Brittany Stanley ’09


Woodrow Wilson School

Project Title

Who Governs the Microbe

To my extreme delight, I was chosen by the Grand Challenges Program of Princeton to be a research intern this summer in South Africa. The aim of the project was to study the connection between infectious disease priorities at the local government level and public health policies. The internship was sponsored by the Grand Challenges Global Health Initiative of Princeton University. As an intern, I (along with a team of three other students) was responsible for setting up and dialoging over 100 total interviews with elected officials of the Western and Eastern Capes to gauge how they prioritize challenges (especially those relating to health) that are faced by their constituency. I learned to remain focused and alert during our sometimes 12 hour work days. I learned to coordinate schedules with my research mates so that we could always travel in small teams for greater safety. I also learned how to upload data into online web portals and make analyses using excel programs. Although my Mondays-Fridays were normally devoted to interviewing and data entry, I also set up my own interviews with clinic administrators, doctors, and activists to create a body of knowledge for my own Honor’s Thesis. My thesis will focus on the causes of stigma variance and its importance in a cross-regional context–an interest that was strengthened as an intern. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and have told so many people to connect with this Initiative to help uncover some of the most pressing challenges this world is facing.

Internship Year


Project Category



Princeton University


Evan Lieberman