Program on Applied Health Services Research and Smoking Cessation Interventions (PASSION) Research Internship

  • Organizations: VA NY Harbor Healthcare System’s Office of Research and Development / NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health
  • Hours per week: 10 hours/week minimum (must be available Thursdays from 1-2pm)
  • Desired Start Date: Immediately
  • Location: Manhattan and/or Brooklyn VA Medical Centers
  • Unpaid internship or course credit if applicable

Program Director

Scott Sherman, MD, MPH

Program Description

The Program on Applied Health Services Research and Smoking Cessation Intervention (PASSION) is a research internship housed jointly at the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health and the Manhattan VA’s Research and Development Service. Our program focuses on health services research and smoking cessation, specifically on interventions to restructure health care facilities and systems to facilitate the delivery of preventive care. PASSION interns learn about the clinical and health services research process through structured training, research education, and by assisting in tasks related to ongoing research projects.

Program Goals

  • Provide hands-on training and experience in the research process
  • Teach skills related to health services research and/or smoking cessation, with a focus on health issues of urban underserved populations
  • Expand interns’ knowledge of public health and health services research
  • Increase awareness of the needs, challenges, and career opportunities in the field

Internship Opportunities

  • Gain research experience relevant to graduate/medical school, etc.
  • Earn letters of recommendation
  • Develop skills related to data collection and analysis
  • Recruit and enroll participants from outpatient clinics and inpatient wards
  • Obtain informed consent and HIPAA authorization from participants
  • Conduct in-person baseline surveys and telephone follow-up surveys
  • Perform data entry and assist with data management
  • Collect in-person saliva samples and administer breath carbon monoxide tests
  • Administer blood draws (phlebotomy training will be provided)
  • Conduct retrospective chart review using electronic medical records
  • Review scientific literature for papers and grant applications
  • Attend research seminars featuring departmental and visiting faculty
  • Shadow a primary care doctor in clinic and learn basic statistics and SAS, if interested
  • Participate in other study-related duties as assigned

An Investigator mentor in conjunction with the Program Manager will direct each intern's Research Program learning experience for the research project.

PASSION Principal Investigators


To successfully complete the program, interns must:

  • Comply with all program and institutional policies
  • Participate in an ongoing research investigation — examples of current research topics include:
    • Smoking cessation counseling for VA patients with a mental health diagnosis
    • Smoking cessation interventions for cancer patients
    • Financial incentives for smoking cessation treatment
    • Nationwide, longitudinal VA genetics research program studying how genes affect our health
    • Learn about our current research
  • Be on-site for 10 hours per week, including mandatory team meeting every Thursday, 1-2pm
  • Adequately fulfill assigned research duties
  • Develop and demonstrate research, public health, and professional competencies

In addition, interns will participate in a monthly journal club, where each intern will present an article of their choice. Interns will learn about specific components of research such as basic research methodology, grants, manuscripts, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), etc.


  • Must be currently enrolled in or have a recent degree from an undergraduate program relevant to our line of research (e.g., pre-medical track, public health, psychology)
  • Must have experience working in Microsoft Office, specifically Word and Excel
  • The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal/communication skills, outstanding judgment, initiative, and attention to detail.
  • We are looking for candidates who are self-motivated and have demonstrated leadership, resilience, and commitment.

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit the following documents to PASSION Program Manager, Jenny Hui (

  • CV or resume
  • Cover letter describing your interests and relevant experiences, including your future career goals and how your past experiences would make you a good fit for this program
  • Any academic writing sample
  • Approximate availability (days/times) over the next few months (must be available on Thursdays, 1-2pm for weekly team meeting)

All documents should be attached in PDF or DOC format. Please put “PASSION Application” in the subject line.