Fellowship Details

Daniella Guerrero Social Housing Project PhotoMcBurney Fellowships are first and foremost service-based projects. Students work with McGill faculty from any department to develop a project that directly benefits marginalized populations in Latin America. Prior to departure, fellows meet at the IHSP for orientation, and remain in contact with the IHSP while away in the field. When students return to Canada, they write a report for the IHSP about their McBurney Fellowship. 

Duration and Payment

Fellowships run throughout the year, and vary in length depending on project needs. The McBurney award is meant to cover travel and living expenses, and typically ranges from $3000 to $4500 depending on the length of the fellowship. The first part of the award is processed after orientation (usually held in late April or early May) and only once the IHSP receives confirmation of travel. The second payment is processed once the IHSP has accepted the final fellowship report. 


Students who are interested in the McBurney program, but do not have any current contacts in Latin America can do a number of things. 

  1. First, potential candidates should look through past projects to get a sense of the range of possible activities.
  2. Second, students should look through our Partners and Faculty Mentors page. The IHSP is working to establish partnerships with NGOs in Latin America, and will list these opportunities here. Past McBurney faculty mentors are also listed here. Feel free to approach these mentors to be your faculty advisor, or any other McGill faculty member.
  3. Third, students can look for internship opportunities online that might fit within the McBurney Fellowship's mandate. Many volunteer positions can be found through NGO websites.
  4. Fourth, students are encouraged to contact faculty who work in Latin America to ask if they know of any opportunities. For a list of past faculty mentors click here.

Students that have pursued these options are welcome to contact the Student Affairs Administrator (studentadmin.ihsp [at] mcgill.ca) to discuss possibilities, but must include a brief statement about interests, motives, desired duration of internship, relevant skills, and a summary of work done so far to develop a project. In some cases fellows can receive credit for their internship (for example, practicum students, internships for credit through the Arts Internship Office, or service-oriented fieldwork). It may be possible to receive academic credit for your internship if you are a student in the Faculty of Arts (including Bachelor of Arts & Science students). The following conditions must be met:

1) Your supervisor and the student affairs administrator agree that your internship may be for credit.
2) You meet your department's specific requirements for receiving internship course credit in your academic program.
3) You complete the necessary steps to receive course credit approval for your internship.
For more information, please consult the Arts Internship Office's website. 

Past Projects

The variety of projects tackled every year is one of the most interesting components of the Fellowship.  Students have a lot of flexibility in determining projects, and approach solutions to health or social challenges in very diverse ways. For example, in 2016, 21 students were supported by the McBurney Fellowship for 10 different projects. These students, who came from different departments from across the university, addressed a wide variety of issues in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as Haiti. While a common theme in all of the projects was sustainability, key themes for the cohort included capacity building, food security, neighborhood wellbeing, and health promotion.

Photo of child in boat on the waterPhoto of three girlsPhoto of vegetablesPhoto of student doing field workPhoto of students sitting in garden

Student reports for past fellows can be found under Student Work.

Project Poster from 2014 Cohort

Student responsibilities

• Attend pre-departure training at the IHSPProject photo from Tanya Lee 2014 Fellow - Psychosocial Distress and Well-Being: Resilience among Marginalized Women in Western Guatemala
• Attend McGill’s Pre-Departure Orientation
• Make all travel arrangements (flights, accommodation, health and accident insurance, visas, passport, vaccinations)
• Complete fellowship as described in proposal, typically over a 2-3 month period
• Communicate regularly with the IHSP and/or your mentor while in the field
• Complete an 8-10 page report for the IHSP highlighting the impact of the project, and any policy recommendations (where applicable)
• This report must include at least 3 high-quality photos, and should be submitted within 30 days of completing the fellowship
• For examples, see Student Work.
• With the support of the IHSP, present findings or recommendations to the McGill Community

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