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Graduate-level Public Health Research in Central Asia | Almaty, Kazakhstan

Spoon is currently engaged in a long-term research project to study the effects of vitamin supplements and an updated diet on infants living in orphanages in Kazakhstan. The study is being implemented by the Kazakhstan Academy for Nutrition, with oversight by an international medical advisory team with doctors from a number of universities, in particular the University of Minnesota.

The Spoon Foundation's mission is to improve the health of international orphans and adoptees by providing them with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

We seek to:
• give as many orphans as possible the chance for healthy development
• influence nutrition policies and procedures for orphans around the world
• ensure that adopted children get the nutrition they need once they come home

There are peak periods neonatally and in early childhood when parts of the brain are shaped. The same goes for other key organs and bodily systems. When certain vitamins and minerals are lacking during these critical times, development malfunctions.

Providing orphans with a basic diet supplement, such as a daily multivitamin, is one of the simplest solutions for improving the quality and length of their lives. Yet until SPOON Foundation, there has not been an organized effort to identify the micronutrients that orphans lack most and to fill that critical gap. Our focus also includes nutritional deficiencies in international adoptees, a group now being studied for the first time. We are among the first to disseminate current research and practical guidance to adoptive parents, helping them meet the unique nutritional needs of their children.

Spoon is currently engaged in a long-term research project to study the effects of vitamin supplements and an updated diet on infants living in orphanages in Kazakhstan. The study is being implemented by the Kazakhstan Academy for Nutrition, with oversight by an international medical advisory team with doctors from a number of universities, in particular the University of Minnesota.

The intern, depending on his or her interests and abilities, could assist with the following tasks:
• Data gathering and analysis, including testing according to the Bayley Scale of Infant Development
• Documentation and dissemination of results, for purposes of advocacy and fundraising
• Preparation for two events: a conference to disseminate results of the study, and training to help orphanages implement the changed menu and feeding practices

Academic Background

Master's in Public Health or Related Field:
• Nutrition
• Child Health
• Global Health
• Human Development and Family Sciences
• Etc...

Skills/Experience

• Academic coursework that will allow students to actively contribute to the research on infant development, health and nutrition.
• Strong research (data gathering and analysis) and academic writing skills.
• Familiarity with Bayley Scale of Infant Development is preferred.
• Strong organizational skills to assist with conference coordination and implementation.
• Ability and willingness to work collaboratively with a global team of researchers, which means being able to work independently while communicating remotely with team members in cross-cultural environments across the globe.

Other Requirements

Mature, committed and adaptable.
Must be willing to work in a variety of settings and adapt to the projects as needed in the moment.

IE3 Program Fee

The IE3 program fee is $3450 for the first term for both in-state and out-of-state students and $1000 for each additional term. This fee includes up to 12 credits per term, and is charged in lieu of tuition. Visit your University's IE3 page for details regarding campus administrative fees.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

Expense Type

Price

International Travel

$2000

Visa Fees

$60-$90

Recommended Immunizations

$100

*See Additional Cost Information below.

Estimated Monthly Expenses

Expense Type

Price/month

Housing

$300 (homestay) - $500 (apartment)

Food

$300

Local Transportation

$100

Recreation

$200

Personal Expenses

$200

 

Any term

At least one strong year of Russian to succeed outside the work place while living in Almaty. More is preferred and Kazakh is even better.
1 (can accept 2 interns annually in total)

Spoon has just one staff member in Kazakhstan, and no office. Its main partner, the Kazakhstan Academy of Nutrition, would provide the intern’s workspace.
For detailed information on the research project, go to the Spoon Foundation's Website
The intern would need to be a self-starter, and Spoon would welcome a student who could integrate the test results and procedures into his or her academic work.
Visa information can be found here: Consulate General of Kazakhstan - Business Visas

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

-Master's in Public Health or related field such as nutrition, child health, global health, human development and family sciences, etc...