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ASPIRE Internship: Health Research Alliance (HRA) and Council on Government Relations (COGR) NFRI Partnership Coordinator

Posted by on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Announcements .

ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:

Health Research Alliance (HRA)* and Council on Government Relations (COGR)**
Nonprofit Funder- Research Institution (NFRI) Partnership Coordinator Intern

Reston, Virginia

Take advantage of the opportunity to work with research institutions and nonprofit funders to address pressing issues in these research partnerships.  The NFRI Partnership is tackling challenging issues including intellectual property and royalty sharing, patient access to the products of research, how to understand and fund research infrastructure and how to streamline the requirements associated with research funding.

If you want to make a difference while learning about careers in nonprofit funding organizations, policy, and research institution administration, this internship is for you.  Many biomedical research nonprofits employ PhD scientists to manage grants portfolios, oversee scientific programs, and lead communication efforts within their organizations. Research Institutions also capitalize on the talent that PhD scientists bring in research administration, policy or Tech Transfer Offices.  The NFRI Partnership Coordinator will have the opportunity to meet professionals in a wide variety of roles at private foundations and public charities, as well as public and private research institutions that are involved as members of  partner organizations – the Health Research Alliance (HRA)* and the Council on Government Relations (COGR).**

The NFRI partnership is seeking an intern volunteer to help coordinate the various aspects of the partnership.  Our intern will work closely with Maryrose Franko, PhD, Executive Director of the HRA, and Lisa Nichols, PhD, COGR’s Director for Research and Regulatory Reform.  He or she will assist in coordinating frequent calls among the NFRI working group and subcommittees, help develop resources produced by the subcommittees, and attend and help coordinate and develop materials for 1-2 in-person meetings where stakeholders will present their work products to participants and work in small groups to make further progress and consider new initiatives.


  • Interact with and learn from professionals who have a wide variety of roles in the philanthropic or academic/research institution communities
  • Gain experience coordinating and supporting a voluntary partnership and organizing and planning a professional meeting
  • Gain exposure to the professional culture in a nonprofit scientific organization or a research institution
  • Gain exposure to and network with scientific foundation and research institution professionals and others in the biomedical research community
  • Be an active participant in meetings that promise to significantly enhance the relationships between nonprofit funders and research institutions – helping both to achieve their synergistic missions.


  • Internship will start at the end of April or early May and run through the end of October 2019, with the opportunity to extend, pending review.
  • Internship is remote (Nashville-based, except for meeting travel), unpaid, part-time (2-5 hours per week, variable)
  • The intern will support the NFRI partnership as needed and gain new skills through phone/conference/Skype calls, as well as attendance at the NFRI Partnership Meeting(s)
  • The participating student or postdoc must be eligible for ASPIRE funds
  • As part of the internship, it is expected that the intern attend an in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. to  assist with facilitating the meeting.  Anticipated meetings dates are May 22, 2019 and September 24, 2019.
  • Must be US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Travel costs to attend the meetings will be covered as part of the internship.

*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 all of whom 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.

**COGR is an association of 188 public and private U.S. research universities and affiliated academic medical centers and research institutes. COGR concerns itself with the impact of federal regulations, policies, and practices on the performance of research conducted at its member institutions.

Applications due by midnight, Monday, March 25, 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_HRACOGRF_Fall2019 in the file name and with subject line: ASPIRE Internship: HRA/COGRF)
  • 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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