Research Project: Health Care and Healing

Undergraduate Research Project

The Nanovic Institute for European Studies invites undergraduate students who are interested in health care and the intersection of health care and public policy to investigate various European healthcare systems' response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interested students should submit their application, including a resume and statement of interest of no more than 500 words here by Wednesday, April 21 at 11:59 pm. The statement of interest should indicate which country or countries the student is interested in researching and any relevant research experience, coursework, or language skills. 

Health Care and Healing: Investigating European Health Care Systems’ Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged even the most robust health care systems across the world leading to questions about financial resources, emergency preparedness, and personnel shortages. In Europe, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have varied greatly. Many watched as the Lombardy region in Italy struggled to contain a raging outbreak at the outset of the pandemic in March, 2020. There were stories of bed and ventilator shortages in hospitals, exhausted medical staff, and grieving families unable to properly mourn their loved ones. As the pandemic wore, and continues to wear on, many other European nations would come to face the same challenges that confronted northern Italy. Many feared doctor shortages in Ireland and the UK, while Spain and France implemented strict lockdowns to keep their hospitals from overflowing with patients in need of critical care. 

As the world reflects on the last year and looks to a future where herd immunity, and some sense of normalcy may be within our grasp, the Nanovic Institute invites students who are interested in health care and public policy to investigate various European healthcare systems’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will seek to answer questions about the nature of the different healthcare systems in Europe, the way in which they are funded (publicly, privately, or both), and the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to healthcare illuminated by the pandemic. 

For this project, each student will be assigned to a different country and will be tasked with analyzing the healthcare system in the country prior to the pandemic, the response (challenges and triumphs) to the pandemic, and any relevant policy or practice changes that have resulted from the onset of the pandemic. During  their research students will have the opportunity to connect with healthcare practitioners and policy makers to better understand the healthcare landscape within their country. Students will first draft individual country reports and will then work collaboratively to write a comprehensive report on European responses to the pandemic.

This research project will take place from June 7 to July 16. Students will be compensated at the research assistant rate of $8.75 per-hour. Students can expect to work between 10 - 15 hours per week on this project. Students may complete this project remotely and are not required to be on the Notre Dame campus for the duration of the project.