Global Health Research Certificate Program

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 successfully compete for extramural funding for global health research. Through a combination of mentorship, and monthly seminar events, participants will gain the tools to develop their own research activities abroad, including the skills to seek extramural funding for global health projects.

Participants may come from any of the U-M health science schools, and there is no tuition cost. For medical school faculty/trainee participants who wish to apply their program skills to a project abroad and/or attend the annual meeting of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), limited financial support maybe available through Global REACH.


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.

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).
  • Participating in other U-M/UMMS global health programming/seminars (e.g., Global Health Initiative seminars organized by Global REACH).
  • Engaging in mentorship with local and international mentors.
  • Attendance at the annual meeting of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH) is recommended for program participates:

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 2019-20 session is now over. Check back in spring 2020 for information about the next session.

Participating Scholars


Jessica Billig, MD
Plastic Surgery

Jessica Cote, PhD

Julie Buser, RN, CPNP, PhD

D'Angela Pitts, MD
Maternal Fetal Medicine

Mercedes Pilkington, MD
Pediatric Surgery/Critical Care

Dana Tschannen, PhD, RN

Alex Peahl, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Elham Mahmoudi, PhD
Family Medicine

Gifty Kwakye, MD

Stephanie Kukora, MD
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine


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.