American Foundation for AIDS Research Internship Summary

Ashu Mishra

I am looking to apply for the Allan Rosenfield Internship at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR). The internship site will be in the heart of Washington D.C, and is extremely competitive with only six total graduate and undergraduate acceptances. Despite the competition, I believe that I have a chance at acceptance due to my prior tuberculosis policy research in India. This internship offers me an incredible opportunity to step into the working world of American health policy, and will allow me to directly impose political pressure on key politicians to improve HIV/AIDS management.

During the internship, I will be involved in HIV/AIDS policy writing, research, and advocacy from the first day. The policy writing consists of conducting my own original writing and research related to domestic and global HIV/AIDS epidemics. I will have the chance to co-author and publish policy papers on specific issues such as treatment eligibility, especially for uninsured Americans. My work will also be published by the D.C. Public Policy office.

After co-drafting the policy bills, I will then work with graduate student fellows and other undergraduate interns to advocate the decided policy to members of Congress and their staff. Getting a politician to propose a bill in Congress is the final step in having any policy passed. The policy can be directed to both state and federal politicians to propose in their constituencies. I feel that amFAR’s focus on advocacy provides a rare and invaluable opportunity to make connections to professionals working in fields I aspire to enter. Lastly, I will also be responsible for regularly organizing meetings and conferences with amFAR advisors, and participating in community briefings.

The Allan Rosenfield Internship lasts for three months and constitutes full time employment with pay. Start and end dates are negotiable. To be eligible, I must be an undergraduate student with good academic standing – which I am so far. The application requires a resume including GPA from college, a writing sample (no more than 2000 words), a cover letter describing my interest in AIDS policy, and scores from any relevant standardized tests.

Some strengths of this program are that it provides me unparalleled health policy-making experience, and it allows me to try my hand at policy drafting and advocacy. It also pays me, and will allow me to get critical guidance and connections that I will need to progress in health policy.

The only major weakness of the program is that it is located in D.C, so I will have to use most of the payment to provide for my housing. The work itself is ideal for my prospective career path, and D.C. is likely to remain the main site of my internships and jobs.

I hope to use this internship as a stepping-stone to international health policy work. The leaders at amFAR have experience crafting health policy abroad, and I aim to use their network to progress in various policy areas. The Allan Rosenfield internship provides the ideal summer opportunity for my continued growth and field experience, and I hope to grow in character as well as academically through my work.

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