Prolepsis

Τhe Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health, Prolepsis, was established in 1990. Our mission is to respond to major public health needs of Greece and Europe by conducting rigorous academic research and translating it into education, advocacy and humanitarian projects. This mission is rooted in the belief that health equality is a necessary pre-requisite for broader social justice and social inclusion.

The Institute designs and implements initiatives, both at national and European level, aiming to:

  • conduct research on important issues related to health and well-being, with an emphasis on epidemiology and preventive medicine,
  • promote health education and health awareness, and
  • create networks for interdisciplinary and international cooperation on public health issues.

The IOP Director’s Intern will be joining a dynamic multidisciplinary team of physicians, public health specialists, psychologists, dieticians, statisticians, communication experts and business administration staff. The position will offer substantive work experience, working on different stages of public health projects in collaboration with other European organizations, as well as networking opportunities through meetings with Greek high level policy makers and decision makers.

The Director’s Intern will be involved in the Food Aid and Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, DIATROFI. In light of the economic crisis, this program provides daily a small healthy meal to more than 125 schools with 10,000 students all over Greece, while at the same time it encourages healthy nutrition habits. Since 2012, the program has offered more than 11 million meals to over 75.000 students across Greece.

In addition, the Director’s Intern will contribute to the preparation of grant/ research proposals, as well as participate in the implementation of European co-funded projects. More particularly, Prolepsis Institute runs three European Projects, “H-COM”, “ASSET” and “INHERIT”, whose main goals respectively are: the improvement of medical doctors’ communication skills with patients and co-workers, the development of an action plan for societies’ respond to epidemics and pandemics and the definition of effective inter-sectorial policies and interventions that promote health and well-being across the social gradient. The Director’s Intern would need to review current international developments and best practices with regard to the above mentioned public health issues and provide this information to the Director.  

Responding to the humanitarian crisis with regards to refugees/ asylum seekers flows, Prolepsis Institute implements actions in Refugee Shelters in Athens as well as in boarder islands of Greece. An intern would need to support these actions and also participate in the preparation of relevant grant proposals.   

Main responsibilities will include:

Food Aid and Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program - DIATROFI:

  • supporting data analysis and program evaluation
  • contributing in communication strategies and fund raising actions
  • editing of scientific articles

European Projects:

  • contributing in preparation of grant/ research proposals
  • supporting the implementation of the following EU Programs: H-COM - Health Communication Training for Health Professionals, ASSET - Action plan in Science in Society in Epidemics and Total pandemics, INHERIT - INter-sectorial Health Environment Research for InnovaTions
  • conducting literature research
  • contributing in the development of related educational modules and actions

Humanitarian actions for refugees/ asylum seekers:

  • supporting the preparation of grant proposals
  • supporting the applied actions

The ideal candidate should be a native English speaker with strong analytical, research and scientific writing skills. The Intern should have extensive knowledge of MS Office applications (familiarity with statistical software, such as SPSS, desirable). An interest in public health and public service will be highly appreciated.

2015 Intern Reflection:

Put simply, Prolepsis has, in every respect, provided two-fold return in understanding, team-building and experience for every unit of energy I have expended. Immersion and dynamism fuel the organization; providing any intern the opportunity to be involved in their fields of interest while genuinely contributing to Prolepsis’s continuous forward motion. In keystone programs, I have been exposed to each level of function- for DIATROFI, the Food Aid and Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, that has involved site visits to schools for which the organization provides meals, witnessing children leap in enthusiasm in reaction to nutrition education material and providing feedback for further improvement of program materials. Further, I reworked research papers for DIATROFI and dug into supply-provider chains, health benefits and economic multipliers while independently conducting cost-benefit analyses of the program.

This level of engagement is the norm, not an exception- I conducted site visits for an international intervention on the ageing population and learnt about e-learning platforms being developed for occupational physicians in this field. As someone who fundamentally supports the collaboration of public and private sectors in promoting nutrition and education equality, I was awed by the opportunity to contribute to and even jointly write proposals for the same. The culture of Prolepsis is one that fuels involvement by tapping into personal passions- each week I am given the opportunity to select projects of my interest while working within the Institutional frame. Thus, Fridays have found me everywhere from philanthropic conferences to operating rooms of a local hospital. As I now pursue medical research and prepare policy briefs, I can say with confidence that any engaged intern’s time with Prolepsis will be meaningful, instructive and profoundly gratifying.

Rhea Malik '17

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

I have been working on various projects at the Prolepsis Institute. One of the Institute’s largest projects is the Food Aid and Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program – DIATROFI (which means “nutrition” in Greek). Through this program, Prolepsis provides daily free, healthy meals to 62,000 kids in 406 schools in economically vulnerable areas throughout Greece. The Program was developed by the Institute’s President, Professor Athena Linos, and others at Prolepsis in response to increased food insecurity that arose in Greece after the recent economic crisis. The DIATROFI program is meant both to combat food insecurity and to promote healthy eating habits for children and their families, since obesity is also a serious public health concern in Greece. When I first arrived in Athens, school was still in session, so I was able to visit some of the schools where the DIATROFI program is implemented. After hearing so much about the goals and background of the program, it was interesting to see its implementation first-hand, and to understand how the free meals, which are provided to every student to avoid stigma associated with food aid, fit into the children’s daily routines. Since then, I have been contributing to the research and writing of some papers concerning the implementation process and quantitative and qualitative results of the DIATROFI Program.

Alexia Zagouras '16

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

At Prolepsis, we are working towards health promotion through health education, policy change, medical research and humanitarian intervention in Greece and throughout the European community. While the organization's goals are ambitious and far-reaching, the individuals who work there certainly have the work ethic and passion to see that even these goals are met. Everyone working at the institute is quite serious and holds very high standards for their work, as evidenced by the high value Prolepsis places on qualitative and quantitative program evaluations and independent advisory councils, setting it apart from many other nonprofit organizations in the country. 

As a part of this team, I have been responsible for editing program materials, assisting in program evaluations and research, and composing national reports so as to foster collaboration on projects with other European countries. I have visited the schools where Prolepsis' Food Aid and Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program delivers free, nutritious meals to students facing food insecurity, observed the program in action, talked with principals and canteen workers responsible for administering the program in the school, and conducted independent research on ways to improve and expand the program which I then presented to the team's leaders - an example indicative of the team's dedication to involving me at all levels of the institute's work. This is a great job for anyone with an interest in health policy, public health, or the operation of a well-run nonprofit organization. As a Government concentrator, I was mainly given analytical research and writing jobs, but due to the diversity of programs and skill sets at the organization, I am confident that students interested in medicine, statistics, fundraising, marketing or nutrition would have just as positive an experience, as Prolepsis would tailor the internship to their skills and preferences. People with limited knowledge of Greek institutions and policies should not be wary of applying: it will not be a problem, and you will definitely learn a lot while you are there!

Elise Baranouski ‘15

Athens, Greece
International, Public Health, Research