LGBTQ Health Summer Internship Application

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Nashville, TN, 37232  |  615.936.3879  |

Thank you for your interest in the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health Summer Internship. Regretfully, we will not be hosting an internship for the 2024 season. We are taking this year to focus on restructuring our internship program, and we will resume in 2025! Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to receiving your application next year! If you have any additional questions or concerns, please email us at

Summer Internship Program

The Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health is a national leader in patient care, education, research, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.  Through this internship program, we hope to further this mission and to foster the personal and professional development of future leaders in LGBTQ health and research.


We are hosting a limited number of students for 10-week, full-time internships from late May to early August, though exact dates are flexible.  Interns will receive a modest wage to help offset their living expenses in Nashville, Tennessee. 

LGBTQ Health Intern Position Description

This internship is well suited for those pursuing careers in academic medicine, public health, nursing, allied health professions, and other related fields. LGBTQ Health interns will divide their time between programmatic projects to support the Program for LGBTQ Health and research projects. Examples of both types of work are below:

 Previous Programmatic Projects  Previous Research Projects
  • Creating patient and community health resource toolkits
  • Developing institutional policies to support LGBTQ inclusion
  • Lecturing local groups about LGBTQ health disparities and cultural competency
  • Managing social media and other web content outlets
  • Creating a Community Advisory Board for the Program for LGBTQ Health
  • Understanding Patient and Staff Perceptions of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection
  • Transgender Patients Healthcare Utilization in Oregon: 2010-2016
  • Hematologic Values for Transgender Patients on Cross-Sex Hormone Therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis to establish normal reference ranges

For competitive consideration, applicants must:

  • Be an undergraduate student (rising junior or senior), a professional student, or a graduate student (especially medical or nursing school students)
  • Have a committed interest in LGBTQ health and research
  • Demonstrate this interest through previous work, research, volunteer, or other experience

To Apply:

Please fill out our application, which includes a resume/CV and personal statement by February 1 at 11:59 pm CST. Your letter writer will submit your letter of recommendation through a form that is emailed to them; more information is in the application itself. There is also more application information in the FAQ below. Your personal statement should describe what you hope to gain from this internship and how the position would help you advance your professional goals. In your statement, please demonstrate your previous commitment to LGBTQ health and explain what informs your passion for serving the LGBTQ community. All program questions should be directed to the program email We encourage diverse candidates from a multitude of backgrounds to apply.

Trans Buddy Intern Position Description

Each summer, the program hosts one intern specific to the Trans Buddy program. People interested in this internship opportunity should apply specifically through the Collective Power for Reproductive Justice’s summer internship, also known as the Collective Rising internship. While our Trans Buddy intern comes to us directly through Collective Power, applying to this internship program does not guarantee a placement with Trans Buddy. More information about the program, application requirements, and other host sites can be found here.

Responsibilities of the Trans Buddy intern will include supporting the Trans Buddy program as well as the Program for LGBTQ Health through programmatic projects as well as a research project. In addition to these bigger projects, the Trans Buddy intern will be expected to act as a buddy as well as help coordinate the summer volunteer training.

Examples for previous projects can be found below:

 Previous Programmatic Projects  Previous Research Projects
  • Help develop a train the trainer manual
  • Establish an LGBTQ Employee Resource Group for VUMC
  • Develop educational tools surrounding Trans Health
  • Program Evaluation of Trans Buddy Program
  • Create Transgender Healthcare Quality Improvement Model, published and presented at National Trans Health Summit


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Come enjoy the vibrant city of Nashville, make lasting connections with your fellow interns, and work in one of the nation’s top academic medical centers!

In compliance with federal law, VUMC does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, veteran status or genetic information in its employment. In addition, the VUMC does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression consistent with the VUMC Anti-harassment, Non-Discrimination and Non-Retaliation policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the application open, and when is the deadline? 

    The internship application will open in early December. The deadline is February 1, 2023, at 11:59 pm CST. 

    Who is qualified to apply? 

    The internship is open to undergraduate rising juniors and seniors, undergraduate seniors who are applying to or have been accepted to another academic program (MPH, medical school, nursing school, etc.) for the fall of 2023, and those currently in post-undergraduate programs (current medical, master’s in nursing, MPH, etc. students). However, our program is not a good fit for PhD students, PhD candidates, or postdocs. Additionally, interns must be eligible for full-time employment in the United States. If you have questions about your eligibility, please email us at

    Do I need to be part of LGBTQ communities to apply? 

    No, applicants may be any sexual orientation and/or gender. We do ask applicants to consider whether or not the information or stories in their personal statement are actually theirs to share and tell. 

    What materials are required to apply? 

    A completed REDCap application form, a résumé/CV, a personal statement, and one letter of recommendation are required. Please, do not send additional materials, letters of recommendation, etc.; we will not read them nor is there designated space for these items in the REDCap form. We do not require an interview nor do we conduct optional interviews.   

    What dates are the internship? Are these dates flexible? 

    The internship is 10 weeks and runs from the Tuesday after Memorial Day until the first week in August; in 2023 those dates are May 30th to August 4th. However, we recognize that some schools do not finish their terms until later in the summer. We will still consider applicants from those schools and will work with you to find suitable dates. We also know that interns sometimes have previously scheduled commitments during the summer, and we will work with interns so they can both fulfill their previously scheduled commitments and their commitment to the internship. 

    Can interns earn academic credit? 

    No, we are unable to provide academic credit. Interns will receive a stipend.  

    What is the difference between this internship and the Trans Buddy internship? Can I apply to both? 

