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ISHTaR at UNC-Chapel Hill

Internship in Science, Health Training, and Research (ISHTaR)

What is ISHTaR?

At the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (UNC-SOM), diversity, equity and inclusion are integral parts of the culture. We are committed to creating a more equitable working environment to improve the health of all North Carolinians. The Internship in Science, Health Training, and Research (ISHTaR) program is sponsored by UNC’s Department of Emergency Medicine and is designed to help local High School students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds to develop research skills and explore careers options in medicine and public health over the summer. The project aims to increase representation in health care and public health by impacting and inspiring the next generation of clinicians.

ISHTaR offers many opportunities to help interns gain experience in research and clinical medicine, including:

  • Working with a team of researchers on a variety of projects
    • Planning health communications materials for lay and clinical audiences
    • Creating informational documents for research partners
    • Developing educational courses
    • Reviewing literature on health conditions and programs related to emergency medicine
  • Shadowing clinicians in practice and developing mentorships
    • Shadowing EMS paramedics on an ambulance
    • Shadowing physicians during inpatient and outpatient efforts
    • Discussing life experiences and careers pathways with clinicians and researchers
    • Other experiences tailored to student’s interests
  • Team activities
    • Book club exploring complex healthcare-related issues
  • A minimum of 20 hours of paid work per week
  • Flexible start and end dates to align with the intern’s school year

The ISHTaR Experience

To facilitate other high school students exploring summer internship opportunities, our 2023 ISHTaR interns developed a video to share their summer internship experience. For a firsthand look at their experience, check out this mini documentary!

Application Information

Thank you for your interest in our program. Our selection committee is committed to a fair and holistic review of candidate’s application.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current enrollment in a North Carolina High School as a rising sophomore, junior, or senior
  • 16 years of age or older at the start of the internship
  • Strong career interest in medicine, biology, nursing, emergency medical services, public health, or research
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended
  • Strong preference is given to applicants from underrepresented/disadvantaged background. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Attending schools located in underserved and rural areas of the state (e.g., Eastern & Western NC)
    • Low family income and individual income
    • Member of historically marginalized social/ethnic groups such as, but not limited to: African American, American Indian, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

How to Apply

  • Applicants are asked to reach out to Ms. Julianne Cyr ( between January and February of the year they wish to apply. Further instructions will be provided to interested applicants upon request.
  • All applications are due 3/15/24. Notifications of acceptance are delivered in April.

2023 Interns

Meet our Program Director!