Indian Health Research Internship Program

Possible Community Sites Include:

Fond du Lac Reservation
Little Earth of United Tribes
White Earth Reservation

Broad Objective

To provide domestic research, service, and experiential summer opportunities for medical, public health, and pre-medical Dartmouth students on American Indian reservations and communities.

Mission Statement

The Summer Indian Health Research Internship Program aims to instill in student researchers a sensitive understanding of the complex social and behavioral determinants of significant health disparities within Native American communities in the United States. We value the development of meaningful long-term partnerships with Native American communities, and develop programming and research foci in collaboration with the Indian Health Service, tribal clinical staff and research groups, and tribal leadership. We strive to provide culturally sensitive and community-initiated analysis and evidence-based research support to our partners. Our project implementation will be shaped with recommendations from our partner communities; our work will address the most urgent and pressing health care and social issues in each community. We will raise awareness of our research work within the community in a culturally appropriate manner. Together, our good work will first and foremost benefit the communities with the intention of instilling a sense of engagement and empowerment that will ultimately lead to longitudinal community-wide behavioral health changes. The research and educational opportunities offered by the Summer Indian Health Research Internship Program will support Dartmouth's mission to be a world leader in addressing domestic health disparities.

The Summer Indian Health Research Internship Program encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among medical students, public health students and undergraduate students, and will unite clinical innovations, public health initiatives, and community outreach work to best strengthen our working relationships with our community partners.


Funding for this program is provided by the Ohiyesa Foundation. Ohiyesa, which in Lakota means "wins often," was also known as Charles Eastman, an American Indian physician who is a Dartmouth College alumnus. Each respective department that has resources to support their students might also provide other sources of funding, ie Dickey Center would provide funding for undergraduate students, etc.

Funding will be determined on an individual basis per length of research and the anticipated expenses associated with each location. Travel, lodging and a honorarium will be provided to each student intern.


Currently enrolled medical students and recent graduate students are eligible to participate in summer research through the Dartmouth Summer Indian Health Research Internship Program.


To apply for the 2014 Summer Indian Health Research Internship Program, fill out this application form. Applications are due by 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Opportunities with our Community Partners

  1. Fond du Lac Community
    • Community needs assessment involving data collection and analysis that gauges public opinion and concerns
    • The bio-monitoring project, an effort to establish a baseline with the Minnesota Department of Health of diet involving local foods. It assesses effects of heavy metals, pollution, etc. in traditional fishing and gathering locations of the Lake Superior watershed
    • Involvement in research project development of meaningful, community-based research
    • Utilization of data analysis and interpretation skills
  2. Little Earth of United Tribes
    • Full Internship Description
    • The Little Earth Adult Health Survey will take place between July 14-31. Any intern would be most welcome to be an interviewer OR be part of the Little Earth staff organizing team to support this endeavor.
    • As a part of the Survey, there will be abundant opportunities to participate in designing and/or implementing a training for the interviewers that will take place in mide-late June that will have the following components:
      • Practice interviewing each other using the online system of REDCap.
      • Training in being culturally sensitive and working with Little Earth's residents
      • Walking through processes and procedures that will maximize confidentiality and inspire trust with residents
      • How the Principle Investigator and Co-Investigator roles/responsibilities play out in a community survey of this kind. We very much welcome the input, questions of interns.
    • Shakopee Mobile Unit Well Child Visits: 4 visits will be scheduled for July (2) and August (2), ideally prior to August 15th. Interns would be interfacing with the health service providers and community members and their children who want to participate.
    • Working with Little Earth's Health Ambassadors: these are people who support residents, through their positivity and choices to step onto a pathway of wellness. Intern(s) would assist in developing culturally specific health content that would be part of a training session for the Health Ambassadors.
    • Interns will help to deliver nutrition classes for the Little Earth STRONG fitness/nutrition program in conjunction with a Native chef.
  3. White Earth Community