The VADA Program

Internship Structure

The addition of an internship to the VADA Program highlights the relationship between learning, research and decision-making; provides a linkage between students and researchers; and integrates coursework with supervised fieldwork undertaken in local, provincial, or national healthcare settings. The VADA students are required to complete an internship that is a minimum 35 hours/week over 8 weeks for Master’s students and 16 weeks for Doctoral students;

  • Industry: Students will work on a project(s) with an industry partner/collaborator.
  • Academia: Students will work on an academic research project(s) for a VADA Program faculty member(s) who they have not previously worked for and who is not their thesis supervisor or committee member.
  • Government: Students will work on projects identified by the governmental agency/host.

Goals of the Internship

  • To provide researchers with opportunities to involve students in applied research projects that reflect relevant research needs of the host agency.
  • To provide mentoring opportunities for students.
  • To expose students to opportunities and challenges regarding the interface between research and decision-making.
  • To facilitate interactions and learning experiences for students and researchers.

The VADA Program seeks to establish internship/lab exchange opportunities with agencies and researchers that have:

  • A commitment to the provision of a high-quality learning environment for the student.
  • A willingness to support the educational policies, requirements, and standards that are set forth for the internship
  • Resources available to the student for the successful completion of projects.

Agencies are expected to reimburse the students for the term of their internship/lab exchange to acknowledge their contributions to the work of the agency.  

General Objectives of Training

To successfully complete the knowledge and skill development components of the internship, students are expected to:

  • Understand the structure/policies/function of the organization or agency in which the internship occurs, as well as the social, political, and economic context in which the organization or agency exists and functions.
  • Understand issues of confidentiality, privacy, access, and reporting of results.
  • Engage in projects in a real-world setting that are consistent with the purpose of the VADA Program and the host research organization/agency mandate, including:
  • conceptualizing and planning specific projects for completion during the internship;
  • determining the resources necessary to complete the projects and negotiating for

required input, organizational commitment and resources (material and human);

  • preparing reports as required and presenting/discussing the findings as required; and,
  • providing input related to on-going work in the project areas at the host site.
  • Participate as an effective team member.

Internship Timeline

Students work with their adviser to identify the goals of the internship, as well as potential host organizations and location for the internship. The student will then reach out to the potential host and explore the possibility of a placement. If an opportunity cannot be identified by the student and adviser, the internship committee will work to find an opportunity. After an opportunity is identified, an agreement form must be completed and signed off on by both the student and host. Midway through, the program coordinator will check in with both the host and trainee to ensure that the practicum is proceeding successfully with the midterm check-in form. After the internship has been completed, both the trainee and host must complete an appraisal form.

To learn more about what the practicum experience is like for students, read interviews with some of our alumni:

For a listing of previous internship hosts click here.