RZHRG - Working in the field

Building on experience with trainees since 1988, RZHRG has developed a formal sequence for junior MDs and Masters level graduates in epidemiology, laboratory, social and behavioral science and allied medical fields. These traineeships typically begin with part-time graduate assistantships with the U.S.-based team followed by one-year internships at the Kigali, Rwanda; Lusaka, Zambia; or Ndola, Zambia sites. RZHRG has hosted more than 120 long- and short- term trainees ranging from pre-medical undergraduates to masters, doctoral and post-doctoral level interns and fellows. Trainees work alongside 250 Zambian and Rwandan colleagues and staff.

The RZHRG internship is a unique, professionally demanding, and very rewarding experience. Prospective interns should be committed to HIV research and prevention and possess a strong interest in global health including both cultural and intellectual exchange.

How to Apply -

Interested applicants are invited to send inquiries and resumes to

Please feel free to send a resume at any time as we will keep it on file for any opportunities that arise.

Internship Requirements -

  • Interns must have an MPH degree or similar applicable master’s degree or have completed at least three years of medical school
  • Must have experience in data management/analysis with Access and/or SAS
  • For Rwanda internships, preference is given to French-speaking applicants
  • There is a minimum commitment of one year, although two years is preferred
  • For each 12-month period, interns receive a modest monthly salary (tax-free if it meets IRS requirements for exemption due to foreign residency), medical evacuation insurance and health insurance. RZHRG interns receive airfare to/from the sites at the end of each year, and they share accommodations with other interns, visiting scientists and/or researchers.

    Intern Departments

    Our three sites each consist of five departments: Administration; Couples Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT); Data; Medical; and Lab. Although specific tasks may vary depending on the needs of each site, below is a short description of the responsibilities of each department and the role of an intern. The descriptions are not exhaustive of all of the duties and responsibilities.

    Internship Responsibilities (all departments)

    An intern is considered a middle-management position. Interns report directly to site directors and RZHRG directors. As members of management, interns are expected to respectfully learn from, as well as lead staff while advancing organizational goals. Intern responsibilities vary by department, however all interns engage in the following tasks:

    • Attend, lead and keep minutes of weekly department/management meetings
    • Perform daily quality control over departmental procedures
    • Liaise with Emory RZHRG management on a daily basis
    • Perform staff evaluations and participate in recruitment/hiring of new staff
    • Conduct monthly trainings for departmental staff on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), competency assessments and/or new study protocols or amendments
    • Read and demonstrate competency on all department-related SOPs
    • Review, write and revise departmental SOPs on a rotating basis

    Internship Specialties -

    • Administration
    • Couples' Voluntary Conseling and Testing (CVCT)
    • Data
    • Medical
    • Lab


    The administration intern is responsible for finance and administration activities at the project sites. He/she provides financial oversight in the following areas: cash management, payroll, accounts payable and preparation of financial reports. The admin intern maintains the integrity of the accounting systems and ensures standard operating procedures are followed on-site. In addition, the administration intern oversees general functions of the field sites to include: human resource support for local and international staff, contract negotiations and signings, healthcare benefits, disciplinary measures and grievance procedures, effort-based timesheet reporting, leave tracking, immigration, shipping/customs clearance, housing arrangements, staff travel, and site maintenance. On a daily basis, the admin intern supervises a team of administrative assistants, drivers and general staff. This team works together to manage the countless auxiliary functions necessary for the research to take place.

    Couples’ Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT)

    CVCT interns coordinate the daily activities of the CVCT sites and organize efforts to ensure consistency. Interns monitor CVCT counseling and support staff in order to guarantee clients receive the highest standard of care and support possible. One of the primary goals of the CVCT intern is to empower the CVCT staff to be as self-sufficient as possible, while acting as a liaison to other interns as well as outside organizations. Interns are responsible for quality control of data collected at each site and help to ensure complete data collection. CVCT interns also work closely with community partners from grass roots organizations within each country to United States, Zambian and Rwandan government offices including the Rwandan and Zambian Ministries of Health, The Center for Disease Control Zambia and the Treatment Research and AIDS Center (TRAC) in Kigali. The CVCT department provides monthly reports to donors and government partners to expand acceptance and use of CVCT services throughout Zambia and to assist in the ongoing implementation of CVCT services in Rwanda on a national level. Interns organize district community promoter (DCP) activities as well as help recruit and train DCPs. In addition to DCPs, interns also are responsible for the promotion of CVCT in the community, which includes organizing meetings with community leaders and media promotion.


