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STS/HPS Internship

The goal of this internship is to give students an opportunity to get hands-on experience in science policy, governance, funding, popularization, advocacy, journalism, or a closely related field in a professional setting. The internship experience can help deepen the students’ expertise in these fields and play a vital role in achieving their personal and professional goals. The interns will apply their interdisciplinary knowledge acquired though their courses at the University of Toronto in real work environments and link their learning to the reality of various science-related settings. The internship experience can also help the students to learn more about possible career paths and give them an invaluable opportunity to create strong professional networks.

Students will be required to complete 100 hours (typically 8 hours/week) with an industry partner during the Fall term. Students will also be required to participate in monthly group meetings with the Course Instructor and other interns where they will discuss their progress and make short presentations about their goals and what they have learnt. Students will get 0.5 credit that will count towards their STS or HPS minor/major. Students in STS and/or HPS programs going into their fourth year are eligible to apply.

Internships can be remote, in-person, or hybrid dependent on Government and University policies, rules, and regulations instituted in response to the changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

To complete this application you will need:

  • Your unofficial transcript
  • Your resume (1-2 pages long)
  • Your statement of interest (500 words max)

Application Deadline: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Apply here

Program Descriptions

International Network for Governmental Science Advice, North America

The International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA) is a non-governmental organisation established in 2014 to create a unique network of practitioners and researchers who are interested in helping to structure and strengthen science policy interfaces and processes in multiple contexts, from everyday policy making, to dealing with public emergencies, to strengthening diplomatic relationships.

Under the leadership of its president Rémi Quirion (also Chief scientist of Québec), INGSA is initiating the development of a north-American chapter, with a strong focus on science advice in town and cities. As a first step, a group composed of cities experts and academics is working on developing initiatives in Canada. As a second step, the group is expected to broaden its scope to include science advice actors in the US and Mexico.

The Task

During summer and fall 2022, Canadian members of the development group intend to study the current practices at the interface of evidence and local policymaking with a view to synthesising and sharing promising practices as well as making informed recommendations. To do this, an initial desk study is planned so as to understand the context of science and policy collaborations in Canadian towns and cities. The desk study will include:

  • an overview of active cities networks in Canada and north-America;
  • grants available to support collaborations between cities and researchers;
  • science advice mechanisms in Canadian cities (through interviews with civil servants in major cities).

The INGSA-NA group will present the findings of this preliminary work at a planned INGSA workshop at the Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC), in Ottawa, on 15 November 2022.

The Position(s)

INGSA is therefore seeking two interns to support the desk study and the organisation of the workshop of INGSA-NA in CSPC. This work will include:

  • Finalise the desk study work, which will be already well advanced, in collaboration with the team at the Office of the Chief Scientist (Sept)
  • Write a report based on the desk study, which will be sent to the INGSA-NA group before the CSPC workshop (Oct)
  • Help organise the Nov 15th workshop planned, and moderate the session dedicated to the desk study (Oct-Nov)
  • Help organise the closing plenary session at CSPC, planned for Nov. 18 (Oct-Nov)
  • Write the synthesis of the workshop and the closing plenary, which will be released through INGSA as the first publication of INGSA-NA (Dec).

Conditions

Remote work, except during the CSPC (Nov. 15 to 18) where physical presence is required in Ottawa. Travel and accommodation for the Ottawa conference will be covered. The students’ travel and expenses associated with the CSPC conference will be covered by the Fonds de Recherche de Quebec on behalf of INGSA. Any applicable travel (or other) insurance must be borne by the students’ home institution as part of their curriculum of study.

The two interns will work under the supervision of the Office of the Chief Scientist of Québec (under its mandate of President of INGSA), and in collaboration with INGSA headquarters and INGSA-NA members.

Preferred Competencies

  • Broad understanding of policy processes and governance structures in the Canadian context.
  • Capacity to perform, analyse and synthesise desktop research and rapidly review literature across a range of sources and summary documents.
  • Experience in compiling and analysing qualitative research.
  • Ability to prepare, interpret and present material, including presentations, reports, and research summaries.
  • Ability to work and communicate across internal and external stakeholders.
  • Event management and planning experience.
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization

Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of Ontario’s human health science companies positioning Ontario as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, patients and government.

The Task

OBIO is planning to conduct an environmental scan of biotechnology and/or medical technology innovation policy in comparable jurisdictions and evaluation of OBIO’s program impact. This study should help shape the OBIO’s program moving forward.

The Position(s)

OBIO is seeking for an intern who will be involved in this study, by performing a variety of required tasks, such as:

  • Reviewing innovation policies related to medical technology and biotechnology in comparable jurisdictions.
  • Evaluate the impact of OBIO’s program.

Conditions

Hybrid working arrangement. The intern will be mostly remote with occasional meetings at OBIO’s offices at 100 College St., Suite 213, Toronto, Ontario.

Preferred Competencies

  • Background in life sciences, business, or any discipline involving qualitative research.
  • Knowledge of policy and research tools and development and evaluation techniques.
  • Knowledge and application of research methodology and data analysis to conduct environmental scans and assess impact on policy and program development.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills to prepare and present complex research analyses.
  • Excellent computer skills to access the Internet as a research tool and to prepare own materials using various software programs.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities (SCHC) is dedicated to meeting the diverse, holistic health needs of the communities of Scarborough by addressing the physical, mental, social, financial and environmental aspects of their health. Through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and the delivery of a comprehensive range of culturally competent health and social services, we cultivate vital and connected communities.

The Task

Digital health is the term used in healthcare to refer to any technology integrated into how healthcare is accessed, delivered, monitored and evaluated. However, the reality is that digital solutions are often bureaucratically driven in the sense that they are endorsed by and with big tech companies that show simple solutions for complex adaptive environments such as the healthcare system. The result is deepening inequities in who accesses and receives care, as well as worsening health outcomes for the same populations.

