Global Health Research Certificate Program

For physician scientists, 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 incorporate global health into their research portfolios, establishing a foundation that paves the way for meaningful collaborative relationships and research in the global health setting. The two-year program is open to advanced trainees, junior faculty, and more senior-level faculty who have an interest in global health. 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 advanced trainees or any faculty (junior or senior)  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.

In addition to the requirements above, participants upon program completion should have a demonstrated understanding of the following key competency area. Each will be subject of a program seminar session, to be held on Monday or Tuesday evenings.

  1. Defining ‘global health’ – historical and contextual frameworks.
  2. Working through challenges and finding optimal approaches for collaborating with international research partners.
  3. Understanding local context and practicing “cultural humility.”
  4. Understanding different international health systems' financing, governance, and organization structures.
  5. Identifying current significant topics/trends in global health research and funding (i.e., global burden of diseases; access and universal health care; maternal and child health; infectious diseases, etc.).
  6. Navigating common information sources and data sets available to global health researchers.
  7. Mastering research skills that are particularly useful in global health (i.e., secondary data analysis, qualitative and mixed-methods research, etc.).
  8. Identifying and pursuing funding sources in global health.
  9. Nurturing a “community of practice” regarding global health research.
  10. Identifying optimal models for blending domestic-based and global health research. 


The application period for the inaugural session is now closed. Global REACH will announce the application process and timeline for the next session in 2018.

However, 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 Joseph Kolars, MD, UMMS Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives, and Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Behavior & Health Education Michele Heisler, MD, MPA. 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)

Cheryl Moyer, PhD (School of Medicine)

For more information, email program manager Liz Kaselitz.