Click on the categories below to view responses to our applicants’ frequently asked questions.
GHC Fellowship Application Process
To watch this video tutorial on GHC’s Youtube channel, click here.
@1:06 – Starting your application
@2:50 – Background information and essays
@4:02 – Finding and selecting a fellowship role
@8:22 – Adding or changing your reference
@11:42 – Skills and experiences survey
@12:33 – Submitting your application
The application will open on December 4, 2019 and close on January 15, 2020 at 12:00PM (noon) EST / 7:00PM CAT / 8:00PM EAT. During that time, you’ll be able to complete the application on our Start an Application page. Before then, you can start drafting your responses using our Application Preview page. We encourage you to complete and submit your application as soon as possible.
There are four components of the Global Health Corps fellowship application:
- Background Information and Essays: This is where you will fill out your general information, including professional and educational background, as well as four personal essays.
- Fellowship Role Selection: You must apply for at least one fellowship role and may apply for up to three. For each role, you must complete a Role Selection form, including a brief essay about your interest and qualifications for the role.
- Reference Information: You must select one current or former supervisor who will complete the GHC Recommendation Form on your behalf. Once you submit your reference’s information through the Reference Information form, s/he will receive an email directly from GHC with instructions on how to complete and submit the recommendation form. It is your responsibility to ensure your reference submits the GHC Recommendation Form by the deadline of January 22, 2020.
- Skills and Experiences Survey: The Skills and Experiences Survey collects information regarding your professional background and will only be used if we are unable to advance you in the role(s) you selected in your application. In that case, the GHC team may consider you for other fellowship roles if an opportunity arises that matches your qualifications.
GHC staff, fellows, and alumni read applications in January and February to select semi-finalists, and conduct interviews in March to select finalists. Placement organizations review all finalists in April and decide which candidates to interview, then make the final decision.
Applicants will receive status updates:
- Between February 29 – March 13, 2020 whether they’ve been invited to a semi-finalist interview. Semi-finalists are interviewed by a GHC fellow, alumni, or staff member for alignment with GHC’s leadership practices.
- Between March 25 – April 6, 2020 whether they’ve been selected as a finalist. Finalist applications are reviewed by placement organizations, who then choose which finalists to interview. Most finalists are interviewed, but not all.
- In mid-April through late May 2020 on a rolling basis whether they’ve received a fellowship offer.
The timeline for finalist interviews differs across roles because of variations at each of our partner organizations. If the review process for any role extends past late May, we will be in touch with the affected individuals regarding the alternative timeline.
I’m interested in applying to Global Health Corps, but I will be abroad during the application process. If I get an interview, would I be able to do it via Skype or a phone call?
Yes, Skype or phone interviews can be arranged.
No. Every year, we work with our partner organizations to create new roles that meet their needs and the needs of the communities they serve. Because of this, roles can vary greatly from year to year, making it impossible for an accepted candidate to defer an acceptance until the next fellowship year.
Yes. You may apply for up to three fellowship roles. You will be evaluated for each role you select independently of your other role selections.
Yes. GHC currently partners with organizations in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. Applicants may choose to apply for up to three fellowship roles in any placement countries for which they are eligible. The 2020-2021 fellowships roles available in each country will be posted here on December 4, 2020. See “What country fellowship placements am I eligible for?” below for more details.
GHC requires each applicant have one recommendation form submitted directly by a current or past supervisor by January 22, 2020. If you have never had a supervisor for any paid or volunteer work, please ue a professor or other contact who can speak to your work. To submit your reference’s contact information, complete the Reference Information form found on the application’s main menu. Your reference will then receive an email directly from GHC with instructions on how to complete and submit the recommendation form. It is your responsibility to ensure your reference submits the recommendation form by the deadline.
To make your application as competitive as possible, we recommend:
- Reading through our website about the GHC program so that you can speak specifically about why you’re interested and how you plan to participate, as a fellow and an alum.
