Program Overview

EquityRx is committed to leading the charge for the development of a multidisciplinary health equity workforce. The Health Equity Scholars Program (HESP)—sponsored by the NIH’s National Library of Medicine—was created as an opportunity to engage and develop the next generation of leaders in eliminating health disparities. Launched in 2013, the HESP provides training and substantive work experiences for graduate students interested in health disparities, while addressing the urgent need to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration in the efforts for equity. Over the course of the program, interns are expected to complete a web-based curriculum that includes health equity workshops, seminars and training sessions. Additionally, interns will play important roles in the development and execution of EquityRx programs. At the conclusion of the program, interns will have a fundamental understanding of health disparities and ways to eliminate them through research, education and policy analysis.

Program Features

The HESP is an exciting and unique internship experience for graduate students interested in increasing their exposure to—and knowledge of—health disparities and efforts to eradicate them. Program features include the following:

  • Intern Orientation – Interns will participate in a two-day orientation at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Here, interns will be formally oriented to EquityRx’s structure, leadership, and programs; they will receive training on literature review and design; and they will receive database training by NLM staff.  
  • Internship Experience – Interns will complete a web-based curriculum of health equity workshops, seminars and training sessions throughout the six-month program. Each intern will also receive a primary assignment for completing a systematic review of literature for an assigned health disparity or social determinant of health. Additional assignments in grassroots organizing, health education, health policy and journalism will round out the internship experience. In order to accommodate the realities of a six-month internship against the backdrop of graduate school, interns are expected to telecommute in the fulfillment of their responsibilities in this program. Although interns have the flexibility to complete their work from home, they are required to complete and log 10 hours of work each week for 200 total hours during the six-month internship.
  • Mentorship – Based on their self-identified future goals and career interests, each intern will be paired with a mentor—a recognized, national leader in health equity work. Interns will meet at least twice with their mentor—once early in the six-month internship period and once towards the end of the internship period.
  • Evaluation - Interns will be evaluated throughout the duration of the program and will receive a formal letter of evaluation at the completion of the program.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of the program, interns will:

  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of health disparities and ways to eliminate them through research, education and policy analysis
  • Display enhanced skills and experience in leadership, project development, management, team building and scholarship
  • Demonstrate proficiency in advanced search methods and literature review design
  • Have a relationship with a mentor selected from the EquityRx network of national health disparities experts
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend


We are seeking enthusiastic students who feel confident in their ability to work independently on multiple projects with the support of the EquityRx Directors and staff. To be eligible for the EquityRx Health Equity Scholars Program, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A recently accepted or current graduate-level student, representing the range of disciplines that are critically-related to the elimination of health disparities*
  • Passionate about eliminating health disparities
  • Experienced and capable in conducting research
  • Strong analytical, presentation, and writing skills

Although no experience is required, a background and interest in studying health differences and disparities or health in historically underserved populations is preferred.

*Some disciplines that are known to be critically-related to achieving health equity include (but are not limited to): biostatistics, divinity, economics, education, environmental health, epidemiology, health administration, health informatics, journalism, law, library sciences, marketing, media, medicine, mental health, nursing, public health, public policy, social work, and urban planning.

How to Apply

Complete the online application which can be found at:

Select two academic/professional references to complete the recommendation form found below. These recommendations should come from diverse individuals (e.g., employer, professor, academic advisor) and must state the length of time and capacity in which the individual has known the applicant and why both the applicant and EquityRx would benefit from the applicant’s participation.
Recommenders must submit the recommendation forms via email to

Candidates interested in applying for the spring 2013 class of the EquityRx Health Equity Scholars Program must submit a complete application package by November 15, 2013. A complete application package consists of both the completed online application as well as the two academic/professional references.

Selection Process

After receipt of applications, the HESP Coordinator will offer interviews to all candidates deemed appropriately competitive. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, making it advantageous for applicants to submit their materials earlier in the process to increase the likelihood of being granted an interview. Applications will only be reviewed after receipt of both the online form and all supporting materials: unofficial graduate transcript(s), two completed recommendation forms, and a current Curriculum Vitae or Résumé.

The HESP selection committee will make the final selection of interns. Selections are based upon academic achievement, area of study, life/work experiences, performance during the interview and a demonstrated interest in the elimination of health disparities. Final decisions will be made in early-December with selected candidates receiving an offer to join the spring class of the HESP on January 1, 2014.

Selection Timeline






Intern Expectations

All HESP interns are expected to:

  • Participate in and complete the two-day orientation in late-August
  • Be available for six consecutive months from January 1, 2014 – June 30, 2014.
  • Log at least 10 work hours each week for 200 total hours during the six month internship
  • Have reliable access to computer and internet as most work will be done independently from the intern’s remote location
  • Complete all program requirements and at least one systematic review of literature for an an assigned health disparity or social determinant of health  


Interns will receive a stipend of $2000 for the six month internship experience. The stipend will be dispersed in three installments, coupled with program deliverables.

Program Contact Information


Mailing Address:
EquityRx Health Equity Scholars Program
1725 I Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006