The University of Michigan Global Health Design Internship is a 10-16 week paid summer internship that prepares students for careers in medical device design, ergonomics, operations research, medicine, clinical research, global health and sustainable development.

Interns will conceptualize, prototype, and evaluate design solutions and/or support local translational efforts (e.g., local validation study, sourcing local materials and manufacturing, etc.). Interns will divide their time between Ann Arbor, MI and a low-resource clinical setting in Michigan, Ghana, or Kenya. Interns typically spend 4-8 weeks at a clinical field site.


Required Qualifications

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor students who currently have sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate level standing*. Preference will be given to students that will be enrolled at the University of Michigan in Fall 2020.
  • There is no foreign language proficiency

Accepted interns will be offered a position that pertains to a specific project topic and field site. Students will have the opportunity to list their preferences in their application. Sample project topics, field sites, and the associated desired qualifications are listed below.

Planning and piloting a small-scale validation study to evaluate physical medicine and rehabilitation prototypes

  • Sample Project Topics: Brace for preventing post-stroke shoulder subluxation, progressive rehabilitation device for hand and wrist injuries, turning aid to prevent pressure ulcers
  • Field Sites: Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Kumasi, Ghana), Consolata Hospitals (Meru, Kenya)
  • Desired Qualifications:
    • Currently pursuing a degree in engineering, science, or health-related field
    • Previous clinical and/or human subjects research experience
    • Previous experience with preparing Institutional Review Board applications
    • Previous experience with developing study protocols
    • Previous experience with managing community/research partnerships
    • For the turning aid to prevent pressure ulcer project, previous experience with CAD, machining, and welding is desired

Conducting focused observations and interviews (“deep dive”) to define operational challenges and inform process improvement initiatives

  • Sample Project Topics: Electronic medical records, expanding clinic services (e.g., physical therapy), lab workflow, patient scheduling
  • Field Sites: Hamilton Community Health Network (Flint, Michigan)
  • Desired Qualifications:
    • Currently pursuing a degree in industrial and operations engineering, nursing, anthropology, health informatics, or public health
    • Previous experience in health informatics, operations research, or related fields
    • Previous experience with managing community/research partnerships

The following items are required to complete your application.


  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume Upload
  • Passport Information
  • Engineering – GHDI: Global Health Design Internship Application
  • Unofficial Transcript Upload

Signature Documents

  • Recording Release & Authorization Form
  • Records Release Notice
  • Travel Health Preparation Guide Review
  • Verification Statement



Past clinical immersion experiences have ranged between $2,250-4,500 USD.


The internships are full-time and 10-16 weeks in duration; Duration is determined by the scope of the internship project. Interns will earn an hourly wage of 10-14 USD/hour, dependent on experience, for the determined internship duration.

Contextual design interns are eligible to receive a travel stipend of up to $1000 USD to offset field site costs (e.g., GeoBlue traveler’s health insurance, airfare, accommodations, food). Students are encouraged to apply for additional outside funding sources to offset travel costs. Students will be required to disclose all funding sources used to support the program.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for international travel. Passports must be valid for six months after the end of the program. Information about visas will be provided after acceptance.

Application Procedures

Click “Apply Now” to begin an application. Application requirements will be presented in a checklist format.

Dates and Deadlines

Program Duration: 10-16 weeks between May and August 2019. Information about start date and duration will be determined after acceptance.

Application Deadlines:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 2, 2020.

Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. It is highly recommended to apply early.


Interns will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations. Hostel/guesthouse, student dormitory, and/or homestay options can be recommended based on prior student experiences.

Additional Information

Interns will be remotely mentored by the Global Health Design Initiative faculty and staff via phone, video chat, and email while performing work at the field sites. Therefore, interns must be comfortable with navigating a new setting and independently making decisions while at the field site. Interns will be responsible for managing their time, arranging local accommodations and transportation, and maintaining contact with their mentors and family.

Contact Information

Please direct advising inquiries and program-specific questions to globalhealthdesign@umich.edu

To learn more about the Global Health Design Initiative and past projects, visit globalhealthdesign.engin.umich.edu

Interested in this Opportunity?

Applications for the Design for Global Health Internship are accepted online through MCompass. Follow this link to login and apply.

Apply for this opportunity

What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative

Program History

Program History

GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.

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Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.

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Get Involved

Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in global health work with GHDI. From taking on a need statement, to participating in an opportunity, or becoming a partner.

Learn More →