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Research Assistants – An Introduction to Working in Global Health Law

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Interested in how law could be used toONLGL_LOGO_RGB address a global health issue? Don’t let one of my biggest academic regrets become yours!
One of my biggest regrets from my years in undergraduate and graduate school is that I did not get to know my professors well and get involved in their research. I always felt awkward speaking with a professor, even during office hours, especially if I was doing perfectly fine in the class. This made it a challenge when the time came to request letters of recommendation or inquire about particular career paths and opportunities. One way I could have rectified this awkwardness was by finding a professor whose research interested me and seeing if there were opportunities to assist with the research. Instead, I chose to spend my time doing other things –extracurricular clubs, classes, and socializing.
Why am I bringing this up in a blog post? Because even though that ship has sailed for me, as a student (J.D. or LL.M.) there is an opportunity to get involved with the work of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. How? As a Research Assistant. 
The O’Neill Institute is currently hiring Research Assistants for a variety of projects for the spring and summer of 2016. These projects may include domestic and international research on noncommunicable diseases, tobacco control, human rights and health, food policy, sexual and reproductive rights, or using legal tools to address other global health challenges. Our international research is very broad too. We may be researching laws of a particular country (e.g. contraception laws in Peru), region (e.g. non-communicable disease strategies in the Eastern Mediterranean Region) or global (e.g. the development of an international treaty on global health). If you know a second language, even better! With clients around the world, much of our work is done in Spanish, French and other languages. The Research Assistants are also paid
Working as a Research Assistant typically involves meeting with an Associate or Fellow at the Institute, discussing the hourly requirements and details of the project, independently working on the project or research task, and frequently communicating with the Associate or Fellow on the outcome of your research and next steps. In addition to the opportunity to develop further specialization in a particular area of global health and hone your legal research and writing skills, the Research Assistant position offers the opportunity to experience working in an environment that includes a dash of advocacy, a hint of think-tank work, and a dose of academic scholarship.
If you are interested in considering a Research Assistant position with the O’Neill Institute, I’d invite you to check out the following link ( and feel free to check out the Institute’s website while you’re there to begin exploring our work.

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The views reflected in this expert column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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