The objective of this internship is to engage in digital health planning tables and study the methods used to evaluate the utility of digital health solutions in such an environment, utilize qualitative content analysis to drive a literature review that demonstrates key opportunities to challenge this approach, and in turn help the organization’s leaders push for reflective evaluation that is rooted in co-design and equity of opportunities to better health outcomes.

The Position(s)

SCHC is seeking an intern to conduct the literature review, that will identify:

  • A set of key items for funders to help challenge the notion of digital health solutions causing more disparities and barriers to healthcare resulting in deepening inequities in health outcomes.
  • Alternatives to consider when reviewing how best to address health disparities rooted in philosophical considerations on how scientific and technological trends are impacting health care industries, particularly community health and mental health.

Conditions

The internship will be mostly remote, with possible need to come on site occasionally.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to reflect and consider the impact of population health outcomes from historical bureaucratic systematic design.
  • Ability to utilize data to verify findings and support challenges to shift thinking in current methodology.
  • Good communication skills in presentation and report writing.
  • Excellent listening and interview skills to engage a variety of players in the system both in and outside of healthcare
Science Outside the Lab, North

Science Outside the Lab, North (SOtL) is an intensive 8-day immersive science policy training program for grad students and postdocs from across Canada. Under Chatham House Rule, the program invites speakers and guests from government agencies, think tanks, and other organizations working at the science-policy interface to discuss the lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities in science policy. Participants in SOtL have the opportunity to learn about how science policy happens, and to consider different prospective careers in and related to the field.

The Task

The SOtL program has been on hold since Covid struck two years ago, but plans to resume with programming in May/June 2023. In order to relaunch the program, we need to revisit and update the teaching materials used in the course and guest experts we invite. We also need to improve our strategies at outreach and recruitment to attract excellent participants.

The Position(s)

SOtL is seeking an intern that would be involved in both conceptual and practical roles and would help to prepare for the sessions running in May/June 2023. The intern will perform the following tasks:

  • The intern would be involved in helping to redevelop the pedagogy and theory behind this annual event. They would research and help redesign the orientation day activities, review and recommend which key concepts would be taught, assist in creating the reader that participants are sent in advance of the gathering.
  • Review past guest speakers, explore professional science policy networks, map out important and emerging fields (e.g. indigenous science, science in defence etc.), and make recommendations about who to invite.
  • Assist in recruiting of a diverse cohort of grad and postdoc students for the program.

Conditions

The intern must be available for regular meetings with the project lead, as well as being able to work independently on open-ended and complex tasks.

Preferred Competencies

The intern should be effective with the Office 365 suite, with professional email communication, and with the use of various scholarly databases and resources. The intern should have very strong writing skills and professional communication abilities. Ideally, the candidate would have some previous experience in the fields of Science & Technology Studies and/or Science Policy, although a general background in the social sciences would suffice.

Toronto French School

Co-educational, bilingual, and internationally minded since 1962, Toronto French School (TFS), Canada’s International School teaches the curricula of France and Ontario through the framework established by the IB programs, leading to the French National Brevet diploma, the Ontario Secondary School Diploma and the Advanced Bilingual IB Diploma. As such, it offers an experience that is rich in challenge, diversity, and opportunity to students whose families come from 40+ different countries.

The Task

At TFS, students undertake the IB Diploma program during their last two years of high school. The unique and highly regarded Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. The TOK course is mandatory for all students and is central to the educational philosophy of the Diploma program. Through discussions of these and other questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives. In completing this course, students also earn the Ontario HZT4U credit, Philosophy: Questions & Theories. Further information about the TOK course is linked here.

As part of the mandate to integrate TOK across all subject areas, STS/HPS Internship / Specialist positions are being opened for September 2022. The primary purpose is to facilitate the integration of the aims and objectives of the TOK program into TFS teaching and learning experiences. The Intern(s) / Specialist(s) will work collaboratively with TOK teachers and subject teachers to further develop TOK integration at TFS, beginning in the Diploma years (grades 11 & 12) and subsequently expanding to include younger age groups. The Intern(s) / Specialist(s) will report to the IB Diploma Coordinator / Director of Teaching & Learning and will work collaboratively with the branch. They will be responsible for interacting with students while developing and facilitating enriching academic programming.

The Position(s)

Responsibilities will include:

  • Participation and co-facilitation of seminar discussions relating to the TOK curriculum;
  • Interaction with students to foster curiosity and critical thinking in oral and written communication;
  • Development of TOK-related teaching and learning activities in various Diploma subject areas (math, human sciences, natural sciences, history, arts) in consultation with teachers;
  • Support for subject teachers when integrating TOK activities
  • Development of TOK-related teaching and learning activities for use in pre-Diploma grades.

Conditions

Work hours can be determined jointly with the school. The goal will be to have the Intern(s) / Specialist(s) working with a variety of TOK classes during in-person learning over our 10-day cycle. Development of teaching and learning activities and meetings with teachers can happen at various times that are mutually convenient.

TFS has adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy requiring vaccination for all eligible members of the community. New interns will be required to provide their proof of vaccination to the HR department on their first day on site.

Preferred Competencies

We welcome candidates who embrace our TFS values of integrity, discernment, respect, and engagement. We are looking for engaging interns / specialists who can provide authentic learning opportunities to students. The following competencies are desirable:

  • Experience with seminar-style instruction and the ability to support discussion-based creative and critical thinking is key in this role.
  • A passion for working with youth, experience facilitating programs with class size groups, as well as experience developing educational programs and/or activities.
  • Knowledge of philosophy/history of mathematics or history/philosophy of psychology would be an asset.
  • Expertise in math and cognitive psychology is also an advantage.