    The data intern ensures timely data entry and clean-up of all data generated from the various studies at RZHRG through efficient staff management, command of a variety of data entry methods and SAS programming, as well as a basic knowledge of IT. Error reports are generated weekly at Emory University to assist in identifying missing and illogical data and provide continual feedback to departments to improve the data collection process. The data intern coordinates all follow-up activities/corrections identified in the error reporting system and responds to local data inquiries from all departments. The intern also organizes all data back-up procedures and ensures the integrity of the sites’ physical and electronic data archives in accordance with RZHRG Standard Operating Procedures. In addition to managing data, the intern is responsible for the management of community workers to ensure that late clients are visited in a timely manner. The data intern is also responsible for the maintenance of all computers and management of the current network by working closely with site IT staff and handling any issues that may arise. Data interns are responsible for the management of study forms via the Data Fax system as well as providing current statistics of enrollment and study numbers to the primary investigators and clinical officers.


    The medical intern is largely responsible for day-to-day activities of the department including staff management and quality control of the data collected during enrollment and follow-up visits. Since the medical department collects the majority of the data for RZHRG, the interns must stay up-to-date on each department’s functions. Therefore, a medical intern liaises with all other departments. The medical intern is responsible for assisting with monitoring visits from sponsors and ensures timely follow up on any findings. The medical intern also coordinates enrollment of study couples with Couples Voluntary Testing and Counseling (CVCT) staff. These interns also work very closely with the laboratory, as the two departments collaborate to ensure that accurate results are given in a timely manner. Medical interns have the responsibility to oversee the daily operations of the medical team, which includes the nurse counselors, pharmacists and clinical officers. The medical intern works directly with site physicians and PIs, who also oversee the collection of medical data at each site. The medical intern ensures that counseling messages and medical procedures are consistent and oversees special research projects as needed.


    The laboratory department intern is responsible for ensuring the appropriate, accurate and expedient flow of specimens from collection to testing, communication of results, and entry of data into the project’s databases. The lab intern also works continuously to establish Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) requirements and leads the laboratory in the continual re-assessment of external GCLP accreditation. This intern overseas the quality assurance of the laboratory and quality control of laboratory procedures, as well as the external quality audit processes and the external quality assurance (EQA) programs that the sites are enrolled in for all diagnostic testing. The interns work closely with the project’s data department in the resolution of laboratory data errors generated from error reports. Seroconversion, p24 positive client call-backs, clients with doubtful or discrepant result and sub-study enrollments are also managed by the laboratory interns to insure that all samples are collected for the various studies and all laboratory tests are completed and results properly recorded.

    The lab intern is responsible for coordinating a number of laboratory research agendas and making sure all activities are done in specified timeframes and according to the laboratory analytical plans and standard operating procedures. The laboratory intern overseas all technical procedures related to specimen testing (hematology, serology, chemistry, immunology, PCR, microscopy and parasitology), specimen repositories (Laboratory Information Management System and Access Databases), specimen shipments (International Air Transport Association (IATA) certification & customs clearance) and laboratory inventory management for both reagents and consumables. On a daily basis, the lab intern supervises a team of laboratory scientists, technicians and repository managers.


• RZHRG has hosted more than 120 long- and short- term trainees ranging from pre-medical undergraduates to masters, doctoral and post-doctoral level interns and fellows.

• RZHRG recruits Master's degree graduates for internships and the RZHRG sites in Kigali, Rwanda, Lusaka, Zambia and the Copperbelt region of Zambia.

• RZHRG sites each consist of five departments: Administration; Couples' Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT); Data; Medical; and Lab.

RZHRG - Internships
RZHRG - Internships
RZHRG - Internships