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A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

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A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
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Empowering women to live healthier lives!

About Us
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Internship opportunities

The Office on Women's Health is looking for a few good men and women to fill full-time and year-round internship positions. We are looking for hardworking, passionate, and committed undergraduate and graduate students seeking opportunities to gain valuable federal work experiences and to assist fulfilling academic requirements in relevant fields of study.

What is a typical day like for an OWH Intern?

A typical day for each intern may vary slightly, depending on your mentors' and your area of interest. (Please note that many interns have two OWH mentors.) However there are some duties which all interns may be responsible for at some point during the internship:
  • Meeting with your mentor(s) to discuss tasks and deadlines for projects
  • Attending meetings and conferences held by or attended by OWH staff
  • Participating in or attending a panel review of grant and contract proposals for OWH programs
  • Creating and formatting PowerPoint Presentations
  • Creating databases for record keeping
  • Providing briefings and feedback to mentor(s) on conferences and meetings attended
  • Research on studies that align with your mentor's focus
  • Presenting on a topic of your choice during monthly lunchtime seminars
  • Administrative duties such as making copies; returning telephone calls, and responding to emails.

Lastly, of all the various aspects of the OWH internship experience, the number one expectation of an OWH mentor for an intern is to learn and to take advantage of the many experiences that are available at the Department of Health and Human Services.  An OWH internship experience is varied and challenging.

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Comments from Former Interns

As an intern for the Office on Women's Health (OWH), I can truly say that the experience has been phenomenal and afforded me the opportunity to grow as a person and student. I interned with the Senior Advisor for Policy. The policy internship for OWH has given me a broad scope of what the office does. I assisted with budget matters, program evaluations, monthly reports, and had the opportunity to research materials for the Deputy Director's presentation on women's health.  I was fortunate to be placed on the All-Hands Planning Committee that seeks to evaluate and implement initiatives to improve employee satisfaction across all Divisions within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. It is fast-paced environment that challenged me to better myself as a public health administrator in-training. The OWH staff makes you feel welcome and treats you as one of their colleagues which is what I like best. Dexter, Fall 2011
I have learned more that I could have dreamed of through this program. I have made great professional connections and established friendships which I feel are certain to be long-lasting. Sara, Fall 2011
This hands-on experience has been phenomenal, and has strenghted my interest in becoming a Federal employee. The professional development and targeted training will serve me well in my future endeavors. Andrea, Fall 2011

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What are Program requirements?

All eligible students must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be able to commit at least 24 hours a week to the program.

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How am I compensated?

Selected interns' salaries are based on the U.S. Office on Personnel Management Operating Manual's Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions. Interns are paid bi-weekly.

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Are relocation costs reimbursed?

Travel, relocation costs, and housing for interns are not the responsibility of the Office on Women's Health.

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What are the benefits?

Transit subsidies and sick leave. All other benefits provided to interns are discussed during the orientation session.

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Is housing available?

As a courtesy to interns working at the OWH headquarters, housing and housing information may be obtained by contacting Trinity University, Washington, DC, director of conference services at 202-884-9136. Housing application can be downloaded from Trinity University's site conferences@trinitydc.edu.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Office on Women's Health are not liable or responsible for any issues resulting from housing contracted between Trinity University and interns hired by the OWH.

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When are internships available?

Internships are available throughout the year and coincide with the usual college or university's semester calendar. Modest variations in the schedule provided below may be available.

  • Spring (January to May)
  • Summer (June to August)
  • Fall (August to December)

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When is the application deadline?

Apply early for our limited number of great internship positions! General processing time for an application is 60 days.

  • Spring (January to May) – Application Deadline: October 15
  • Summer (June to August) – Application Deadline: February 15
  • Fall (August to December) – Application Deadline: June 15

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Where are internship positions located?

Internship positions are located in the headquarters office in Washington, DC and in the 10 HHS regional offices: Boston, MA, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Kansas City, MO, Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA. When applying, please specify location preference.

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How do I apply to the OWH internship program?

Send the following documents to the Internship Program Coordinator:

  1. An application cover letter providing the following information:
    1. Desired internship session: Spring (January to May), Summer (June to August), or Fall (August to December)
    2. Expected graduation date
    3. Field/topic of interest as an intern with OWH (please review OWH website for programs)
    4. Geographical location of desired internship (regional office or the Washington, DC office)
    5. Complete contact information, including email address, telephone numbers, and best contact time
  2. A current resume
  3. An official transcript from your attending college or university (envelope must be sealed)
  4. An official letter from the attending institution indicating your current academic standing (from the Office of the Registrar)
  5. A letter of recommendation from an advisor or an instructor
  6. A completed questionnaire for non-sensitive positions (PDF, 342 KB)

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Who is the contact?

  • Inquires from Internship Program Coordinators should be directed to  Susan Sanders, Internship Program Coordinator, at Susan.Sanders@hhs.gov OR 202-690-5414.
  • Inquires from applicants should be directed to Babette Couser, Assistant to the Internship Program Coordinator, at Babette.Couser@hhs.gov or 202-205-0510.

Only completed applications will be considered. We encourage application packages to be sent by express courier mail services. Completed application packages should be directed to: 

Susan V.L. Sanders, M.S.A.
Internship Program Coordinator
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Office on Women's Health
200 Independence Avenue, Room 730F
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202-690-5414
Email: Susan.Sanders@hhs.gov

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Are there other HHS internship and training opportunities?

  • 2008 CMS Diversity Summer Internship Program - CMS announces a 12-week Diversity Summer Internship Program for college and university students. CMS is the federal agency that administers the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children's Health Insurance Programs. The purpose of the Diversity Summer Internship Program is to enhance students' knowledge about CMS programs, mission, vision and goals. To learn more, visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CareersatCMS/Downloads/dsip.pdf (PDF, 89 KB).
  • There are many internship opportunities within the US Department of Health and Human Services including the U.S. Public Health Service COSTEP Program. For information about the COSTEP program and how to apply, please visit the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps COSTEP website for application packets, pay, benefits and entry requirements. For a more complete listing of internship and training opportunities at HHS including the Emerging Leaders Program, opportunities at the CDC, the NIH, and other HHS agencies visit the HHS site and search for "internship programs."
  • The Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer internship and fellowship programs across the country. To learn more, visit http://www.hshps.org/students/hshps-training-programs.
  • The ODPHP visiting scholar program which offers rotations to college and medical students, preventive medicine and primary care residents, HHS Emerging Leaders, and other scholars. Please note that these assignments are unpaid. Visit http://odphp.osophs.HHS.gov/scholar/default.htm for more information.
  • APTR offers continuing field placements for Preventive Medicine and Primary Care residents with demonstrated interest in public health/health policy experience at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). Visit http://www.aptrWeb.org/prof_dev/residency.html for more information.
  • APTR fellowships give recent graduates and early career professionals an opportunity to work in public health and preventive medicine interest areas. Fellows gain leadership experience and train with leading experts in the fields of prevention and public health. Visit http://www.aptrWeb.org/prof_dev/fellowships.html for more information.

Content last updated February 16, 2012.

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A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. • Washington, DC 20201