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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Institute for Global Health
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International Health Fellowship

The International Health Fellowship was established by the Feinberg School of Medicine to provide support to medical students who wish to conduct international research projects. Each year, one to two Feinberg medical students will be awarded stipends to support their investigation of medical issues, public health systems and health policy and/or healthcare delivery methods at an international site. The goal of the program is to gain a deeper understanding of how cultural and economic factors influence healthcare systems and promote scholarship among medical students in the field of global health. While the Global Health Initiative supports medical student research especially via the Area of Scholarly Concentration program, these funds are generally limited to research in low- and middle-income settings. The International Health Fellowship is a unique funding opportunity for students in that it has no geographical or institutional restrictions once a research proposal is accepted.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. One to two awards will be made per year. The maximum award is $2,750.


Applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • M1, M3 and M4 students who are in good academic standing. Long-term research projects will not receive special consideration over the standard four-to-eight-week projects. Students need to apply at least six months in advance of the proposed start date of the project to ensure time for IRB review.
  • Must be available to conduct four to eight weeks of on-site research.
  • M1 students must complete fellowship research by the end of their M1 summer.
  • M4 students must complete fellowship research before graduation.
  • All fellowship recipients must present their research at the Institute for Global Health.
  • All applicants must identify a Feinberg School of Medicine adviser and an on-site adviser in their research proposal and obtain IRB approval as needed.

The IHF award is contingent upon each student's satisfactory participation in Feinberg's required pre-departure preparation and evaluation process developed by the Institute for Global Health. Failure to actively participate in and complete the pre-departure preparation process can result in revocation of the award.

 Application Materials

The preliminary proposal may take several weeks to prepare, depending on the project. Once the materials listed below are prepared, the online application for the preliminary proposal should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Applicants should have final drafts of their project proposal written before beginning the application. Applicants should save them as Word documents and convert them to PDF documents in order to upload the files. You will not be able to save your application once you begin.

Download a PDF of a sample proposal, then complete the preliminary proposal application online.

  • Preliminary literature review: A minimum of seven to 10 academic articles, books or other sources that will shape your research. No analysis of the materials is necessary.
  • Research plan: Includes your primary research question(s), abstract, background and relevance of the research topic you have chosen, feasibility and facilities and resources. Please address the limitations and the potential impact of the study (max 1,000 words).
  • Methodology: Study population, design and methods (max 500 words).
  • Timeline: A general timeline that highlights the development of the study and protocol, data collection and data analysis with deadlines for deliverables (i.e., paper and presentation) from project start date to its completion. The timeline should focus on general time frames such as weeks and months, not days, and it need not be longer than one page.
  • Preliminary budget: General estimates for flights, housing, immunizations/visas, local transportation expenses, supplies and program fees if any apply. General approximations are appropriate.
  • The name, title, department and contact information (email and phone) of the Feinberg faculty member who is advising this project (required).
  • The name, title, department and contact information (email, phone and website) of the international contact who is collaborating with you on this project, if available. The international adviser is not required to submit part 1 of the application.
  • A copy of your CV in PDF format.

 Sponsored Travel

 Identify Faculty Mentors

To identify a Feinberg School of Medicine faculty mentor, students should consult Northwestern University's Global Health Portal, which contains a faculty directory, and the Feinberg Faculty Profile Directory.


Rolling applications will be considered, but initial proposals should be submitted at least six months in advance of the proposed research start date (and preferably earlier) to allow for IRB review.

Research & IRB Resources for International Health Fellows

Applicants must ensure they are following all IRB guidelines by working directly with the Northwestern IRB office.

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