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FPG Summer Graduate Internship Program in Implementation Practice

About the Institute

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) is one of the nation's oldest and largest multidisciplinary centers devoted to the study of children and families. More than 250 researchers, implementation and technical assistance specialists, staff, and students work on more than 50 projects related to developmental disabilities; early care and education; physical, social, and emotional health; and racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. Our work crosses many disciplines from education and psychology to social work and public health.

FPG researchers study important issues facing children and families, and we use this information to enhance policy and improve practice. We are committed to sharing the information we generate with the public and to supporting professionals’ understanding and use of evidence-based practices. FPG’s dedication to both research and outreach is embodied in our motto: Advancing knowledge to transform children's lives.

About our Implementation Work

Using implementation science, best practices, and an equity lens, the Institute’s implementation work is active, applied, and facilitates improved outcomes for evidence-based practices. Our work is informed by research from the field of implementation as well as related fields, and projects use data to inform continuous improvement practices. Our capacity- building work is tailored and flexible to meet the needs of the communities we work in whether the work is statewide, within a governance structure, community-wide, or within a service delivery agency or school. FPG has three implementation workgroups—The Impact Center, the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), and the Trohanis Technical Assistance Projects.

About the Internship Program

We are seeking two graduate students to join our summer internship program in 2024. The program is designed to create a challenging and meaningful professional experience for the trainee that includes mentoring, networking, professional development, and experiential learning opportunities. Interns will benefit from exposure to implementation practice and research across diverse fields and in varied practice settings. This experience will provide knowledge and skill development to enhance and inform the intern’s future academic and professional pursuits.

Qualified applicants should have some familiarity with implementation science principles and practices, but extensive background experience is not required. The intern should be available to start on or around May 20th and work approximately 6-8 weeks for 240 hours. Compensation is $25 per hour for master’s level students and $30 per hour for doctoral students. Remote and hybrid working arrangements are typically available.


Identifying Facilitators and Barriers to Capacity Development Using Qualitative Methods

Project Background

Since 2016, the Implementation Capacity for Triple P (ICTP) projects have been providing external implementation support to regional teams scaling up Triple P – Positive Parenting Program (Triple P); an evidence-based program shown to improve child welfare outcomes. We are interested in analyzing historical qualitative data to identify facilitators and barriers to capacity development that were reported in monthly and quarterly surveys from implementation specialists and regional team members. We are hoping to recruit two interns who would work with The Impact Center at FPG’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Core to analyze qualitative data and develop a report on common themes identified in the data related to Triple P implementation across the state.

The internship would include the following activities:

  • Collaboration with the other summer intern on the qualitative analysis
  • Identifying evaluation questions (e.g., facilitators and barriers to capacity development)
  • Scanning and annotating qualitative responses from implementation specialists and regional team members
  • Identification and assignment of themes, codes
  • Addition of context, checking of assumptions related to themes and codes
  • Produce an account that provides an accurate and accessible summary of findings.

The work is expected to lead to:

  • Knowledge and skill development around qualitative data analysis using real-life data set from implementation science practice
  • Development of a report of results from the qualitative analysis and option for poster presentation submission at relevant conference

Other learning and networking opportunities to complement main work:

  • Participation in FPG and Impact Center professional development seminars
  • Mentoring, shadowing, and networking with implementation science professionals

Desired experience and skills:

  • Experience working as part of a team, collaborating with others on research projects
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in qualitative methods
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in content analysis software (e.g., nVivo, Dedoose, Atlas.ti)
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in data visualization and communicating technical concepts to lay audience
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Exposure to implementation science concepts, theories, and frameworks
  • Ability to synthesize data and engage in strong conceptual thinking
  • Ability to work well autonomously within a supportive mentoring environment
  • Ability to work well both independently and within teaming environments
  • The interns would need to be available for 35-40 hours per week for 6-8 weeks (240 hours total). The mentors for this opportunity are Alana Gilbert and Rebecca Roppolo of the Impact Center at FPG. The intern will work in collaboration with other team members and community collaborators, as well as the other intern. The internship could be fully remote (mentor fully remote) or hybrid option if an intern prefers to come to FPG.


Alana Gilbert, alana.gilbert@unc.edu, Impact Center at FPG
Rebecca Roppolo, rebecca.roppolo@unc.edu, Impact Center at FPG

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a graduate student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill? No, graduate students from any accredited college or university are welcome to apply.

Do I need to have extensive implementation science experience? Applicants with introductory to moderate knowledge and experience of implementation science principles and practices are welcome to apply. A strong interest in learning more about implementation science is required.

What is the application deadline? Sunday, March 10th at 11:59 pm ET.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.