The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy

Maps & Directions

Junior Scholars & Student Programs

Banner image for Student Programs page

The Latino Leadership Opportunity Program (LLOP)


Health Equity Scholars Program (HESP)


The Robert Hildreth Latin America Internship Award


Undergraduate Work-study Opportunities


Research Assistantships, Internships and Employment for Graduate Students


Health Equity Scholars Program (HESP)

The purpose of HESP is to train, support and mentor students interested in health disparities. Developing a diverse workforce committed to health disparities research is key in meeting the heath care needs of an increasingly diverse population. HESP is a project of UMass Center for Health Equity Intervention Research (CHEIR). It is supported by a collaborative partnership between UMass Medical School and UMass Boston. Funded by National Institutes of Health and National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Who is eligible?
- Students from underrepresented communities—Black/African American, Native American, Latino, Vietnamese, Cambodian & Filipino
- Successfully completed at least 24 credits, 2.5 GPA
- Interest in exploring health research and health careers

What does it mean to be a HESP Scholar?
- Complete a 3 credit elective course: Introduction to Health Disparities
- Opportunity to learn about health careers
- Opportunity to join a research project
- Present your course project at an Annual Research Meeting
- Attend an all day field trip to UMass Medical School
- Support provided until graduation

Important Dates:
- Introduction to Health Disparities meets Tuesday/Thursdays at 9:30AM
- Informational Session: TBD
- Application Deadline: TBD
- Welcome & Orientation: TBD
- Attend an all-day field trip to UMass Medical School: TBD

Recruitment for Fall 2015 completed. Please do not apply until next call.

How to apply: please download the application and the faculty recommendation form, and e-mail both to Yvonne Gomes-Santos

For more information contact Yvonne Gomes-Santos at 617.287.5885. 

The Gastón Institute has partnered with the William Monroe Trotter Institute and the Institute for New England Native American Studies to develop this program. 


The Robert Hildreth Latin America Internship Award

This opportunity is made possible by a gift from Robert and Diane Hildreth, members of the UMass Boston Board of Visitors.

Sponsored by the Gastón Institute, the Hildreth Award provides approximately $3,000 for travel and research in Latin American or Caribbean countries. Current agreements include Facultad Latinoamericana De Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Ecuador, and Sistema de Universidades Estatales de Oaxaca (SUNEO) in Mexico. Please contact us if you are interested in another country, to find out if we have institutional relationships.


  • Applicant must:
    • be undergraduate students, enrolled full-time with a current GPA of 3.0 or higher (official transcript required)
    • have a valid US Passport at time of travel
    • speak/read Spanish language enough to meet research goals
    • provide a letter from a faculty member supporting the research
    • present their findings at a Gastón Institute event during Fall
  • Applicants must submit a proposal that includes:
    • an essay addressing focus of the research, interest in the topic and how the applicant meets all the criteria
    • a budget of expenses (download template)
  • Preference may be given to students who have never travelled to a Latin American country and/or who have experience in:
    • Faculty-supervised research projects
    • Internship programs
    • Academic symposiums
    • Academic projects and study that may require travel
    • Other special programs that encourage academic growth such as the Latino Leadership Opportunity Program (LLOP)

Deadline: ongoing.

Please send your proposals and/or questions to the Institute by e-mail


Undergraduate Work-Study Opportunities

The Gastón Institute provides work-study employment for undergraduate students interested in learning and participating in the work of the Institute.  Students provide assistance with research tasks, community outreach, database management, special events, and administrative work.  Currently we are seeking interns to work on the Annual Ask Fundraising, Coordination of Research for the Director, and Database Management.  This is a great opportunity for recent graduates to build their resumes as well. For more information please contact the Mauricio Gastón Institute at 617.287.5790.


Research Assistantships, Internships and Employment for Graduate Students

The Gastón Institute welcomes UMass Boston graduate students interested in conducting research in our areas of interest.  Graduate assistantships at UMass Boston are funded through the graduate programs and departments and students should apply there for an assistantship and indicate their desire to work with one our Institute’s researchers.

Internships for graduate students from other Boston area universities

The Gaston Institute, with its focus on the Latino population of the region, is a unique resource for graduate students in universities in the Boston area.  Graduate interns may work on a research project under the direction of one of the Institute’s research Associates and, in some cases, the Institute may be able to provide opportunities for students to develop their own projects, providing both mentorship and support.  Students from MIT, Harvard University, Boston College, Tufts University and other colleges have worked as interns in research and policy projects at the Gaston Institute.

Employment for graduate students from UMass Boston and other universities in the Boston area

From time to time, the Gaston Institute offers part-time, short term employment for graduate students studying both at UMass Boston and at other area universities. 

To learn more about internships, employment or short term opportunities at the Institute, please contact Dr. Maria Idali Torres (617.287.5790).