    The LGBTQ Health Summer Internship is run directly through the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health, and interns receive their stipends from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The foci of the internship includes research, program capacity building, education, and community interactions. The link for the internship can be found on this site or through the VSSA site. The Trans Buddy internship is run through the organization Collective Power and their internship program, Collective Rising. The Trans Buddy intern is selected by and paid through the Collective Rising program. We have a partnership with Collective Power and host the intern; however, we do not have any input on requirements, who is accepted, stipend amount, logistics, etc. Additionally, Collective Rising applicants list their top five host sites, so acceptance to the internship does not guarantee a placement with Trans Buddy. Besides focusing on the Trans Buddy program and working directly with our Trans Buddy coordinator, Trans Buddy/Collective Rising interns have different internship requirements than general Program for LGBTQ Health interns. You may apply to both but keep this information in mind. 

  • Are our projects only either programmatic or research?  

    No, the internship contains both research and programmatic components. While the majority of an intern’s time is spent on research, there are opportunities to contribute to our social media, co-lead trainings, and table at Nashville Pride, to name a few. Interns also have the optional opportunity to shadow in various clinical settings. We will send accepted applicants more information about shadowing, so do not reach out to individual providers. 

    How are projects assigned to interns? Do we create our own or join an established study? If we create our own, should we discuss our ideas in the personal statement? Do we need to mention current LGBTQ health research at VUMC and/or relevant VUMC providers and/or researchers?  

    We choose each intern’s research project based on a combination of factors such as the intern’s specific interests, experiences, and career goals; research that is already being conducted; and the capacity of our research mentors. The application does have a brief section for sharing your research interests. Current projects nor providers and/or researchers need to be mentioned in the application; there are many research projects being conducted that do not have any information about them online, and we work with a range of providers, researchers, postdocs, trainees, and students that are not directly tied to the program. Do not contact Vanderbilt University faculty about the internship or potentially working on their research; Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University are separate entities, so while we have partnerships with Vanderbilt University faculty, faculty members are not automatically affiliated with both institutions. Additionally, you should not be contacting VUMC providers and researchers about the internship or their research in the context of the internship.  

  • What should I include in my personal statement? 

    Please include why you are interested in interning with the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health, your interest and commitment to LGBTQ health—and health equity in general—and how this will relate to your career goals, what qualities and experiences make you a competitive applicant, and what you hope to gain and/or learn as an intern. You are welcome to write your personal statement in whichever style you wish. You are welcome to share personal experiences—whether good or bad—but do not feel obligated to share your trauma or go into depth about your trauma. Also, be judicial in what personal information or stories you share about other people, especially if you do not have their explicit consent to do so. Please limit your personal statement and CV/résumé to two pages each (we have no specific formatting requirements). You may address any materials to Vanderbilt Program for LGTBQ Health. 

    Will my application still be considered if my letter of recommendation writer submits my letter past the deadline? 

    We will not accept any materials past February 1, 2023, at 11:59 pm CST.  

    Who should write my letter of recommendation? 

    Your LOR should be written by a professor, advisor, or supervisor who is able to specifically speak about you and your strengths, abilities, professional and/or academic characteristics, and unique capabilities. The REDCap application has a link for your letter writer to upload the LOR; more information is in the application itself. 

    When will I hear if I have been accepted or not? 

    Applications are due February 1, 2023, at 11:59 pm CST. We will start reviewing applications after this date and will let applicants know if they have or have not been accepted in March.  

  • How much is the stipend? 

    Interns will likely receive a $1,500 stipend, which will be dispersed in one or two payments. We are still awaiting funding decisions, so this amount may change. 

    Is there on-campus housing that interns can utilize? 

    We will likely be able to provide housing for interns, but this has not been confirmed yet. Interns will be in summer intern housing with interns from other Vanderbilt internships and will likely be in on-campus dorms. As aforementioned, we are still awaiting a final answer. 

    Does the program cover costs of traveling to and from the internship? 

    Unfortunately, we are unable to cover travel costs.  

    Is it possible to complete this internship remotely?  

    It is not possible to complete this internship remotely. Multiple aspects of the internship either require interns’ physical presence or are behooved by being in-person.  

    What are the requirements for COVID-19 vaccines and wearing a mask? Are there any other immunization or compliance requirements? 

    All (excluding those with approved exemptions) VUMC employees are required to receive the initial COVID-19 vaccines and a bivalent booster; this requirement extends to interns as well. Additionally, as of December 2022, anyone in a clinical setting is required to wear a mask (these requirements are subject to become more or less strict per VUMC leadership, but it has been announced that masking in clinical settings will be required for the foreseeable future); regardless, you are always welcome to wear a mask in non-clinical settings as well. The other immunization requirements are: 

    • TB test: two step TB test (done two weeks apart) or a TB blood test (IGRA)  
    • Hep B vaccine series or a positive titer 
    • flu shot 
    • MMR vaccine series or a positive titer 
    • varicella vaccine series or a positive titer 
    • Tdap (1 dose in the last 10 years) 

    You must have these vaccinations/tests before arriving to campus. You will not be allowed to intern if you do not complete these. If this is an issue either logistically or cost-wise, please let us know ASAP, and we will figure out a solution.  

    Summer interns are required to have health insurance, so be sure to bring your health insurance card with you. If you have met all of VSSA’s vaccination requirements but have not met these ones (if they are different), you can receive the additional vaccines at various locations in Nashville (Vanderbilt Health Clinics at Walgreens, CVS Minute Clinic, etc.).