Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate FAQ Page

The Global Health Programs office is here to answer your questions regarding the Global Health Scholars Undergraduate Program. We hope the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below will help with most queries regarding the program. 

What is the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate program? 

The McGill Global Health Scholars – Undergraduates program provides opportunities for McGill undergraduate students to gain global health experience through hands-on involvement in global health research projects. Scholars carry out their assigned role on their designated global health research project during the summer either locally/remotely, internationally, or in Northern Canada. Each scholar’s work is carried out under the mentorship and supervision of a McGill faculty member or a partner institution. During the academic year, Global Health Scholars benefit from a variety of training and networking opportunities organized by Global Health Programs. 

What kinds of projects are included in this year's Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate program?

Each year the Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate program offers a wide variety of global health research projects representative of the diversity found under the umbrella of global health. We've had students from six different McGill Faculties participate in the program over the years. Students will be based either on campus, in Northern Canada, or internationally, depending on the project that you are selected for. Jump to the projects!

Wow, there are a lot of great projects available this year! How many projects can I apply for?

Students can apply for up to two projects. In the application form, you will be asked to indicate your first and second choices from the list of projects on offer. If you want to pick only one project, you select it as both your first and second choice.

Can I apply with my own project?

This program is really meant to match students with vetted existing projects with McGill Profs so you will have to choose one of the available projects. Depending on your area of study, you may want to look into the Travel Awards program.

Also, travelling to international settings for a clinical or research placement requires careful thought and planning. Make sure you visit our page on international electives and placements for more information and resources.

What kinds of students are selected?

In general, we look for students who are eager to learn about health inequities and what is being done to develop innovative solutions to global health challenges. We look for students who see value in learning a wide range of skills, who possess humility, and who demonstrate the ability to be self-reflective.

In addition to this, each project will have its own preferred set of skills so you should take those into account as well.

Where can I read about past undergraduate Global Health Scholars and their projects?

That’s easy, visit our Awards winner page!

Do I need to have previous global health experience?

Nope! Students are not required to have any prior global health experience in order to apply to the program.

Is there a minimal GPA to apply?

Nope! There is no minimum GPA, but some applicants have written about their grades in their essay.

I really want to apply to a specific project, but I don’t have all the skills listed. What can I do?

Indicate a willingness to learn by demonstrating how you taught yourself a skill or learned quickly in previous experiences. You can also try to pick up some skills and knowledge on your own. For example, at McGill, the LibraryCaPSSKILLS21 and Student Services offer workshops that might be relevant.

I really want to apply to a specific project, but I don’t speak the required language(s). What can I do?

If one or more language is listed as required for a project, chances are you will be expected to interact with native speakers in a professional setting, for instance in formal team meetings or for interviews with study participants, or that you will review academic, research or technical literature in that language. Unlike other skills, that high level of proficiency may be hard to acquire between now and the summer if you have no prior knowledge. The project description may also provide clues to how you will be using the language so it’s a good idea to refer to it.

I have not taken either the Interprofessional Global Health Course or PPHS 511 - Fundamentals of Global Health. Can I still apply? 

Yes! It is not a requirement for students to have taken either course in order to apply to be a Global Health Scholar. In fact, most selected Scholars have not taken either course at the time that they submit their application. However, if you are selected to be a Global Health Scholar, you do need to take at least one of these two courses in the academic year following your summer project.

My schedule will not allow me to take either the Interprofessional Global Health Course or PPHS 511- Fundamentals of Global Health. Can I still participate in the program?

As we are encouraging global health scholarship through this program, rare exceptions will be granted. Students whose schedules do not allow the option of taking these courses can discuss the possibility of an exemption with the GHP office.

I'll be unavailable for part of the summer. Can I still participate in the program?

Each project has its own timeline and many are flexible. We encourage you to pick projects that work with your schedule. If you are asked to do an interview, you should definitely discuss the work schedule then.

I'm a medical student. Am I considered an undergraduate student? Can I still participate in the program?

MDCM or medical students are considered undergraduate students and are eligible for the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program. DMD or dentistry students are also eligible.

I'm not studying health or science, can I still apply?

All undergraduate students and are eligible for the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program as long as they do not graduate in May/June 2023. There is no program restriction.

Can I travel to an international or Northern Canada research site for the Global Health Scholars – Undergraduates Program in 2023?

Now that barriers to international and domestic travel as well as the Canadian government’s current travel and health advisories are being lifted, it is probable that the 2023 cohort of Global Health Scholars be on campus if they are working on local projects. Students working on a project that includes travel to an International or Northern Canada research site will likely be able to travel.   Projects that include travel to an International or Northern Canada research site do have alternate local and remote work plans should travel not be possible due to COVID-19 or other reasons (for instance, a travel advisory from the Canadian government or visa issues). The GHP office will advise on the possibility of travel for these projects. The award amount will be adjusted accordingly. Read more about it on the Main Global Health Scholars page!

Can I work remotely on the Montreal-based projects in 2023?

Now that most COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, the 2023 Global Health Scholars are expected to be on campus (or in an affiliated location) if they are working on local projects. Should the guidelines change and on-campus work is not allowed, students will be able to transition to a remote work plan.

Do students receive funding?

Yes! Students completing their project remotely or on-site locally (i.e. on-campus or in the Montreal area) will receive a stipend of up to $2,500. If a student’s International or Northern Canada on-site work plan is initiated, students will receive up to an additional $2,500 to contribute towards costs related to travel. If a student is not able to travel, the stipend will not exceed $2,500.

When will the funds be distributed to selected Scholars?

Payment of the awards will be made in two installments: 90% of the amount will be paid in May 2023 and the remaining 10% will be paid upon completion of the main deliverables of the program as confirmed by the Scholar’s supervisor and the GHP office.

Are there any additional opportunities for extra funding to support my participation in the Global Health Scholars program?

Students may also be eligible for additional funding from the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. We encourage students to reach out to them early to see what funding is available. Please review this document and if eligible, you can apply AFTER your selection into the Global Health Scholars program. Note that the Global Health Scholars program has prior approval for Enriched Educational Opportunities (EEO) bursaries.

Will my participation in the Global Health Scholars program show up on my transcript?

Upon completion of this program, participation in this project will be part of the student’s McGill Co-Curricular Record.

Is there an online information session for the 2023 Global Health Scholars program? 

Yes, we hosted an online information session on January 19, 2023, from 12:00-1:00 PM. If you were not able to attend you can watch the recording.

What do I need to apply?

In addition to filling out the online form, you'll need to upload your CV, unofficial transcript (with the current term), and an essay as one PDF. You'll find details in the "How to apply" section on the main Scholars page.

How should I format my essay?

As long as you follow the essay guidelines in the "How to apply" section on the main Scholars page, you can format your essay as you please. As many projects ask for writing skills, it's worth spending some time writing and reviewing it to demonstrate these skills!

If I am choosing two projects, should I write two essays?

That is up to you if you want to write one or two essays. Whatever you choose:

  1. The page limit is still 3 pages;
  2. We will not be separating essays before sending them to the Faculty members. They will receive the full PDF you uploaded with your application.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who should I contact?

Please send any additional inquiries to studentaffairsghp.med [at] mcgill.ca. Please do not contact the faculty supervisor on any given project. Students who contact faculty supervisors for more information may be disqualified. For more information on the program or to review what projects were part of the 2023 Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program please go to the main page.

    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English & French)

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