The University of Vermont Health Network

2018 hiCOlab Internship

May 28 – August 3, 2018


Call for Applications

applications due february 28, 2018


The hiCOlab 10-week summer internship program at The University of Vermont Health Network gives highly qualified graduate students the opportunity to work on design-led innovation projects within a nationally recognized academic medical center and regional health system. Working side-by-side with our team and clinical partners throughout the organization, interns apply the tools and methods of human-centered design to an array of wicked problems that challenge healthcare systems. Our intern teams have been instrumental in advancing hiCOlab’s mission and demonstrating the value of design-led innovation within healthcare.


What do interns do?

As a hiCOlab intern, you and your team will apply the principles of human-centered design to work through the innovation process with a focus on improving the experience of health and healthcare for our patients, their caregivers, and providers. With these tools and methods in hand, you will observe the human experience and collect first-person stories; you will ask relevant, thoughtful questions to understand challenges and opportunities; and you will use these insights to ultimately envision future possibilities through rapid ideation and prototyping that includes testing potential solutions. Learn more about past intern projects. 


Who should apply?

We are looking for highly creative and ambitious change makers who are as passionate as us about transforming healthcare. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program in industrial design, product design, UX/interaction/service design, engineering, marketing research, social innovation and entrepreneurship (or related disciplines), or is a medical or nursing student interested in design and innovation in healthcare. Previous experience in design and innovation methodologies, user-centered research, and rapid prototyping are highly desirable in applicants.

How do I apply?

Submit a resume and cover letter explaining your interest and objectives in pursuing design and innovation within healthcare. Applicants with a design or other creative background should also provide a link to a portfolio of creative work.

What is the application process timeline?

The deadline for applications to the 2018 summer internship program is February 28, 2018. Semi-finalists will be interviewed by telephone or video chat within the following weeks. Finalists will be notified no later than March 16, 2018.

What else do I need to know?

  • The internship dates are May 28 – August 3, 2018.
  • A stipend is provided.
  • Affordable housing is available through the University of Vermont campus housing.

Feel free to contact us at if you have any questions — we’d love to hear from you.


Past Intern Projects


Creating better communication between patients and their care teams in the hospital

We developed a concept and prototype for an integrated digital system that helps patients in the hospital and their caregivers know more about their care team and track specific interactions with them. The system is designed to incorporate a bedside tablet for patients, a touch-screen in-room wall display, and RFID technology that tracks which care team members enter the patient’s room. The patient-facing interface in the system includes a timeline of the patient’s care in the hospital, a diagram of their care team, profiles of their providers, and a way to record their questions and goals.


Giving patients the right care information at the right time before and after a procedure or hospitalization

With the imperative to create more individualized and convenient experiences, our team found an opportunity to improve how information and care instructions are accessed by patients and provided at a time when they are most able to understand and act upon them. Many patients say they feel rushed and overwhelmed during the post-procedure and discharge process, or they are not in an appropriate physical or mental state to even hear and digest this type of information. With this digital platform, information about medications and care instructions are provided to patients in clear language and in different formats that can be tailored to patient preferences.


Creating more meaningful and customized care plans

We designer a conversation guide that promotes a greater understanding of patients’ preferences, priorities, and lifestyle choices outside of the healthcare environment, enabling ongoing conversations for whole-person care. The tool prompts of an initial discussion about how patients view their health with the expectation that a provider will customize their recommendations to more accurately meet the patient’s needs. The provider can also “prescribe” longitudinal data-collection from the patient to promote more robust follow-up conversations around planning and lifestyle changes.


About hiCOlab


hiCOlab is a design and innovation lab embedded within a nationally recognized academic medical center. We are passionate about the power of human-centered design to transform the experience of healthcare for all. We are fostering a culture of innovation one person and one relationship at a time through radical collaboration with our patients, caregivers, and employees. hiCOlab partners with these stakeholders to radically transform healthcare from the inside out.


hiCOlab's origin story