The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health is committed to providing training opportunities and support for students to develop their skills in global health research, education, and leadership. Funding opportunities are available to eligible students through institutional and departmental resources, grants, and external sources.
Tips for Funding your Global Health Experience
As you begin planning for a global health experience, it is important to investigate opportunities for funding. There is a multitude of resources available, but each requires proactive research – funding rarely will just “fall into your lap.”
Applying for grants and scholarships can be a long and tedious process, and you should begin as soon as possible to guarantee timely access to funds. To begin this process, consider creating a budget that details the anticipated expenses they may incur as a result of your projects. When creating a budget, remember to be realistic, conservative, precise, and include justification.
- Be Realistic: Include all necessary expenses in your budget. Do not try to cut out or lower vital expenses at the onset because you will end up paying for them later. However, try not to include frivolous or unnecessary expenses.
- Be Conservative: When applying for funding, remember that many organizations and committees are looking for effective use of funds. Therefore, be as honest and accurate with costs as possible.
- Be Precise: Make sure that the needs included in your budget adequately represent the needs of your project. When applying for funding, ensure that expenses listed in your budget and the requirements of your project are in agreement.
- Provide Justification: Even if not specified, it is always helpful to include a justification or narrative section when submitting a budget for funding. Use this section to briefly explain why your expenses are necessary and how you plan to thoughtfully use funding for academic contribution and humanitarian benefit.
This website provides helpful tips in crafting a resume specifically for scholarship applications.
You may wish to use this Budget Template with Important Links, which includes tabs with additional information about funding sources and items to consider including in your budget.
You may use this application link to apply for the VIGH funding opportunities listed below. All other non-related VIGH scholarships require separate applications with varying deadlines as specified by the funding organization.
- Frist Global Health Leaders Program is funded by Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and it provides students, residents, and fellows in the health professions with the opportunity to serve and train in underserved communities around the world.
- LeRoy F. Heimburger Fund was created in partnership between Vanderbilt University and Shandong University in Jinan, China, where Dr. Heimburger was a medical missionary and hospital director in the early 20th century. The scholarship supports students, residents, and fellows at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (including Master of Public Health and School of Nursing students). The scholarship is available on a competitive basis to all eligible students, however, preference goes to students who wish to complete a practicum, research project, or clinical rotation at Shandong University.
- Overall Family Fellowship for International Research is sponsored by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics. It provides support for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students to gain experience and training in a global health setting.
- Nichols Humanitarian Fund was established in 2006 by the E.C. and Lucile Hamby Nichols Trust and it enables Vanderbilt students to volunteer for local, domestic, or international humanitarian service opportunities. Support is primarily focused on summer projects, or projects that take place during defined academic breaks. Funds are available for educational and other expenses. All currently enrolled Vanderbilt students are eligible to receive assistance from the Fund, provided that they are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
- Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Summer Awards Programs are available to both Vanderbilt graduate and undergraduate students pursuing research projects in Latin America. The call for applications is posted on the CLAS website each December and applications are due in early February.
- The Vanderbilt Global Education Office (GEO) maintains a short list of select scholarships offered by GEO, other units at Vanderbilt, and external agencies.
- The Vanderbilt University Career Center maintains a list of external funding opportunities and research fellowships for graduate students. Examples include the Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship and the Boren Fellowship.
- The Vanderbilt International Office maintains a list of searchable databases for external funding opportunities.
- SPIN Vanderbilt University is a platform to search funding opportunities, primarily related to research development but there are often associated funding grants for educational programs. We recommend reading these instructions for creating an account to save your searches and receive funding alerts.
- Fellowship and Grant Opportunities for Graduate Students. Search for fellowship, grant, and other opportunities aimed at graduate students in the human and social sciences.
- Turner Family Center for Social Ventures (TFC) Summer Fellows Program. Through TFC summer fellowships, Vanderbilt graduate students will have the opportunity to bring their expertise and education to action with partner organizations focused on social enterprise; gain valuable work experience integrating business and social impact; and engage in meaningful preparation for their fellowships and support upon return to Vanderbilt.
- Medical Scholars Program is a 12-month research experience available to M.D. students at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The program seeks to identify students who are interested in any type of biomedical research (clinical, basic, health services, public health, outcomes, etc.), place them in an appropriate research environment in the U.S. or abroad, allow them access to a group of peers and scientists who share common research interests, and support them with a stipend.
- MPH program website lists resources available to Master of Public Health students.
- International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) website lists resources for international students.
- Fogarty Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars Program. Supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, this program was established in 2012 to provide strong mentorship, research opportunities, and a collaborative research environment to enhance the global health research expertise and careers of early stage investigators. The program is open to advanced doctoral students currently enrolled in health-related programs and postdoctoral trainees within three years of their last major degree program, residency, or fellowship.
- The NIH Fogarty International Center administers a directory of non-NIH global health international grants and fellowships for individuals at various levels in their training and career.
- Global Action Fellows invests in a new generation of leaders with the foresight and skills to respond to emerging global challenges. Students with knowledge related to food, health, and prosperity as well as a strong interest in the interconnections among local and global issues are invited to apply. Attendance is limited and selective for this program.
- Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) Program is funded by the National Science Foundation. It provides an international travel allowance to engage in research collaborations with investigators in partner countries located outside the United States.
- Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine is awarded annually to support medical students involved in clinical or research electives in tropical areas. The Fellowship is designed to encourage young people to continue their work in tropical medicine and hygiene and recognize their achievements thus far.
- Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities to study in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. Undergraduate students can receive up to $20,000 for an academic year’s study abroad and graduate students up to $30,000 for language study and international research. In exchange for funding, recipients commit to working in the federal government for a minimum of one year.
- Institute of International Education’s Study Abroad Funding website features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals.
- The Community Foundation of Tennessee Scholarships are available to help fund expenses related to attending college. Each scholarship fund has specific eligibility criteria that have been defined by the donor. Please read through the specific criteria per scholarship to determine if you are eligible for the funds.
- International Volunteer HQ Medical Volunteer Abroad Scholarship supports a 2-week medical volunteer abroad project with IVHQ in the destination of your choice.
- Resources for Public Health Students: This website lists a variety of scholarships for students pursuing a Master of Public Health or other similar degrees.
- Student, Postdoc, Early Career, URM, and other funding opportunities: Johns Hopkins provides multiple lists of federal and private funding opportunities for Undergraduates, Graduates, Underrepresented Minority and Low-income Graduate Students, Postdocs, and for Early Career.
- Additional lists on the VIGH Student Portal funding page.