouraged to apply!

Qualifications:  Preferred: Clinical training and experience; Strong organizational skills. Required: Experience or interest in working on LGBT issues; Strong interpersonal skills; Experience or interest in working in community settings with diverse adolescents or young adults; Basic computer skills.


Internship Description:  Keep It Up! (KIU!) is an online HIV prevention study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) . It is an interactive and engaging intervention tailored to ethnically diverse YMSM (18-29 years old) and encourages participants to “keep up” safe and healthy behaviors. KIU! is currently being conducted as a multi-site RCT by researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago, Hunter College in New York City, and Emory University in Atlanta. A total of 750 YMSM will be enrolled into this study from the HIV testing clinics of our community partners. The intern in this position will assist in prepping and sending out project related materials to participants, study retention efforts, social media outreach, quality assurance testing of the online program, literature reviews, data entry, and other research tasks as necessary.

Qualifications:  Preferred: Experience or interest in working on LGBT issues. Required:  Strong organizational skills; ability to work independently; basic computer skills.

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.

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