Public Health Internships and Scholars

The Rhode Island Department of Health welcomes students looking for an opportunity to learn and expand the workforce of public health professionals in Rhode Island. At the Department of Health, we challenge students to apply what they learned at school and to help create innovative solutions to public health problems. Students placed in one of our programs also gain insight about the multiple disciplines contributing to public health, and work within a team that is making policies, programs and interventions that touch many Rhode Islanders.

What you might do

  • Review applications from health plans for regulatory compliance;
  • Develop public health messages to support a variety of population health goals;
  • Evaluate health promotion and disease prevention efforts;
  • Perform work flow analysis of department processes;
  • Design and administer surveys; collect and analyze datasets;
  • Prepare reports and assist in writing program plans, measures and strategies;
  • Assist the State Laboratory with specimen processing and clinical lab tasks;
  • Analyze and advise on the appropriate use of various social media platforms;
  • Support the Lyme Disease surveillance system.

Whatever project you participate in, you will have the opportunity to learn more about how we are organized and how public health works for Rhode Island.

Placement types

Public Health Scholars

Public health scholars work with a specific program for a semester, for academic credit. They work on projects designed to advance the public health goals and meet their schools' academic requirements, under the supervision of a mentor. At the end of the semester Scholars present posters of their work at different local venues. Graduate students are preferred, but motivated undergraduates may be accepted as Scholars as well. Interested students should email us a cover letter, and your resume, goals and area of interest.

Internships for Career Experience and Academic Credit

The State of Rhode Island also receives interns to be placed at the Department of Health or other state agencies. The internship may also be for academic credit, and is usually for eight weeks. Detailed information can be found at the Rhode Island State Internship Program, which coordinates all hiring and placement.

Paid Internships

The Department of Health hosts a small number of paid summer internships. The Rhode Island Department of Human Resources coordinates hiring for these positions which are posted at Apply RI. These internships are not guaranteed, so students are encouraged to apply to the Public Health Scholars or the Government Internships if interested in placement at the Rhode Island Department of Health.