Thank you for your interest in working with SMRU where humanitarian work and research are integrated providing a unique clinical and scientific experience. Working with SMRU can be rich professionally (with a balance between supervised and independent work) and culturally (when working closely with local staff). Visitors often play an important role in the routine operational work at SMRU.
Please be aware that we are sometimes booked out a year in advance, especially during popular elective periods such as June-August and suggest that you plan early. Depending on the nature of your visit the minimum stay allowed is 6 weeks although longer is encouraged and in exceptional circumstances, may be less. We are not able to facilitate visits on short notice or those that are interrupted by holidays (for visits < 3 months). If you plan to travel in the region, please plan for this before or after your period of work with SMRU to minimize interruptions and simplify logistics.
When you first contact us, we will need the potential dates you will be available, a brief statement of what you would be interested in doing, your personal expectations, and a recent curriculum vitae.
See a list of current positions SMRU is currently seeking to fill.
How to apply for a position:
- Review SMRU's Expectation of Visitors: This provides important information that may affect your decision to apply.
- Complete our Online Application. You should receive a reply within 4 weeks. Do not hesitate to follow up if you have not been contacted within that time. Typically at this point, we will be working to identify a mentor for your visit.
- If a mentor is identified, we will ask you to provide 2 referees and their email addresses.
- Once we receive responses from your referees, a decision will be made whether or not we will be able to offer you a position. Please remember that there may be more than one person applying for rotation during the same period of time and for a limited number of mentors.
Humanitarian Visitors are those who are interested in helping with SMRU activities in any way they can. Some visitors (i.e. high school, undergraduate, PhD) come to experience what SMRU does in the clinics or laboratories, and during their stay may be asked to assist with additional activities that need support such as teaching, preparing data, or performing laboratory analyses. Other visitors (i.e. midwives, doctors, engineers) may come to provide their practical expertise and help by teaching, training and supporting other activities related to the clinical work.
If you are a journalist and have not yet made contact with someone at SMRU, feel free to send us an email and we will direct you to the appropriate department.
Feedback from previous visitors:
"I was privileged to come and work with the Paediatric team at Mae La camp in 2015. I was able to work with the local staff with the gorgeous young newborns and infants. We also covered weekly education sessions, with the enthusiasm of the staff always infectious! I enjoyed every minute, learning about local culture, food and the care the team provide with limited resources. Can't wait to visit again in the future!"
- Doctor in training (paediatrics), Maela clinic - 2015
"I went to SMRU after the first year of my undergraduate course on a short voluntary placement to help get some insight into a career in science in an altogether unfamiliar setting. During my time there I was taught a range of laboratory techniques so that I could contribute to the routine microbiology service provision and to rearing mosquitos in the insectary. I was also involved in analysing the results of the dengue fever rapid tests. Outside of the laboratory I was given the opportunity to visit each of the clinics and carryout infection control audits in order to contribute to an update in the infection control guidelines. I found every member of the SMRU team incredibly welcoming, helpful and willing to teach me more about their field (despite my lack of experience). It was also clear how big an impact SMRU has had on the local communities it interacts with. My visit was thoroughly interesting and enjoyable and I wish everyone at SMRU good luck in the future to continue it's great work."
- Undergraduate student who observed and worked in SMRU laboratories - 2015
"Volunteering as clinician at the Wang Pha clinic provided me a great opportunity to learn about tropical medicine and non-communicable diseases in a tropical and low resource setting, within the structure of a well organized clinic with motivated and experienced staff. I could grow to a new level of clinical decision making and taking responsibility, however when I needed it I could always call my colleagues to discuss a case."
- Doctor in training (not yet specialised), Wangpa clinic - 2015
Research Visitors are those who require a project and are inquiring for an elective rotation with a research supervisor at SMRU. If you are a research collaborator, please communicate directly with the department or individual you are partnering with. Elective rotations with a project can require a significant amount of planning and work even before the rotation begins (by both the visitor and the supervisor). Please keep in mind that there are a limited number of supervisors and projects. We encourage you to be flexible when considering what projects are available.
We have observed that projects which only need data analysis (data are already prepared for analysis by the supervisor) and a thesis will require a minimum of 3 months to complete. If you will also be collecting or preparing data, we recommend that you plan for a longer peroid of time. If your research requires ethical approval please note that this process, after the initial submission, usually takes 2 to 6 months possibly less for minimal risk projects. Depending on the length of stay, visitors performing clinical research may be expected to contribute to routine clinical and adminstrative work in parallel with their research; commonly, these are physicians pursuing a PhD.
Feedback from previous visitors:
"As a scientist I am spending few weeks per year in SMRU to conduct my research work on Plasmodium vivax physiopathology. I really appreciate the quality of the scientific environment and the friendly atmosphere of our collaborations in SMRU."
- Research collaborator (Plasmodium vivax), Singapore - current
"When I look back on my experience at the SMRU, I am most impressed by the dedication of all the people working at the SMRU - the willingness to help and teach me - the drive to constantly improve the care given. This was something I rarely saw before in a organisation. Very motivating and inspiring. Since you are part of a small team, it can be quite an intense internship, but it is really possible to contribute to the organisation and make a small difference. I look back on a super-valuable learning experience in an interesting part of the world, with a special population and very skillful and experienced staff/collegues."
- Masters student (medicine, obstetrics), Netherlands - 2015
"This is not just a mere good place to work on or learn about the exotic tropical diseases, but also a great place to learn about humanity, humility, and mutual respect."
- Research collaborator (Plasmodium vivax), Singapore
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