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Implementation Division Summer Internship Program

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 the Implementation Division

The FPG Implementation Division was founded in February 2019. Implementation Division members work on more than 21 projects across multiple states—9 projects have a national presence, and 43% of the projects are in partnership with other UNC departments. The Division strives to bring an equity focus to all projects and partnerships. We engage in relationship-driven practices that account for local context for the project goals.

Using implementation science and best practices, the work of the Division is active and applied and facilitates improved outcomes for evidence-based practices. The work of the Division 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. The Implementation Division consists of three workgroups—The Impact Center, the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), and the Trohanis Technical Assistance Projects.

About the Internship Program

The Implementation Division is seeking 3 graduate students to join their summer internship program in 2022. 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. Interns should be available to start between May 16 and May 23 and to work approximately 8-9 weeks (240 hours) through July 29. Compensation is $20 per hour for master’s level students and $25 per hour for doctoral students. Remote and hybrid working arrangements are typically available. Detailed descriptions of placement opportunities follow.

Opportunities

(candidates may apply for multiple internships if desired):

Triple P in North Carolina: Evaluation and Reporting on Implementation, Impact, and Improvement of a Statewide Evidence-Based Program for Children and Families

Since 2016, communities in North Carolina have been implementing Triple P – Positive Parenting Program (Triple P); an evidence-based program shown to improve child welfare outcomes. The North Carolina Triple P Partnership for Strategy and Governance (PSG) has immediate needs to “put together the whole story” of Triple P in North Carolina: where we are, where we are going, and what more we need to know to continue improving, using existent data from a variety of sources.

The intern would work with The Impact Center at FPG’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Core and PSG Evaluation Subcommittee members to analyze and compile various data sources to develop a report on population- and service-level outcomes, program reach, workforce development, and quality improvement related to historical Triple P implementation across the state. The goal of this internship is to complete a report on Triple P indicators that illustrates population- and service-level outcomes, program reach, workforce development, and quality improvement data.

The internship is expected to lead to:

  • Knowledge and skill development around the analysis, evaluation, and reporting of diverse data sources
  • Knowledge and skill development around using data to visualize and communicate compelling data-based storytelling to advance implementation efforts
  • Exposure to statewide implementation of an evidence-based program, including various indicators, data collection methodologies, and reporting frameworks
  • Experience identifying opportunities for continuous improvement of data collection practices and developing recommendations for improvement

Other learning and networking opportunities to complement main work:

  • Participation in North Carolina Triple P Partnership for Strategy and Governance (PSG) committee meetings
  • Participation in FPG and Impact Center professional development seminars
  • Mentoring and networking with implementation science professionals and NC Department of Health and Human Services staff

Desired applicant experience and skills:

  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in evaluation, statistics, and data analysis
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training working in diverse systems and/or populations
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in data visualization and communicating technical concepts to lay audience
  • Research/evaluation experience in population or public health
  • 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 intern would need to be available for 30 hours per week for 8-9 weeks (240 hours), fully remote or hybrid. Project mentors are: Rebecca Roppolo rebecca.roppolo@unc.edu, and Christina DiSalvo christina.disalvo@unc.edu, both with the Impact Center at FPG.

State Implementation and Scaling Up of Evidence Based Practices Center (SISEP): Developing Learning Resources for Understanding Context

The State Implementation and Scaling up of Evidence Based Practices (SISEP) Center is a national technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. SISEP provides different types of support to state and local education agencies on using best practices in implementation of evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for all K-12 students, especially for students with disabilities. For example, we support the implementation of literacy, mathematics, and social emotional learning programs. The SISEP Center uses the science and practice of implementation and improvement sciences within our technical assistance activities to ensure sufficient attention is given to stabilization, sustainability, scaling, and efficiency.

The internship would include activities such as the following:

  • Attending SISEP Team meetings
  • Observing and supporting the collection of implementation data such as state or district capacity assessment
  • Observing state and district implementation team meetings
  • Supporting the development of online learning resources

The intern would support:

The development of an online learning module on the implementation specialist skill of Assessing Need and Understanding Context. Specifically, the intern would engage in the following activities in the development of the module:

  • content curation process (e.g., scanning relevant research and learning literature)
  • identification of different learning activities within the modules
  • assistance with the writing of the learning content and development of any needed learning tools or handouts for use within the module
  • reviewing the prototype created

The work is expected to lead to:

  • Intern knowledge and skill development around development of online learning modules and the implementation competency of assessing need and context when providing implementation support to local districts and schools
  • Development of online learning module content and tool for the competency of Assessing Need and Understanding Context
  • A presentation to the FPG Implementation Division on the results of this work

Desired applicant experience and skills:

  • Willingness to engage community experts in development, tool creation and/or review
  • Commitment to developing accessible, equitable, and user-friendly products
  • Exposure to implementation science concepts, theories, and frameworks
  • Exposure to adult learning and communication frameworks helpful
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Ability to work well autonomously within a supportive mentoring environment
  • Experience, coursework and/or current training in diversity, equity, and inclusion

The intern would need to be available for 20 hours per week for 8 weeks (more hours may be possible). The mentors for this opportunity are Caryn Ward and Sophia Farmer of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN). The intern will work in collaboration with other NIRN team members and community collaborators.

Advancing Implementation Practice through Creative Capacity-Building Tools

The Impact Center at FPG’s Media and Networking Core serves the Implementation Capacity for Triple P (ICTP) project and develops messages and tools to support local, regional, and state partners’ efforts to implement and scale-up the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program system of interventions across North Carolina and South Carolina. These messages and tools share and reinforce implementation best practices.

The following deliverables are possible through this internship opportunity:

The intern will co-develop any of the following product(s), to be selected closer to the start date and in tandem with identified needs and intern interests:

  • A serious game that reinforces adult learning related to implementation and scale up for our SimLab redesign project, OR
  • Written and media contributions related to social networks, collaboration, community engagement, coalition engagement, or other identified topic (FPG has a team of collaborators to assist with production) to build implementation capacity in the field.
  • Interviewing guests and using storytelling techniques to highlight stories from the field.

The work is expected to lead to:

  • Intern knowledge and skill development around the intersection between media, social media, outreach, engagement and program scale-up;
  • One or more products with immediate application to Triple P scale-up in North Carolina;
  • A presentation to the FPG Implementation Division on the results of this work;
  • An identified conference and/or paper proposal that can be completed with Impact Center at FPG colleagues following the internship period.

Desired applicant experience and skills:

  • Experience with writing media/social media content OR with serious game development
  • Willingness to engage community experts in message development, tool creation and/or review
  • Commitment to developing accessible, equitable, and user-friendly products
  • Exposure to implementation science concepts, theories, and frameworks
  • Exposure to adult learning and communication frameworks helpful
  • Excellent writing skills; other skills such as photography or videography helpful
  • Ability to work well autonomously within a supportive mentoring environment

The intern would need to be available for 30 hours per week for 8-9 weeks (240 hours). This is a remote opportunity. The mentor for this opportunity is Sandy Diehl, from The Impact Center at FPG. The intern will work in collaboration with other Impact Center team members and community collaborators.

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? Please apply by midnight, March 5, 2023.

Applications are not yet open for the 2023 summer internship program. 

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.