- Applying for roles that align with your skills and experiences, and making those qualifications clear in your application and resume.
- Considering how you align with our Leadership Practices and highlighting how you’ve grown since you last applied, if you’ve applied in the past.
- Writing compelling essays that show your authentic voice and perspective, similar to the pieces we post on our Medium blog, AMPLIFY.
- Starting early so that you can reflect and revise! You can see the questions on our application preview before the application is even open.
- Seeking out advice from a mentor or trusted online source. For example, GHC alums have shared their own application process experiences and a checklist for making a competitive application.
GHC staff, fellows, and alumni conduct the initial rounds of fellow selection, including application review and interviews. Then the placement organization reviews all finalist applications, decides which candidates to interview, and makes the final decision.
The application process is very competitive, and each year we receive thousands of applications. We seek to fill each role with a fellow who will be successful not only in that role, but also in the broader GHC community. Unfortunately, every year, we have to make tough decisions and decline applicants who would make great fellows – not always because they are lacking something, but often because someone else is a better fit. For the application process, equity means ensuring every applicant is given equal and fair consideration against a clear set of criteria. We apply our eligibility criteria consistently, and if an applicant does not meet the criteria their application will not move forward. In addition, we support applicants throughout the process through our customer service email account: firstname.lastname@example.org. And every year, we analyze our applicant pool and survey our applicants to be sure that we’re living up to our commitment.
GHC Fellowship Eligibility
No, only citizens or legal permanent residents of the five countries listed above are eligible to apply for the 2020-2021 fellowship. Global Health Corps is focused on deepening our community and impact on health systems in these five countries. However, in the future we do hope to expand our fellowship eligibility to other citizenships, so keep an eye on our website for updates in the coming years.
While GHC places young leaders from these five countries, there are many ways for all people to be health equity champions. Please check out open positions on our staff team or find out how you can join the movement today!
A valid form of identification is required to show proof of citizenship. Please upload a copy of your passport to your application to verify your citizenship. If you do not have a passport, please upload another document that proves your citizenship (for example, a birth certificate or national identity card). We cannot accept expired IDs.
Definitely not! There is no specific educational or professional background required to be a GHC fellow other than a bachelor’s/undergraduate degree and English fluency. Global Health Corps aims to engage young professionals from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and skillsets in the movement for global health equity. We believe this leads to innovative thinking and holistic solutions to global health challenges.
However, specific experiences and skills are required for each fellowship role as determined by each placement organization. You should carefully review the requirements of each fellowship role and apply for the opportunities for which you are best suited.
Yes! We always encourage past applicants to reapply. Each year we select numerous applicants who were not selected in past years – typically at least a third of each fellowship class has applied before.
I will be completing my undergraduate studies in May and my graduation ceremony is not until after the deadline for application materials. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, you are still eligible to apply. As long as your educational studies are completed by the start of the fellowship year, the date of your graduation ceremony is inconsequential. In the meantime, please upload a document issued by your university to show proof of your studies and anticipated degree completion date as part of your application.
This means 30 is the age limit to apply for and join the fellowship. Global Health Corps only accepts applications from individuals who will be 30 years old or younger by the start of the fellowship.
Why does your fellowship have an age limit? Why do you limit eligibility to people who are 30 years old or under?
We believe the most powerful lever of change in global health is a generation of diverse, creative, and resilient young leaders. We work to fill the leadership gap in global health by focusing specifically on developing young professionals who will develop innovative solutions to our most persistent global health challenges and create a future in which health equity is a reality for all.
While GHC places young leaders who are aged 30 or younger, there are many ways for people of all ages to be health equity champions. Everyone has a role to play. Please check out open positions on our staff team or find out how you can join the movement today!
I am currently employed full-time at a Global Health Corps placement organization. Am I eligible to apply for a fellowship role at this same organization?
No. Interns, short-term or temporary employees, and consultants are eligible to apply for fellowship roles at their current organization, as are former employees of that organization, but current full-time employees are not eligible to apply for roles at that organization. However, employees of a GHC placement organization may apply for fellowship roles at different placement organizations.
