ASPIRE Internship: Health Research Alliance (HRA): HRA Members’ Meeting Program Coordinator

Ashley Brady
April 11, 2017
Posted in Announcements

ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:

Health Research Alliance (HRA)
HRA Members’ Meeting Program Coordinator

Reston, VA

​The Health Research Alliance (HRA), a collaborative member organization of ~75 nonprofit research funders, is 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 in the planning of the 2017 Fall Members’ Meeting, which is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and will take place in Chicago, IL on September 17th and 18th.  The Spring Members’ Meeting agenda can be found here, and Executive Director summaries of the spring and fall 2016 members’ meeting are also available.  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, FDA Priorities and interactions with non-profits, diversity in the biomedical workforce, or open science.  We expect about 125 participants at this two-day meeting.  Many are scientists but certainly not all.  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 Members’ Meeting starting with analyzing the evaluation of the Spring 2017 meeting, participating on Program Committee calls, researching potential speakers, develop the meeting agenda including drafting abstracts for the sessions, and event planning logistics with guidance and oversight from HRA staff and the Program Committee.    


  • Gain experience in organizing and planning an international meeting
  • Meet and interact with scientists and nonprofit funders whose work impacts the entire biomedical research and training community
  • Gain exposure to the professional culture in a non-profit scientific organization
  • Network with scientific foundation professionals and others in the biomedical research community (researchers, government officials, communications officers, etc)
  • Be an active participate 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 2017. 
  • Internship is remote, 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 calls/ conference calls/skype calls 
  • The participating student or postdoc must be eligible for ASPIRE funds 
  • (As part of the internship, there will be required attendance to the meeting in Chicago, IL to capture potential next steps and recommendations from the session speakers.
  • Must be US citizen or permanent resident.

Applications due by 12:00 noon, Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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_Sp 2017  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.