Internship Opportunities

Photo of Swetland interns at Collaborative Partnerships Seminar June 2019

The Swetland Center is committed to providing training and professional development opportunities to educate the next generation of public health researchers and increase research capacity within our community. 

Are you interested in:

  • Community systems science to advance environmental health equity? 
  • An experience that will enhance your awareness of the environment’s disparate impact on communities?
  • Collaborating with diverse researchers and learning transferable skills?

Our 2022 Internship will follow an in-person model and is open to any student interested in community based environmental health research. Find details about our internship opportunity below.

An intern accepted into the Swetland Center’s Internship program would have the following knowledge or interest in:
  • Environmental and public health 
  • Community-engaged environmental health research 
  • Translation of research findings into policies and practice
Interns should be experienced in or interested in learning:
  • Data Management:
    • Understanding of best practices on structuring/organizing data
    • Developing Data Plans 
    • Data Collection
  • Research Methods 
    • Quantitative Methods
    • Qualitative Methodology 
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Community Organizing 
  • Writing Experience 
    • Data briefs, Grants, Manuscripts           
Details of Internship:

Total Length of Internship: 9 weeks 

Hours Per Week: 15

Weekly Schedule: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9:00am - 2:00pm

Internship Timeline: May 31st - July 29th  


Application/Offer Timeline:

Open Application Date: Saturday, January 15th  

Close Application Date: Friday, February 11th (Midnight)  

Interview Dates: February 14th - March 4th *Due to the high number of applicants, interview dates have been extended.*

Intern Selection Date: March 16th  *Due to the high number of applicants, the intern selection date has been extended.*

Applicants must be:
  • 18 years or older
  • An undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university (this opportunity is open to non-CWRU students)
  • Interested in environmental health research and committed to community-engaged research methods
  • Support the values and mission of the Swetland Center
At the Swetland Center, we are committed to equitable growth and community engaged research. We value all those that support the work of Swetland, and interns will be paid for this experience. We expect to hire 3-5 interns and this experience will be in-person. Additional details about the Swetland Center Internship experience include:


Content Areas for Internship: 
  • Food System and Health 
  • COVID-19 and EH 
  • Air Systems and Health 
Cohort Opportunities 
  • Applied EH Research Development 
  • Research Methods 
  • Program Implementation and Evaluation 
  • Communication and Data Translation  
  • Social Justice, Ethics, and Systemic Racism 
  • Utilizing Research to Inform Policy 
  • Community Based Participatory Research Methods 
Professional Development Skill Building:  
  • Facilitation and Leadership Skills 
  • Team Science and Collaboration  
  • Swetland Project Discussions


Interns will have a cohort experience as well as individual project-based work. Examples of previous projects include:

Community Engagement and Racial Equity Assessment of the Swetland Center

  • Co-lead interviews with Swetland employees, partners, and community leaders
  • Conduct document review and assessment 
  • Contribute to planning and execution of Swetland Center Racial Equity Retreat

Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention (BCOP)

  • Assist with literature review for manuscript writing
  • Creation of job aid for assistance with web-based tool algorithm
  • Coding for high level themes from qualitative interviews 

FM Tracks and Produce Perks Statewide Evaluation

  • Co-lead interviews with farmers' market managers
  • Create summary reports and database management
  • What is Community Engaged Research? 
    • Citing a 2017 article, The Use of Community Engaged Research Principles to Improve Health: Community Academic Partnerships for Research, authors Joyce E. Balls-Berry, PhD, MPE and Edna Acosta-Pérez, PhD state “Community-engaged research is “the process of working collaboratively with groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interests, or similar situations with respect to issues affecting their well-being”. This research has many forms and includes a multitude of stakeholders including medical centers, community members, community-based organizations, institutes, and agencies. The goal is to build trusting bi-directional relationships that take into consideration all partners while determining the research foci. Community-engaged research encompasses all aspects of research from development, implementation, data analysis and interpretation, dissemination and works in tandem with a variety of research study designs. The most recognized form is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).”
  • What is Environmental Health?
    • EH is a branch of public health that works to understand how the environment impacts our health. EH research can cover a variety of topics ranging from lead exposure in children to occupational health and safety. At the Swetland Center, we study the complex interplay between the environment and health, and we place special emphasis on investigating the environmental determinants of health inequities to translate these findings into policies and practices that promote community and population health. Learn more about Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH).
  • Is this Internship a paid experience?
    • Yes! Interns will receive two (2) monthly stipends 
  • Do I need to be in Cleveland to be considered for this opportunity?
    • For our 2022 cohort, we plan to engage with students in-person as much as possible. Virtual events will still be held but all interns must be present Tuesday-Thursday 9:00am - 2:00pm at the Swetland Center offices
  • What if I am a community member and want this summer internship experience?
    • Unfortunately, this opportunity is specifically for students currently enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate program at any college or university. This is because this training program is an augmentation to a students course work. We have many other ways for community members to contribute to Swetland's work, including the Community Fellowship Training Program. For more opportunities or to learn more, reach out to Rachael Sommer (
Looking for other ways to engage with the Swetland Center?

If you're interested in a volunteer opportunity at our Center or are seeking out an unpaid research opportunity as part of a practicum, capstone, or other academic program requirement, fill out our Student Interest Form. A member of our Center will then follow up with you if we have any availably research opportunities!