Skip to main content

Department overview

The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute is one of more than 50 medical research institutions, funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program at the National Institutes of Health, working together as a national consortium to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. TraCS Informatics and Data Science (IDSci) supports investigators in the areas of clinical informatics and research data management, along with building and maintaining the TraCS internal and external websites. A core area of work centers on the Carolina Data Warehouse for Health (CDW-H), a repository for clinical, research, and administrative data from the UNC Health Care System. Researchers request datasets from the CDW-H, which they use to recruit patients or conduct secondary data analyses. The TraCS Institute also creates and maintains tools to support researchers, including i2b2@UNC, REDCap, EMERSE (a clinical note searching tool), and CLARK (a user-friendly natural language processing tool for clinical notes). The Institute maintains open-source tools to support clinical data integration: CAMP FHIR (Clinical Asset Mapping Protocol for FHIR), which transforms EHR data to FHIR files as a common data model, and FHIR PIT (FHIR Patient data Integration Tool), which integrates HFIR files with non-clinical data sets, including public environmental exposures data.


Position description

The TraCS Institute seeks a highly motivated and detail-oriented graduate student with intermediate-level Java skills. This internship will provide an opportunity for the intern to further develop programming skills, while also applying these skills to healthcare data-related projects. Projects will include:

  • Development of a web-based version of the PCORnet Common Data Model (CDM): The PCORnet CDM represents some of the most frequently requested items from the CDW-H and as such, would benefit from a user-friendly and easily-updated web-based version of the PCORnet CDM documentation
  • Develop test units for CAMP FHIR: In order to ensure a better open-source product, the intern will develop unit tests on various components of the CAMP FHIR application
  • Expand CAMP FHIR to support additional FHIR data domains: CAMP FHIR currently only supports a limited set of HFIR data domains; this task will consist of developing new model and DAO classes with accompanying unit tests

This position will be ideal for a student enrolled in a computer science program who would like to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of clinical research informatics. Applicants should expect to gain a foundational knowledge on the use, management, analysis, and protection of protected health information for research purposes, exposure to multiple common data models (PCORnet Common Data Model, FHIR), and programming experience in the context of healthcare data-related projects.

Anticipated start date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Anticipated end date: Friday, May 1, 2020

Time commitment: 20 hours/week between 8am and 5pm

Pay rate: $19/hour

Work location: NC TraCS Institute office in Brinkhous-Bullitt, 2nd floor (telework not permitted)

If desired and permitted by the home department, there is a possibility of the position being considered a program-required internship.



Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at UNC-Chapel Hill for spring 2020, and should include this information on the submitted CV/resume. Required skills include:

  • Intermediate-level Java/J2EE skills
  • Experience with HTML/CSS and JavaScript
  • Interest in working on health care data-related projects
  • Ability to work independently, while also collaborating with a team, in order to achieve project goals
  • Strong attention to detail

Preferred skills include:

  • Experience with unit testing (strongly preferred)
  • Comfortable working in a Linux environment
  • Experience using SQL
  • Experience using Junit
  • Experience working with Hibernate ORM
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science and/or enrollment in a graduate-level computer science program
  • Experience working on health data-related web applications
  • Understanding of regulatory and privacy rules for working with protected health information

Note: TraCS IDSci interns are ineligible to participate in the internship more than once; therefore, prior interns are ineligible for this position.


To apply

Send a resume/CV and cover letter describing how your qualifications make you a fit for this position to Kellie Walters (Senior Informatics Project Manager at NC TraCS) at as soon as possible; applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis. Make the subject line “TraCS Intern Spring 2020 — Application.”

Comments are closed.