Global Health Research Certificate Program

Now accepting applications for 2018-18. Apply by Aug. 17, 2018.

For health science researchers, it doesn’t get much bigger than the notion of global health – both in terms of scope and potential impact. No matter what your expertise and research interest, there are meaningful ways to apply your work in a global health setting. Yet for all of its promise, the field can be daunting, requiring know-how, networks and resources that extend around the world. How do you get started?

The Global Health Research Certificate Program is intended to help faculty, fellows and residents incorporate global health into their research portfolios, creating a foundation for meaningful collaborative relationships and research in the global health setting, and ultimately paving the way to succesfully compete for extramural funding for global health research. Through a combination of mentorship, monthly seminar events, and an international fieldwork capstone project, participants will gain the tools to develop their own research activities abroad, including the skills to seek extramural funding for global health projects.


The program is open to any U-M faculty (MD or PhD), fellow, resident, or PhD candidate interested in establishing or expanding their research activities in an international setting. The program is managed through the University of Michigan Medical School, but participants are welcome from other U-M health science schools, provided they have the requisite financial support for completion of the required field training component (see below).

Any interested trainees or faculty are welcome to attend and participate in the monthly seminar events, but program certificates are available only to those who complete a capstone project and other program requirements.

Cost and Support

There are no tuition fees associated with the program. However, funding will be required to complete the capstone project requirement (i.e., travel and accommodations abroad). Limited financial support for this purpose is available through Global REACH for medical school faculty/trainee participants. Other enrollees should ensure they have a plan to independently fund this portion of the program’s curriculum.

Requirements & Competencies

Participants will work through a customized curriculum that for most will extend over two years and include the following.

  • Active participation in at least 70% of monthly seminar sessions (with review of video recordings of those not attended).
  • Attending at least one of the annual meetings of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) (
  • Participating in other U-M/UMMS global health programming/seminars (e.g. Global REACH monthly seminars).
  • Engaging in mentorship with local and international mentors.
  • Completing a field capstone project/experience to the satisfaction of program mentors and leadership team. This can include a systematic review or other preperatory work for future global health-related project and can (but does not have to) include international field experience within the two-year program period.

In addition to the requirements above, participants upon program completion should have a demonstrated understanding of the following key competency areas. The following competency domains are broad in nature, framed as questions participants should be able to answer. They will be customized by the faculty presenters to complement their skills and address the needs of the program learners.

  1. What is global health?
  2. What are the challenges and optimal approaches for collaborating with international research partners?
  3. How can one prepare to understand the local context in order to practice cultural humility?
  4. How do health systems vary internationally in terms of their financing, governance, and organization structures?
  5. What are some of the significant topics/trends in global health that are current focuses of inquiry and funding (i.e., global burden of diseases; access and universal health care, including access to trauma, surgical management; quality and safety in healthcare settings; maternal and child health; infectious diseases; non-communicable/chronic diseases)?
  6. What are common information sources and potential data sets available to global health researchers?
  7. What are some research skills that are particularly useful in global health (i.e., secondary data analysis, qualitative and mixed-methods research, implementation science)?
  8. How can funding opportunities be identified and succesfully pursued?
  9. How can one develop and nurture a 'community of practice' regarding global health research?
  10. What are the optimal models for blending global health research in a domestic-based career?


The application period for the 2018-19 session is now open. Applications are due by August 17, 2018, with the session slated to launch in September.

Any interested trainees or faculty are welcome to attend and participate in the monthly seminar events, but program certificates are available only to those who complete a capstone project and other program requirements.

Participating Scholars


Nnenaya Agochukwu, MD

Nauzley Abedini, MD
Internal Medicine

Sharla Rent, MD
Neonatal Intensive Care


The Global Health Research Certificate Program is managed and administered by Global REACH. It is directed by Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Behavior & Health Education Michele Heisler, MD, MPA, with Co-directors Joseph Kolars, MD, UMMS Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives, and Cheryl Moyer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Learning Health Sciences and Ob-Gyn. The program is managed by Global REACH Clinical Research Project Manager Liz Kaselitz, MSW.

Global REACH would like to thank the following faculty for their guidance in developing the Global Health Research Certificate Program:

John Ayanian, MD, MPP (School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and School of Public Policy)

Vineet Chopra, MD (School of Medicine)

Anne Sales, PhD, RN (School of Medicine)

Sioban Harlow, PhD (School of Public Health)

Gary Freed, MD, MPH (School of Public Health)

For more information, email program manager Liz Kaselitz.