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Interns will collaborate on their Primary Project with a small team of fellow interns and a mentor. We have intentionally structured these projects as group efforts in order to allow all interns to leave the internship having completed a high-impact deliverable. Below is a list of the Primary Projects available for the Spring 2024 Internship Program

High school student applicants may apply to the Qualitative Research, Scientific Studies, Strategic Relations, and Global Expansion Projects. University and medical school student applicants may apply to the above projects as well the Learn Center Content, Medications & Treatments Database, Key Terms Glossary Publication, and Patient Art & Business Projects.

*Note: Medical school student interns may opt for a 3-hour per week internship focused solely only in the Primary Project.

Qualitative Research Project

Interns will engage in extensive analysis of Scleroderma United’s publication, Scleroderma Stories, which features interviews with people diagnosed with scleroderma. This project will involve the qualitative coding, literary analysis, and general demographic analysis of the existing Scleroderma Stories publications in order to pull out existing patterns and themes within the scleroderma patient experience. This project will be more literature and narrative medicine-focused, which means the emotional experience a patient undergoes within the medical context is much more emphasized than usual in typical academic research.

Scientific Studies Project

Scientific Studies Project Interns will synthesize recent scleroderma news and scientific developments into quick, palatable, and easily digestible pieces. Over the course of the internship, the interns will create short-form educational content that encapsulates the most important recent scleroderma-related developments. All educational content will be published online, and select posts may be shared via social media. The Scientific Studies Project will help patients that face a steep learning curve when seeking to understand the scientific aspects of scleroderma and stay up-to-date with the emerging research related to their illness.

Sclero Sundays Project

The “Sclero Sundays” posts act as brief highlights/summaries of the larger Scleroderma United publication, “Scleroderma Stories,” designed to hook the reader in and direct traffic toward our publications. The Scleroderma Stories publication, and by extension the Scleroderma Sundays posts, operate to provide a personal look into the lives of individuals diagnosed with scleroderma. Through these, our audience catches a glimpse into the journeys of these scleroderma warriors to see the hard realities and joyous triumphs that come along with life as a scleroderma warrior.

Strategic Relations Project

The Strategic Relations Project acts as an introductory look into a variety of different logistical tasks necessitated within the relations and marketing aspects of a nonprofit organization like Scleroderma United. Interns will research and strategize outreach in several areas, such as grant funding and competitive research. Through this concentration, we hope our interns gain a thorough understanding of how to approach and execute plans for organizational expansion, funding, and collaboration.

Global Expansion Project

Interns will be translating Scleroderma Stories interviews into another language. Highlighting both hardships and passions, our Scleroderma Stories publication helps patients realize that they are not alone and that they can still live very fulfilling lives. Our interviews are conducted and published in English, and most of the world’s resources and support services are in English as well. Translating Scleroderma Stories interviews into another language will positively impact under-resourced patients around the world and remove language barriers that prevent patients from discovering the vibrant scleroderma community. 
(Language skills required)

Learn Center Content Project

Scleroderma United has created a Learn Center on its website to encourage and facilitate learning about scleroderma. However, this Learn Center is in need of a revamp! Learn Center Content Project interns will updating our Learn Center with the latest information about scleroderma and restructuring the resource. In particular, interns will be researching and writing content about caregiver burnout, medical tests (such as scleroderma-specific autoantibody testing and pulmonary function tests), and clinical trials.
(Only open to university or medical student applicants)

Medications & Treatments Database Project

Interns will be create a database of scleroderma medications and treatments. The content of this database will be modeled after Cancer Research UK’s database of cancer medications. The final project will be published as a Gallery Database on Notion, providing easily accessible and understandable information about treatment options. Many patients share a common experience of going from rarely taking medication to taking many pills each day. As you might imagine, this can be very overwhelming – the Medications & Treatments Database Project will be highly impactful for these patients!
(Only open to university or medical student applicants)

Key Terms Glossary Publication Project

Key Terms Glossary Publication Project interns will develop a publication that explains the “key terms” that scleroderma patients often come across. Ultimately, this resource will be particularly helpful for newly diagnosed patients and Scleroderma United volunteers. Being diagnosed with a rare and chronic illness can be intimidating, especially when a patient is suddenly confronted with many medical words that they may have never heard of before. Learning about this complex illness can also be difficult for new volunteers seeking to serve the scleroderma community. The final project will take two forms: it will be published in an online flipbook PDF format, and it will be published as a Gallery Database on Notion.
(Only open to university or medical student applicants)

Patient Art & Business Project

Scleroderma United is creating a database and social media series that showcases scleroderma warriors who are artists and business-owners. Patient Art and Business Project Interns will research and build this resource, which will not only help people shop from and support scleroderma community-owned businesses but also empower other scleroderma patients to explore their businesses and passions. No personal art or business experience is required. The Patient Art and Business Project will involve identifying and reaching out to relevant scleroderma community members as well as authoring short profiles for each artist/business.
(Only open to university or medical student applicants)