Research Projects

Program description

The minimum 4-weeks internship in the ongoing research/implementation projects of Cluj School of Public Health – Romania – is an opportunity for students to apply learned knowledge and theory to a research/professional work setting and to develop skills needed for successful transition to the public health workforce. See below the list of active research projects that you can intern in.

IFF_logo-06 Funder: National Institutes of Health
The potential of mHealth, especially mobile phone-based strategies, to transform health care, change health behaviors, and improve health has particular significance for LMICs where access to health providers and care is limited. Preconception and pregnancy smoking are high in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with lifetime negative health effects for the women and their children. Our aims are to (1) Test the implementation feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of a culturally-adapted mHealth smoking cessation intervention among couples during pregnancy and postpartum in Romania. We will recruit 60 pregnant smokers and their partners; (2) Develop mHealth research capacity by enhancing individual and institutional research capabilities in Romania and expanding the existing international research network.
logo_quit-together-ro-e1496224948885 Funder: National Institutes of Health
Smoking during pregnancy is a major risk factor for adverse maternal and pregnancy outcomes. The specific aims are: (1) To develop an adapted and enhanced couple intervention to reduce pregnancy smoking and postpartum relapse in Romania based on the MAPS approach. (2) To conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to test the fidelity of the culturally adapted MAPS intervention enhanced for couples smoking prevention during pregnancy and postpartum. (3) To examine in the pilot the implementation feasibility and initial efficacy in increasing maternal pregnancy smoking cessation and reducing postnatal relapse, with secondary hypotheses regarding maternal smoking reduction and spousal cessation, relapse, and reduction.
logo_respremo-300x300 Funder: Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)
Maternal smoking is one of the most modifiable factors clearly linked to adverse effects for the fetus and the baby. A significant problem, and the focus of this project, is that up to 70% of women who quit resume smoking after birth, with the majority relapsing in the first 3 months postpartum. This project aims to develop an adapted and enhanced mHealth couple intervention to prevent post-partum smoking relapse. The purpose of this project is to adapt, enhance, and test the implementation feasibility and efficacy of an evidence-based pregnancy and postnatal smoking relapse pilot mHealth intervention. The scientific relevance of this research project is given by: 1) testing a cultural-adapted version of the iCoach mobile application for the prevention of smoking uptake after birth. 2) The cultural adaptation will be obtained based on the existing literature regarding the adaptation of preventive interventions for substance use. 3) The iCoach app intervention is enhanced with SMS-delivered content addressing the dyadic efficacy for smoking cessation aiming to improve both partners’ skills to work together as a team to prevent smoking uptake after birth.
Funder: European Commission, the Erasmus+ Program
Arts and creativity represent valuable aids in improving overall well-being. The use of arts for individuals suffering from chronic conditions could improve their physical health, mental health outcomes, their quality of life, and ultimately reduce healthcare costs. While a wide range of creative arts initiatives have been employed to improve the health and mental health outcomes of individuals, little attention has been paid to the training of the facilitators delivering these programs. Staff training is essential if these creative arts programs are to render positive health outcomes and follow ethical guidelines. Therefore, this project aims to build, over a period of three years, an e-learning package of vocational training for staff working with patients with long-term conditions in how to use the arts as a therapeutic tool.
Funder: Executive Unit for Financing High Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)
The project aims to explore and explain the impact of psychosocial stress and biological factors on pregnancy outcomes in Romania. The MAIA project pursues to answer complex questions on the prevalence and determinants of pregnancy outcomes, in a large cohort of pregnant women, recruited from five different clinical settings in Romania. The power of the study lays in its integrated approach which controls for the relation of inter-dependent pregnancy risk factors (medical history, social and living conditions, stress and depression, smoking and substance abuse) to explain birth outcomes. In addition, a cross-sectional component of the study will bring data on an extended sample in order to assess the prevalence of selected risk factors and their determinants in the Romanian context, where such population-based data is extremely limited.
Interns’ Tasks: Data analysis & associated output (paper/presentation)
Funder: University of Iowa – Fogarty International Center – National Institutes of Health
The diabetes epidemic is currently affecting both developed and developing countries. In Romania, 50.000 individuals are diagnosed annually with diabetes, this condition accounting for 12.179 deaths each year. As 95% of the diabetes healthcare involves self-management, diabetes education is fundamental in providing individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to self-manage their disease. The goal of this study is to validate S-TOFHLA, an instrument designed to measure health literacy levels in the Romanian socio-cultural context, and to explore the association between health literacy, treatment adherence and self-care behaviors of people who suffer from type two diabetes.
Interns’ Tasks: Secondary data analysis, writing the abstract, article, report
Funder: Executive Agency for Health and Consumers – European Commission
The overall ambition from MS is to better include eHealth into health policy and better align eHealth investments to health needs. A central aspect is the transferability of health data across borders of MS and therefore the organizational, technical, semantic and legal interoperability of eHealth. In order to ensure progress and to bridge the gaps between the governance, strategy and operational levels, a dedicated mechanism for eHealth at EU level has been established: The eHN was formally established in 2011 through the Commission’s Implementing Decision 2011/890/EU based on Art. 14.3 Directive 2011/24/EU and represents the highest decision making body at EU political level. At a European level, there is a strong need to maintain this mechanism and to ensure further common political leadership and ongoing integration of eHealth into health policy in order to continue developing eHealth services responding to health systems‘ needs and health objectives. This is the framework for the eHN JA, which is led by the EU MS and co-financed by the European Commission (EC).
Funder: Not funded – PhD project
The goal of this project is to improve the health literacy of people from Romania through non- formal education. This project aims to describe the current health literacy needs of a rural community in Romania by conducting a needs assessment with people from the community and by conducting interviews with health educators and youth workers experienced with non-formal education.

