Anna Zonderman - United Kingdom

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Internship location:  London, England
Career goal: I plan to pursue a career in designing and implementing public health intervention research focused on child health and development

Internship summary:
I worked with researchers from the Anna Freud Centre to implement a longitudinal electroencephalography study in collaboration with Kids Company, a charity that provides practical and therapeutic support to vulnerable children in London. The study—which complements existing evidence that Kids Company’s interventions positively influence behavioral outcomes among participating children—will evaluate the effects of stress on neural functioning in 13- to 17-year-old boys and assess whether support from Kids Company correlates with positive changes in these effects over time. My responsibilities included designing recruitment materials, recruiting at Kids Company and at schools in South London and assisting with data collection.

Value of experience:
This experience gave me the opportunity to put into practice my knowledge of study design and implementation. In particular, I was exposed to the challenges and rewards of collaborating with a community organization and of carrying out research that is methodologically robust while actively addressing the needs of the vulnerable children participating in the project. I also benefited from the opportunity to volunteer during several Kids Company programs throughout the summer. This allowed me to interact with Kids Company practitioners and the children they support, and to better understand and appreciate the avenues through which this support takes place.

Best moment:
In the last week of my internship I assisted in the data collection for the study’s first official (non-pilot) participant. After three months of preparation it was great to see everything come together.