Work-Study Internship

The Center invites students to participate in a work-study internship during the academic year. Interns will be hired as Research Assistants and will support ongoing projects examining the linkages between physical health and psychological well-being.

Position Description

The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is seeking four (4) paid, part-time (10-15 hours a week) Research Assistants (RAs) to work October through December 2021, with the possibility of extension through Spring 2022. Applicants must be Harvard students who have federal work-study eligibility.

The Research Assistants will be part of a semester-long internship program organized by the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness. They will receive mentorship from Center research staff and will be expected to attend virtual monthly Center seminars and student interest group meetings. We anticipate holding the interest group meetings on the first Tuesday of every month, starting in October. In addition, interns will be asked to submit a brief two-page report upon completion of the program.

The interns will support various projects conducted at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness that examine the psychological and social factors contributing to physical health outcomes, and their related biobehavioral pathways (e.g., health behaviors). The interns will contribute to ongoing research, including but not limited to i) assisting with literature reviews, ii) helping code/analyze data, and iii) synthesizing research findings. Interns may also be involved in meetings with the research team or could help prepare conference presentations and research-related progress reports. We anticipate that all work will be done remotely, but there may be opportunities to work in-person at Harvard Chan later in the semester.


The interns will be placed on the project that best fits their skills and interests and will be working with Center scholars. To get a sense of the projects that we are seeking interns for, please see the descriptions below.

Project One: This project will support research on the relationship between positive mental well-being and physical health, as well as emerging research on the link between prosocial behavior and population well-being. The intern will mainly work on literature reviews and data synthesis.

Project Two: This project will involve performing literature reviews and conducting statistical analyses (preferably using SAS) on topics related to the interplay between psychological well-being and cardiometabolic health using data from large longitudinal cohorts. Therefore, prior experience conducting longitudinal analyses with large datasets would be an asset. This project would ideally be filled by a doctoral student.

Project Three: This project focuses on the role of social media use in health and well-being. Broadly, it includes i) studying the link between virtual social networks and well-being; ii) examining measurement and methodological issues in existing social media and well-being studies; and iii) identifying the various individual and social factors that mediate and moderate the link between virtual social networks and well-being. The intern will contribute to the project by supporting: systematic literature reviews, longitudinal surveys, and/or panel studies.

Project Four: This project is part of research that evaluates psychological determinants (e.g., optimism, happiness, emotion regulation) of chronic disease onset (e.g., cancer, cardiometabolic disease) and healthy aging. The intern will support the project by contributing to the preparation of manuscripts for publication, including but not limited to i) assisting with literature reviews, and ii) helping code/analyze data from large epidemiological cohort studies. The candidate may also help in preparing conference presentations and progress reports. The candidate will be included as an author on manuscripts and mentored on analytic, writing, and other research skills.



  • Harvard undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral-level student (graduate level preferred)
  • Experience with literature reviews and ability to synthesize information across multiple studies
  • Interested in doing research work related to the Center’s Mission: Building a rigorous and interdisciplinary science of positive health and well-being and translating the science to influence practice and policy
  • Must have a local mailing address
  • Must be work-study eligible


  • Proficiency with SAS, SPSS or R
  • Prior research experience is helpful, but not required
  • Familiarity with longitudinal data analysis methods (e.g., linear mixed models, cox proportional-hazards models)
  • Experience managing and programming in large epidemiological cohort studies, such as the Midlife in the U.S. Study (MIDUS) and the Nurses’ Health Study
  • Experience with advanced statistical methods
  • Understanding of the interplay between mental health and physical health


Applications for fall 2021 are now open and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the positions are filled. The final deadline for applications is September 10, 2021, at 10:00PM. If you are interested in this position, please send an email to Kelsey Hunt ( with “RA application” in the subject line. Your application should include:

  1. Your updated CV
  2. A copy of your transcript (informal is okay)
  3. One letter of recommendation (two page max, submitted separately by your mentor/advisor)
  4. Statement of interest describing how your skills, background, and motivations relate to this position. You may also indicate if one of the proposed projects (see above) is of particular interest to you and why (one page max)
  5. Your local mailing address