Student & Trainee Funding

It is wise to consider your personal financial situation as early as possible in the process of planning a global health experience so that you can be realistic when considering various sites. Beyond the travel stipends provided by CGH, there are a variety of Penn and non-Penn funding opportunities outlined below, linking to websites with additional application information.

CGH Funding

CGH Travel Stipend

The majority of Penn medical students who pursue global health experiences receive their funding through CGH. CGH travel stipends are intended to encourage as many students as possible to gain exposure to international health care systems and research environments, as well as health care challenges where resources are limited.

Our intention is to cover most of a student's roundtrip airfare and to provide a small amount of funding to be used for travel-related medications and vaccines and/or living expenses. If approved for a CGH stipend (after completing required registration AT LEAST 6 weeks prior to departure date), you can expect the level of support indicated in the table below. If your destination is not listed, CGH will determine appropriate funding level.

Destination Airfare ($) Expenses ($) Total Funding Possible ($)
Africa (North) 1000 500 1500
Africa (Ghana) 1500 500 2000
Africa (Botswana*) 1700 *0 1700
Africa (Eastern, including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda) 1900 500 2400
Africa (Liberia & Malawi) 2100 500 2600
Africa (Default) 1700 500 2200
Asia (S/SE/E; all but Japan and Laos) 1500 500 2000
Australia 1500 500 2000
Botswana 1700 *0 1700
Caribbean/Mexico 500 500 1000
Central America 550 500 1050
China/South/Southeast Asia 1500 500 2000
Europe (non Petrus-Camper recipients) 1000 500 1500
Japan 1300 500 1800
Laos 2500 500 3000
Middle East (includes Egypt) 1200 500 1700
South America 900 500 1400
USA/Canada: Unfunded work with Mexican Border & Native American Populations 300 500 800
USA/Canada:  Funded** work with above populations; e.g. Indian Health Service Chinle ** ** 400

* In Botswana, Penn-paid housing replaces expense funds
** The Indian Health Service @ Chinle provides housing and a stipend


CGH Travel Stipends are not available for:

  1. Experiences that are shorter than four weeks
  2. Experiences in locations where there is a current Extreme Travel Risk
  3. Students who are funded by any other Penn entity
  4. Students with "year-out" funding listed on this webpage
  5. Students with general funding listed on this webpage
  6. Students with any of the special funding described on the planning and opportunities pages of this website, including Max Kade (Austria) and Petrus Camper (Netherlands)
  7. More than one global health experience in a single calendar year
  8. More than two global health experiences while a medical student at Penn
  9. Students who have used frequent flier miles or other non-monetary tender to purchase airfare*
  10. Experiences for which you do not complete CGH registration AT LEAST six weeks prior to your departure for the global health experience location. There are no exceptions.

* Per Penn's policy, the use of frequent flier miles or other non-monetary sources cannot be reimbursed or used. If any non-monetary source (in any amount) is used to purchase a ticket then you will forfeit the airfare portion of your award.

CGH is able to offer travel stipends thanks to the generosity of:

  • The Vice Dean for Academic Programs at Penn's School of Medicine
  • David Kaufman (M’56) Memorial Fund
  • Kaufman Family Global Health Fellowship
  • Michael (M’84) and Susannah Kramer Global Health Fellowships
  • Measey Foundation Fellowship in Global Health
  • Marian Stegemoeller Fellowships

Conference Funding

The Center for Global Health encourages Penn Med students to share their global health research at Penn and beyond.  For external conferences, CGH can support Penn Med students who are presenting research with awards of up to $500 per conference. CGH conference funding may be applied toward conference registration, airfare, local transportation; lodging and meals (note that some CGH travel funding restrictions apply). Four (4) conference funding awards will be available per each fiscal year (June-July) therefore, interested students should plan ahead accordingly. Accepted poster abstracts and/or invitations to present will be required to apply for funding.

