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ASPIRE Internship: Health Research Alliance (HRA) – Coordinator for Biomedical Nonprofits’ Professional Meeting

Posted by on Monday, January 28, 2019 in Announcements .

ASPIRE Internship:

Health Research Alliance (HRA) – Coordinator for Biomedical Nonprofits’ Professional Meeting

ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:

Health Research Alliance (HRA)
Coordinator, professional meeting for scientific nonprofits

Reston, Virginia

Are you curious about career opportunities in the nonprofit world? Many biomedical research nonprofits employ PhD scientists to manage grants portfolios, oversee scientific programs, and lead communication efforts within their organizations. The HRA Members Meeting coordinator will have the opportunity to meet professionals in a wide variety of roles at private foundations and public charities who participate in the Health Research Alliance (HRA).

HRA is a collaborative member organization of ~80 nonprofit research funders who are committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research and training to improve human health. HRA Members represent a variety of types of nonprofit funders of biomedical research, including voluntary health agencies, private foundations, and operating foundations.  All of these organizations share a common interest in speeding the translation of biomedical science into applications that improve health and in identifying and adopting effective practices in funding health research.

The HRA is seeking an intern volunteer to help plan the content and logistics for the Fall 2019 Members’ Meeting, which will take place in Alexandria, VA in September 2019. HRA holds Members’ Meetings twice a year and they cover a wide range of topics from landscape issues in biomedical research, to discussions of best practices or innovations in grantmaking, to important and timely topics like research reproducibility, communicating science, sustainability in the biomedical workforce, or open science.  We expect about 120 participants at these two-day meetings.  Many are scientists, and most are involved in setting policy or strategic direction for their grants or research programs.   HRA invites very high profile speakers and our intern will have the opportunity to meet and network with a wide range of individuals from all sectors of the biomedical research and training enterprise.

Our intern will work closely with Maryrose Franko, PhD, Executive Director of the HRA; Annette Huetter, HRA’s Director of Operations; and the HRA Program Committee.  He or she will assist in the planning of all aspects of the Fall 2019 Members Meeting – ideally, beginning with attendance and networking with HRA members at the Spring 2019 meeting March 28-29, 2019 in Atlanta, GA (The draft agenda for the Spring 2019 meeting can be found here:  After the Atlanta meeting, the intern will help analyze the evaluation of the meeting, participate on Program Committee calls, research potential speakers, help develop the meeting agenda including drafting abstracts for the sessions, and help coordinate event planning logistics with guidance and oversight from HRA staff and the Program Committee.


  • Meet and learn from professionals who have a wide variety of roles in the philanthropic sector
  • Gain experience in organizing and planning an international meeting
  • Meet and interact with scientists and others whose work impacts the entire biomedical research and training community
  • Gain exposure to the professional culture in a nonprofit scientific organization
  • Network with scientific foundation professionals and others in the biomedical research community (researchers, government officials, communications officers, etc.)
  • Be an active participant in a meeting that has been shown to impact the strategic direction of foundations, as well as enhance the capacity of foundation staff


  • Internship will start as soon as possible and run through the end of September 2019.
  • Internship is remote (Nashville-based, except for meeting travel), unpaid, part-time (2-5 hours per week, variable)
  • The intern will support the Health Research Alliance as needed and gain new skills through phone/conference/Skype calls, as well as attendance at the Members’ Meeting
  • The participating student or postdoc must be eligible for ASPIRE funds
  • As part of the internship, there will be required attendance at the meeting in Alexandra, VA, September 25-26, 2019 to capture potential next steps and recommendations from the session speakers.
  • Ideally, the intern will be able to attend the upcoming Spring 2019 meeting, which is in Atlanta, GA, March 28-29, 2019
  • Must be US citizen or permanent resident.
  • All travel costs to attend the meetings will be covered as part of the internship.

Applications due by midnight, Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

To apply:

  • Fill out the following ASPIRE Internship Application found here:
  • Submit a CV and cover letter to Ashley Brady at  (Please submit documents as pdfs with your last name_HRA_Fall2019 in the file name and with subject line: ASPIRE Internship: HRA)
  • Schedule a meeting with Ashley Brady prior to the application deadline

Your information will then be passed along to the organization and they will contact you directly to schedule an interview.

For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (


Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here
​For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (

Eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  • All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to the start of the internship.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • Students and postdocs may not participate in more than one internship at a time.  More than one application may be submitted at a single time, but only one position can be accepted.
  • If you are not in a department supported by the BRET office, we will also require that you complete a form guaranteeing PI approval to participate in this program.  Please contact Ashley Brady at for more information.
  • If you are an international student or postdoctoral fellow, your visa status may affect your work eligibility. Please contact Ashley Brady ( to discuss this further.

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