213. St. John’s Research Institute, Bangalore, India

Please Note: Applying for this internship will not count against the three application limit, so you may apply for it in addition to three others. You do not need to receive permission to submit the additional application.

St. John’s Research Institute (SJRI) is an integral part of the St. John’s Academy of Health Sciences which has a broad, holistic vision and an approach to health problems of India. Since its inception, the Academy has been involved in training of health professionals and service delivery through the St. John’s Medical College and Hospital, which is today ranked among the premier medical institutions in the country. SJRI was set up with a commitment to pursue excellence in research and to build capacities in health-related research.

Website:  http://www.sjri.res.in AND https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/christopher-duggan

Summer Project:

Professor Duggan and other Harvard faculty have been collaborators with Professor Raj and SJRI faculty since 2002. These studies have been on the topics of maternal and child health and nutrition; heathy infant growth patterns; dietary intake; and early childhood cognition. Each year, our joint faculties carry out a 2 week course in nutrition research methods - the Bangalore Boston Nutrition Collaborative. There are a wide variety of ongoing research projects at St John's Research Institute, spanning the range of molecular to population-based research. A list of ongoing studies can be found at http://sjri.res.in/projects. Based on the interests, background, and skill set of the applicant, as well as the opportunities available at the time of the proposed internship in Bangalore, Professors Duggan and Raj will suggest suitable research groups at SJRI.


Specific responsibilities will depend on the needs of the research project and skills of the intern. These could include: - critical literature review and summary -experimental design and collection of new data - laboratory assays - management and cleaning of data previously collected - data analysis - manuscript preparation - data presentation


The most important skills are enthusiasm, intellectual rigor, inquisitiveness, and the ability to work in a collaborative fashion with multiple people. Additional skills in lab science, data management, manuscript preparation (and the related software and other skills) are helpful but not required. Interns wishing to pursue clinical research should undergo CITI training.


On a scale from 0 (very independent) to 10 (very supervised), this internship will be about an 8.

Work Environment:

SJRI is situated in the well-maintained campus of St Johns Academy of Health Sciences in urban Bangalore, India. Standard office and lab space, with reliable WIFI and other capacities, are provided. SJRI faculty are renowned for their welcoming and helpful attitude towards Harvard Students. Traditionally, two interns have worked at SJRI each summer.

Brief descriptions from the Summer 2017 Fellows:

“I'm working in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at St. John's Research Institute in Bangalore, India. I'm currently working on two projects. The first is studying the relationship between diet and the co-occurrence of diabetes and anemia. The second involves assessing the accuracy and possible correlates of maternal recall of birthweight. I am working with data that has been collected from households across India and conducting analyses at the individual, district, state, and national levels.” Akshay Swaminathan,

“St. John's Research Institute offered me the opportunity to pursue my interests in neuroscience while improving my analytical skills. Over the course of the summer, I conducted my own exploratory study on maternal depression. Never having studied depression before, SJRI allowed me to delve into a robust body of literature, utilizing that which I learned in my literature review to inform a unique research question. I used data from studies previously conducted by SJRI to analyze my research question on maternal depression, ultimately drafting two manuscripts including a summary of my exploratory study and a relevant literature review. The researchers with whom I worked were among the best in the world for their respective fields, always willing to offer research assistance or tips on the best places to visit in south India.” Emelia Vigil

Click here for instructions on how to apply.

See also: See All, ISURGH, India