Population facets: 

Partner Organization: Global Research and Advocacy Group (GRAG)

Location: Dakar, Senegal

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Determined by site

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Additional information:

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, if we are unable to deploy students in person, students will not be obligated to complete the ISSLP and may withdraw without penalty. For students wishing to continue with the ISSLP in virtual mode, ISSLP staff will work with them to be placed with a virtual international service option.

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement: Medium to strong proficiency in French is required plus a desire to learn Wolof on site.
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  Basic research including computer skills on a variety of software platforms
  • Major Requirement:  Willingness to learn and adapt to key institutional principles and values according to the local context; strong interest in contributing to team building and team work to address GRAG priority issues in line with target objectives and expected quality standard of work
  • Special Requirements: commitment to cope with basic ethics and confidentiality guidelines, to protect information and human subjects involved in any activities
  • Other: advanced organizational skills, able to multitask and prioritize

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: 

(The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Research methods or relevant trainings as identified and required by the site partner.
  • Self Defense
  • HIV/AIDS workshop

Site Description:  

Global Research and Advocacy Group (GRAG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to conducting quality research to ameliorate the conditions affecting minority and vulnerable populations marginalized throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. GRAG examines cultural and gender norms that place these populations in precarious situations in order to more effectively construct programs that will have a lasting impact for the communities. Through strategic and applied research, training, and advocacy, GRAG works with communities to strengthening capacities and seeks to identify and target areas of improvement for effective program initiatives. GRAG’s target groups include women, girls exposed to early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), people living with HIV/AIDS, same sex gender relationships, and orphans among other vulnerable children (OVC).

Research areas include safeguarding health, nutrition, education, and gender. GRAG also networks in health systems, advocates for minority groups’ human and social rights, and disseminates communications on above areas. Their activities, for example, also include a learning center for vulnerable populations to open collaboration between academic institutions and civil society organizations, improved understanding of gender roles in female genital mutilation (FGM), and ending FGM. In addition, GRAG provides technical support to governments, donor agencies and corporations involved in various social programs and initiatives. Some of GRAG’s partners in the past have included Senegal’s Ministry of Health and USAID cooperating agencies among other bilateral and multilateral organizations.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival/engagement.

This site can be in person and/or virtual for summer 2022.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work for students who deployed in 2019 and virtual internship offered in summer 2020 and 2021. This scope of work may change based on the needs of the organization at the time of student arrival and/or due to COVID-19 restrictions.

GRAG welcomes young colleagues appointed as Research Assistants from Africa and around the world to work on a variety of projects that are a priority for the organization but that are also tailored to their capabilities and their interests.​

ISSLP students will be contributing members of GRAG’s research and policy efforts and will work closely with this talented and dynamic team of staff and researchers. Students work alongside GRAG’s team members and community partners in assigned research projects that may encompass a range of issues including education, health, nutrition, gender and FGM. Students could contribute in a variety of areas that include translation and editing; drafting reports, grants, and concept papers; participating in research methods training and field work; and supporting project creation and design. Students will work from GRAG’s main office in Dakar and could potentially accompany staff in field visits to partners in various parts of Senegal.

During summer 2021, two ISSLP students interned remotely with GRAG. The internship included activities such as: writing literature reviews, reading and summarizing research articles from academic journals on topics of interest to the organization such as female genital mutilation, identifying potential partner organizations for GRAG, and drafting and translating documents from French to English and English to French.

During summer 2020, one ISSLP student interned remotely with GRAG. The internship included various activities, namely: media monitoring and writing media summaries on core thematic areas that are of interest to the organization, such as gender based violence, female genital mutilation, and maternal, newborn, and child health; drafting social media posts to increase organization visibility and to highlight the work of partner organizations; and resource mobilization/grant writing that consisted of desk review research and drafting concept notes and grant proposals.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students live with homestay families in Dakar. They will be matched with a family who has been selected and trained by GRAG.

For More Information:

Visit the Global Research & Advocacy Group

Former ISSLP Participants:

*Did not deploy due to COVID-19 pandemic


Note: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process. 


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Upcoming Events

October 2021

Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm
Postgraduate Service Lunch | Alliance for Catholic Education
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:30pm

November 2021

Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Mini Postgraduate Service Fair
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Taste of PATH
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
Information Session | Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM)
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 8:00pm to 8:30pm
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Catholic Social Tradition (CST) Minor Brunch
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 11:30am
Higgins Film CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm
Virtues & Vocations Presents Howard Gardner: What is Good Work?
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

December 2021

Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm