SPOT Global Health Travel Awards

Applications for the SPOT Global Health Travel Awards are now closed. Many thanks to all the applicants!

The School of Physical and Occupational Health (SPOT) Global Health Travel Awards recognize students in the professional Physical or Occupational Therapy Programs at McGill University who demonstrate a commitment to global health. Selected students will pursue their global health interests through an approved clinical practicum in a low- or middle-income country. The SPOT Global Health Travel Awards were established in 2015 with support from the Global Health Programs (GHP) office and the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy Alumni Fund. They are awarded to two Physical or Occupational Therapy students to support travel-related expenses associated with participating in a global health clinical practicum as part of their professional Master’s degree at SPOT. All applications submitted will be screened by the clinical education OT or PT faculty (as applicable) for budgetary and site approval consideration prior to being evaluated.


To recognize students in the professional Physical or Occupational Therapy Programs who demonstrate commitment to global health, and who are pursuing their interests through a global health clinical practicum.


  • McGill SPOT students in good standing who have been approved to take part in a clinical practicum in a low- or middle-income country (as defined by the World Bank) in the Fall 2022 semester or Winter 2023 semester.
  • Awardees must remain registered as full-time or part-time McGill students for the entire duration of the travel funded via their travel award.
  • Travel completed before the October 2, 2022 application deadline is not eligible.
  • Our office will only fund travel to countries and regions with a Government of Canada travel advisory risk level of Level-1 (“take normal security precautions”) or Level-2 (“exercise a high degree of caution”).
    • Travel to countries or regions with a Government of Canada travel advisory risk level of Level-3 (“Avoid all non-essential travel”) or Level-4 (“Avoid all travel”) is not eligible.
    • Review the latest Government of Canada travel advisories.
  • Students are only eligible for one award from the GHP office per trip.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Degree of Self-Reflection: The applicant demonstrates thoughtfulness, openness and humility regarding the reasons for their interest in the practicum and what shared benefits they foresee. (5 points)
  2. Educational Merit: The applicant’s essay clearly and explicitly articulates the educational merit of the practicum. (2 points)
  3. Consideration of Ethical Implications: The applicant demonstrates a nuanced and sensitive approach to cultural, historical, socioeconomic and political considerations related to the practicum in a global health setting. (5 points)
  4. Interprofessional Collaboration: The applicant demonstrates how they intend to develop their interprofessional and communication skills through this practicum. (5 points)
  5. Anticipation of Potential Challenges and Plans for Preparation: The applicant demonstrates an awareness of potential obstacles and identifies a suitable plan for preparation. (5 points)
  6. Style of Presentation: The application is presented in a way that is logically consistent with the above criteria and uses language that is non-discriminatory. (3 points)

Value of the Awards

This year, two awards worth $1,000 will be offered.

Eligible Expenses

This travel award is to cover expenses directly associated with the clinical practicum (e.g. ground and/or air transportation, accommodation, vaccinations, visas).


As a condition of the award, recipients will be required to:

  • Give a presentation related to their clinical practicum at the SPOT global health evening, as well as GHP's annual Global Health Night event (November 2023).
  • Submit a short post-travel report about their practicum up to 6 weeks after their return
  • Perform a 10-minute presentation along with the other awardee at a Global Health Forum in March or April following return from the fieldwork experience.
  • Awardees must complete the mandatory Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) online Pre-Departure Training before travelling. The GHP office will contact awardees with instructions for enrollment.
  • Awardees must register their travel via the McGill Student Travel Registry – the official safety app for McGill students travelling outside of the Greater Montreal area on university-related travel activities.
  • Actively participate in the GHRI student sub-committee from November through August following the reception of the award (or until graduation).

Review Process

  • Application screening by OT or PT clinical education faculty
  • Blinded applications will be reviewed by two evaluators (non-OT/PT clinical education faculty)
  • All applicants will receive notification from the McGill Global Health Programs office once the selection process is complete.
  • Awardees will be publicly announced at the Global Health Night of the McGill Global Health Programs (November) and formally presented at the Awards Reception at SPOT which is held prior to convocation every May.

Each application must include:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Budget of estimated expenses (e.g., airfare, accommodations, cost of living, etc.), including information about other grants or awards received that will cover expenses related to the placement
  • Typed, double-spaced, 500 words (maximum) essay addressing all of the following questions*
  1. Why are you interested in participating in this practicum, and what shared benefits do you foresee from the experience? How does this practicum link to your future career plans and objectives?
  2. What ethical considerations are associated with participation in a practicum in a global health setting?
  3. How do you intend to develop your inter-professional collaboration skills, including communication skills, within this practicum?
  4. What obstacles or challenges do you foresee (e.g: cultural, linguistic, safety, ethical), and how do you plan to address them?
  5. How will you prepare for your practicum (including learning about the local cultural, political and social context)?

*We realize that some students will not have all details of their practicums established prior to applying for the global health travel award but extensive communication will have taken place with their OT or PT clinical education faculty. Please attempt to address the points listed above as best as you can based on the knowledge you have at the time of application.

Applications for the SPOT Global Health Travel Awards are now closed.

Full applications must be received by 11:59 PM on October 2, 2022. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    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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