Moreover, it aims to develop and test a non-formal education model to improve the health literacy in this community by: designing the model using input from the needs assessment process, health educators and youth workers experienced with non-formal education; pilot-testing the non-formal education model in the specific community; evaluating the non-formal education model and identify main key points for developing a policy brief. Afterwards, a policy brief will be developed to enhance the health literacy of the community.

The global injury burden is disproportionately concentrated in low and middle income countries (LMIC). The iCREATE project introduces injury and violence training to the LMIC countries of Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, which are strategic global priorities due to their political and economic ties to the Middle East, Russia, and Europe. Capacity for medical and public health education in these countries has been growing, but injury and violence is not currently addressed. Training will be conducted in partnership, demonstrating a successful transition in Romania from trainees to trainers. The aims of the iCREATE training program are to: train a critical mass of researchers from Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova to conduct innovative research; facilitate the transition of trainees to positions of leadership; develop our partner institutions as sustainable centers of excellence in injury research and education; and, engage partners to translate research into effective prevention and treatment programs. Based on the needs of our partner countries and expertise of the project leadership, we will focus on three areas: road traffic safety; violence against women and children; and, acute care.
The aim of the RESPONSE project is to increase maternal health team GBV disclosure in patients, referral to specialist services and safety planning in 5 geographically diverse EU countries (Austria, France, Germany, Romania, and Spain).

This project will build on the Daphne supported IMPLEMENT ( project (2014-2016) in which 4 of the RESPONSE partners participated in (AT, FR, RO, UK-trainers) by using the IMPLEMENT Training Manual developed to target GBV identification in emergency departments and adapt it to train maternal health teams who will have numerous contacts with survivors through the maternal health visits.

In order to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of health services and systems a unique consortium of governmental and funding organizations plus research institutes, has expressed the ambition to systematically learn from the organization of care in other settings. Overall objective of TO-REACH is to provide groundwork for an ERA-NET that will contribute to the resilience, effectiveness, equity, accessibility and comprehensiveness of health services and systems. REACH will pursue five specific objectives: Mapping health system challenges and priorities by synthesizing different materials and stakeholder inputs; Developing a framework and providing a knowledge synthesis on the above-mentioned meta-questions; Establishing sustainable cooperation of research funding bodies and links with other initiatives; Developing a SRA through agenda setting at European and Member State level; Disseminating the results of TO-REACH.
The general objective of the ADVANTAGE project is to build a common understanding on frailty to be used in all the Member States, which should be the base for a common management both at individual and population level of older people who are frail or at risk of developing frailty throughout the European Union. The identification of the core components of frailty and its management should promote the required changes in the organization and implementation of care in the Health and Social Systems in order to provide the models of care that will allow each Member State to face the challenge using a common framework tailored to their context and care system.
Physical activity (PA) levels of youth are important, as they are predictors of PA at the age of adult. Physical education and sport (PES) should represent an important share of the total PA practiced by this population. However, in the last years steady decreases were observed in the participation and engagement of (especially high-school) students in PES classes. The project aim is to test and validate an innovative approach to planning and development of PES classes for high-school students, based on (1) increased students’ participation and autonomy, (2) current national PES curriculum and practices and (3) current available resources in each setting (i.e. high-schools).

The current project will have a positive impact on high-school students’ perceptions on and behavior towards PES classes, on PES teachers and participating high-schools. The guidelines for good practice will support the wide implementation of the method with potential for high positive impact on the European youth population PA levels and overall health status. 

Eligibility & requirements

To be considered for the Global Health Program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • undergraduate or graduate students in health sciences or related fields
  • interest in the public health field
  • 18 years of age or older

Professional Skills:

  • analytical and evaluative skills
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • organizational skills, efficiency and flexibility
  • computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft products (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint), email software, internet searching engines, and other programs


Program fee is 1.900 U.S. Dollars/month for graduate students and 2.100 U.S. Dollars/month for undergraduate students (more intensive mentoring from the faculty).

The fee includes housing, mentoring & support, on-site orientation and assistance throughout the application process. The fee does not include international travel, meals costs, personal effects, or incidentals.

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How to apply

The applications can be submitted online continuously. Please send any additional inquiries to

The evaluation process will take place at the end of each month, the results being communicated to the students in the first week of the following month after the date of application. Students will have to confirm their participation in 2 weeks’ time after receiving the letter of acceptance, by sending an email and paying at least 10% of the program fee.

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Please send any additional inquiries to