Scholars Program

Our Scholars Program provides opportunities for motivated, independent University of Minnesota students to gain hands-on health research experience at international sites with the support of faculty mentors.

The CGHSR Scholars Program supports University of Minnesota doctoral students, postdocs, and recent master's level graduates to complete 12 months of mentored research at an international study site. Scholars will work on an active research study led by faculty from UMN and/or from their partner institution. Scholars will be expected to contribute to the study in a role that is appropriate for their course of study and level of training, and specific responsibilities will be discussed and decided between the proposed mentor and the trainee. 



Meet Our Global Health Scholars

Our CGHSR Scholars for 2021-2022 includes two Global Health Scholars. Their international sites are based in Uganda and Tanzania.

Portrait of Jessica Deere

Jessica Deere

CGHSR Scholar

Portrait of Saeun Park

Saeun Park

CGHSR Scholar


Meet the Mentors

Researcher Spotlight: Kumi Smith
Researcher Spotlight: Logan Spector
Researcher Spotlight: Jonathan Kirsch
Researcher Spotlight: Sarah Cusick
Researcher Spotlight: Beth Virnig & Shalini Kulasingam
Researcher Spotlight: Sarah Hoffman



Global Health Scholars Around the World

Our CGHSR Scholars Program provides hands-on training at international research sites to University of Minnesota students through a guided mentorship program.

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2019 CGHSR Scholars

Waruiru Mburu, PhD '21, School of Public Health

Waruiru Mburu was a 2019 CGHSR Scholar. She recently  received her PhD at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. Under the mentorship of Beth Virnig and Shalini Kulasingam with the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, Mburu implemented a project entitled, "Epidemiology of Breast Cancer in Ghana," at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. She was part of the Northern Pacific Global Health Research Fogarty Fellows cohort, with funding from the CGHSR Scholars program.

Shanna Miko, DNP '21, School of Nursing

Shanna Miko was a 2019 CGHSR Scholar. She received her DNP for Health Innovation and Leadership at the University of Minnesota's School of Nursing. Miko was the inaugural recipient of the CGHSR Scholars Program in Refugee and Population Health and devoted her year to work with the UN Agency for Migration in Kampala, Uganda under the mentorship of Sarah Hoffman with the School of Nursing.



Discover How to Apply

The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities to UMN students and recent graduates to gain hands-on global health research experience and to build connections between UMN and key international sites that are mutually beneficial. Recent graduates of master's programs must demonstrate how a year of mentored, global health research will contribute to a research-focused career path.

In light of pandemic-related travel restrictions, pplicants should consider how they will actively participate in research activities in the event that they are not able to travel to the international research site. A detailed description should be included in the timeline component of their application.

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Eligible Mentors and Research Sites

Eligible Mentors and Research Sites

Prior to applying, applicants should familiarize themselves with current researchers at the University of Minnesota who are available to serve as a mentor. The requirements of research sites and mentors are:

  1. Evidence of a current University of Minnesota and international host institution collaboration that is beneficial to the international host institution. In the application, include a description of the existing and developing collaboration(s) provided by the mentor at the host institution. 

  2. Current or in-progress affiliation agreement between the University of Minnesota and international host institution (Health Sciences-wide affiliation agreement is preferable. If status is not known, contact CGHSR staff).

  3. Willingness of mentors (UMN and host institution) to serve as year-long mentors. A letter of support from both mentors will be required at the time of application.

There are no geographical requirements for this program; CGHSR Scholars may propose a project anywhere in the world. However, CGHSR prioritizes projects that demonstrate relevance to important health issues or disparities at the hosting site. 

Any projects proposed in locations with Level 3 or 4 State Department Warnings must pursue ITRAAC approval. Approval is not required at the time of application, but will be required if your proposal is selected for CGHSR Scholar funding.

Identifying a Mentor and Research Site

Identifying a Mentor and Research Site

  • Explore researchers at the University of Minnesota at

  • Additional guidance can be provided by meeting with a CGHSR staff member. Contact Molly McCoy ([email protected]) for a meeting.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant Eligibility

  • Current University of Minnesota doctoral student or postdoc (doctoral degree completion within 3 years) in any college or professional school with doctoral degree programs.
  • Recent graduate of a University of Minnesota master's program. Recent master's graduates must have completed their degree within 6 months of starting the program (ie: applicants who will graduate in May 2022 may apply to begin July 2022). Applicants in this category must demonstrate a strong interest and intent in further graduate studies and intentions for a research career.

Program Benefits

Program Benefits


  • Living Stipend: $24,816 (paid through biweekly payroll)
  • Travel Costs: up to $3,000
  • Insurance Stipend: up to $2,000 
  • Mentor Discretionary Funding: up to $5,000 - mentors may request this funding to cover related costs, such as Scholar’s research expenses or compensation to foreign mentor or site.

Tuition benefit is not available through this program. Students are encouraged to discuss the prospect of a flex year or research year with their school’s academic advisors and leadership prior to applying.

Application Instructions

Application Instructions

All application components should be single-spaced, 11 point font or larger, with half-inch margins or larger submitted as a single PDF in the order listed above and submitted to [email protected]

Download Detailed Application Instructions

Application Dates

Application Dates

Deadline to apply: Friday, January 7, 2022

Award notification: March 18, 2022

Start Date: Scholars select a start date between July 1, 2022 – September 1, 2022 for a 12-month appointment.