Please contact the Center for Global Health with any questions about conference funding.


Non-Penn Funding

This section includes information regarding general funding in addition to year-out funding opportunities.

General Funding

Year-Out Funding

A number of special year-out opportunities (and opportunities for short periods but best suited to year-out students) tied to specific programs are described below.  Please note that you should see the Registrar to discuss the financial implications of taking a year out (i.e. leave of absence vs. active student).


CGH Scholarships & Prizes

Neal Nathanson Fellowship in Global Public Health

The Neal Nathanson Fellowship in Global Public Health is a competitive award designed to encourage and support exceptional MPH students in the pursuit of academic training in global public health. The fellowship was established in 2012 by Marjorie A. Bowman, MD, MPA, founding Director of Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives. The award will be applied to travel expenses related to a global health experience as a first order of priority. In some instances, the award recipient may opt to request partial tuition support for a global health course. Tuition support will only apply to fall or spring terms.

Dr. Neal Nathanson is known for his contributions to collaborative research efforts, both domestically and internationally, in the field of viral pathogenesis and the epidemiology of viral diseases. Dr. Nathanson has worked tirelessly on the eradication of polio and the control of HIV/AIDS in many parts of the world and serves on a number of national and international panels that guide research and policy in these areas. His career represents a true commitment to global health.


All MPH matriculated students (full-time or part-time) who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

  • Matriculated in the MPH degree program with a declared concentration in the Global Health track (preferred).
  • Successful completion of at least one full semester of MPH studies with a GPA of 3.5 or above.

Note: Full time employees of the University and international students are ineligible due to university regulations.


The application includes a concise essay (2 page limit) addressing the student's professional goals and objectives, resume or CV including education, relevant experiences, publications, awards, honors, etc, and an estimate of the travel expenses needed to complete the global public health experience. For up-to-date information and deadlines, please contact Moriah Hall, MPH Program Coodinator.

Past Fellowship Recipients

  • Christian Stillson (Botswana, 2014)
  • Sean Hammer (Botswana, 2013)


Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Global Health Prize

First awarded to a graduating Perelman School of Medicine student in 2014, the Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Prize in Global Health is awarded to the graduating student who submits the best essay on the importance of global health opportunities during the medical school years.


Graduating Penn medical students who will have completed:

  • MD/PhD, global health dissertation
  • MD/MPH, global health track
  • The Global Health Certificate Requirements 
  • Year-Out research experience in global health


CGH will send application information to all graduating students in early February. Deadline is typically March 1.

About the Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Prize in Global Health

Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter met in 1962, during Bob’s third year of medical school when, as a Smith-Klein-French fellow, he was to spend the summer in Cameroon. Since the beginning of their marriage, which they spent in the Peace Corps in Senegal, they have lived, worked and travelled together on every continent except Antarctica (so far!), including taking their four children out of school for a year to travel the globe, observing medical care internationally.

Robert Suskind, MD graduated from the University of Pennsylvania College/Wharton ('59) and Medical School ('63). After pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins, he became Field Director of MALAN, an NIH-funded project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, initiating his research on malnutrition's effect on the immune system and the optimal treatment of the malnourished child. His MIT-Boston Children's PhD program in clinical nutrition for pediatricians was pivotal in raising awareness of nutrition’s importance in clinical medicine. Dr. Suskind’s international experiences include Director of the ICDDRB in Bangladesh and advisor to the Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been a Chairman of Pediatrics for twenty years and Dean of three medical schools.

Leslie Lewinter-Suskind received her BS from Penn State, an MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and an MFA from UNO. After Senegal, she directed an inner-city program under the OEO ("War on Poverty"), followed by a study determining the need for infant care centers in the barriadas of Lima, Peru for Johns Hopkins. As Director of Applied Nutrition at MALAN, she set up follow-up, etiology and intervention studies in childhood malnutrition in the villages surrounding Chiang Mai. At LSU, she directed the International Program for the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics.