Global Health Year-Out Student Application Portal

The Program Intent

Medical professionals have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on global health. As your career unfolds, from medical school through residency, fellowship and beyond, the skill sets you develop in clinical practice, medical education and research are each desperately needed in many global locations where inequities in the awareness, access and/or provision of care are unfortunately found.   But make no mistake, a productive global health career requires much more than these skills. The ability to secure away-time from your primary appointment, to garner funding for your work, and to acquire critical “soft-skills” linked to cultural awareness and sensitivity of the people, systems, and partnerships you will support are all embedded in productive global careers. 

There are also numerous career paths within global health – most Penn Medicine graduates pursue either academic or private practice, often coupled to biomedical or translational research. In these instances global health may provide a wonderful complement to, or indeed the foundation of, their scholarly work. Less frequently graduates hold positions in industry, government agencies, foundations, or NGOs where their roles embrace a dedicated focus on global health. Each of these positions impact the type of global work you will conduct, the amount of time you spend in global settings, and ultimately the lasting impact you will have. The Center for Global Health (CGH) is committed to guiding and facilitating your global interests in whatever form they take. In partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education we provide both short-term global research opportunities and clinical rotations at a diverse array of curated global sites. While these opportunities provide exposure to global health challenges, careers dedicated to global health require acquisition of more in-depth skills – and that is the intent of the Global Health Year-Out Program (GH-YoP). 

Applicants are encouraged to reach out to Ms. Hering, Dr. Neuman, and/or Dr. Gaulton as early as possible to learn more about the program, to assess the viability of their candidacy, and to map the timing of program conduct within their curriculum.

Program Logistics and Application - Overview
  • Interested students should review the contents of this site and can contact Maria Cortese Hering with additional questions.
  • Candidates should also meet with Dr. Mark Neuman, Associate Faculty Director of Medical Student Scholarship & Research, to discuss the fit of the GH-YoP to their career goals and the appropriate timing of this program within their Penn Medicine curriculum. 
  • Students must have completed the core clinical clerkship to participate (i.e., MS3-4)
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing and will have completed the required clinical clerkships prior to acceptance. Application is on a rolling-basis.
  • The GH-YoP is of 12 months duration, a minimum of 9 months will be conducted at the primary away global site. 
  • Participants will engage in an in-depth scholarly project under the mentorship of a CGH Penn Faculty Scholar. Projects are research intensive and span a range of academic pursuits inclusive of implementation science, epidemiology, health outcomes, translational and biomedical research.
  • A list of potential projects and faculty mentors is provided to applicants following completion of the application form.
  • Participants are expected to publish their results at the conclusion of their project and will formally present a summary of their work at Penn.
  • The application process is competitive: successful candidates will have displayed a passion for global health as evidenced by prior activities, have developed a mentored-research plan of important potential impact in concert with the Penn faculty Scholar, and display evidence of career impact through a formal interview process.
  • Students can apply to this program using our Global Health Year-Out Student Application Form 


Primary Program Benefits
  • Immersion in a meaningful global health topic
  • Acquisition of advanced research skills under the guidance of a Penn faculty mentor
  • Gain real-world understanding of the social determinants of global health
  • Contribute to the development of innovative solutions to global health challenges
  • Test and develop adaptability working in diverse and challenging settings
  • Develop ancillary communication skills through publications and presentations
  • Build a network of global health colleagues