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ISHTaR at UNC-Chapel Hill

Internship in Science and Health Training and Research (ISHTaR)

Focus of ISHTaR

The Internship in Science, Health Training and Research (ISHTaR) program is affiliated with the University of North Carolina’s Department of Emergency Medicine. The Department of Emergency Medicine has three main goals: leading collaboratively through research to improve the quality of emergency care; teaching the doctors today to be prepared for the problems of tomorrow; and caring for patients using the best methods and technology. One of the ways our department strives to meet this goal is through the development of programs to support the next generation of clinicians and researchers, including the ISHTaR program.

ISHTaR, held at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC, is offered under the direction Ms. Julianne Cyr. Ms. Cyr serves as a Research Instructor in the department, guiding daily research activities of a team including full and part-time employees, medical and public health students, and undergraduate students. Ms. Cyr also serves as the Director of Student Research, connecting learners with research opportunities within the department, and the co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, promoting diverse representation in medicine and research.

In order to promote the goals of the Department of Emergency Medicine, the ISHTaR program offers many unique opportunities to local High School students over the summer. These opportunities are meant to allow students to gain experience in research and clinical medicine. Such opportunities include:

  • The opportunity to work with research teams on a variety of projects
    • Planning health communications materials for lay and clinical audiences
    • Creating informational fliers for research partners
    • Developing educational courses
    • Reviewing literature on health conditions and programs related to emergency medicine
  • The option to shadow and speak with clinicians and researchers
    • Shadowing EMS clinicians on an ambulance
    • Shadowing physicians in patient care settings
    • Speaking with medical providers and researchers about their experiences
  • Team activities
    • Book club exploring healthcare disparities
  • A minimum of 20 hours of paid work per week
  • Flexible start and end dates to align with the intern’s school year.

Meet the Interns

Meet the Researcher Team

Eligibility & How to Apply

Eligible applicants must have completed two years of High School and possess a strong interest in medicine, biology, nursing, emergency medical services, public health, or research. Interns must be 16 years of age or older at the start of the summer of their internship. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher is highly recommended. Criteria for selection are based on several factors,

including educational promise, a strong commitment to a health career, and lack of past opportunities. You must be considered diverse, disadvantaged, or underrepresented among health care providers or researchers to be eligible (see further information below). The program is typically for rising seniors and juniors in High School. As long as you fulfill the requirements of the program, your application will be considered with all other applicants.

The definition for disadvantaged or underrepresented status is any student who is considered educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged within the USA. Examples of each are as follows:

  • Education: Attending schools that are considered disadvantaged in ranking or are located in underserved areas of the state (such as Eastern & Western NC)
  • Economic: Low family income and individual income
  • Social: A member of certain disadvantaged groups that are considered underrepresented in the medical/dental professions, such as African American, American Indian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander 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 applications. All applications are due in mid-March. Notifications of acceptance are delivered in April.