About the Fellowship / Joining the Movement for Health Equity
The GHC fellowship is a 13 month commitment. The 2020-2021 fellowship begins July 4, 2020 and ends July 29, 2021
No. Global Health Corps only offers 13-month fellowships.
However, many of our placement organizations frequently have exciting opportunities to volunteer or serve outside of the GHC fellowship. You can find our list of placement organizations here and a list of other opportunities in the global health field here.
What if I can’t attend Training Institute or need to leave the Global Health Corps fellowship early?
Applicants must be able to commit to the entire fellowship period from the first day of Training Institute to the last day of the the End of Year Retreat. Please do not apply if you are not available for the full duration of the fellowship year.
Fellows convene as a full cohort for leadership development retreats three times each year. More information can be found here. Fellows attend:
- A one week Training Institute in Rwanda starting in late June, which launches the fellowship year and engages fellows in critical thinking about their role as the next generation of global health leaders;
- A four-day Midyear Retreat where fellows reflect on the fellowship experience, evaluate their progress, build leadership skills, and re-energize for the second half of the year;
- A four-day End of Year Retreat in July where fellows reflect on their successes and challenges from the year and set goals and commitments for the future.
Additional networking opportunities and issue area trainings are offered throughout the fellowship year in each country.
What other opportunities for support and professional development does Global Health Corps provide to fellows during their fellowship year?
Support comes in all shapes and forms, throughout the fellowship year and beyond. The wider GHC community serves as important support for fellows during the year, forming formal and informal networks around professional interests and personal identities or experiences. We have a strong mentorship program that pairs fellows with alumni, and fellows also have access to a network of mid- to senior-level advisors in a variety of fields and industries. We also host networking and professional development events throughout the year, including ongoing and additional opportunities to meet GHC alumni and other professionals and experts in the field of global health.
The Global Health Corps staff is also deeply committed to fostering fellows’ personal and professional development during their fellowship year and beyond. We have staff located in each placement country who work collaboratively with fellows and placement organizations throughout the year. GHC staff coach and support fellows with regular phone check-ins and site visit throughout the year. Fellows may also have the opportunity to represent GHC by speaking at public events. All fellows have the opportunity to publish their writing on our Medium blog, AMPLIFY, as well as access a $600 fund that they can use to pursue additional professional development opportunities. Fellows are encouraged to take ownership over their professional growth as part of their fellowship experience.
Finally, GHC works closely with Rootwise Leadership to provide additional training and support for fellows. Rootwise Leadership facilitators are trained in deep, compassionate listening, and reflection practices that support fellows in tapping into their own wisdom and agency in navigating the personal and professional experiences of the fellowship year. They are one of the best resources to support fellows in confidentially processing big decisions, questions of purpose, strains on resilience, relational challenges, or other experiences impacting fellows’ leadership.
Fellows serve in teams of two at the same placement organization. Co-fellow pairs are cross-cultural, with one national fellow from the placement country and one international fellow. Some pairs collaborate on all their projects and others perform completely different functions.
Fellows in the same city may also live together or seek each other out for support. Global Health Corps believes in a hub model, so we have vibrant and close knit regional groups of fellows and alumni. You will be part of a highly networked community. Additionally, fellows will participate together in GHC’s regular leadership development trainings.
We expect to recruit 40-50 fellows for the 2020-2021 cohort.
Fellows also have access to an online community portal that allows fellows to connect and engage with current and past fellows across the globe.
Who do I report to during the year? What will my relationship be with Global Health Corps throughout the year since I will be placed at a different organization?
Every fellow has a supervisor at their placement organization who oversees their day-to-day activities. While Global Health Corps staff do not supervise fellows, GHC works to foster productive relationships between fellows and their supervisors by conducting site visits to placement organizations throughout the year, providing materials to facilitate fellow-supervisor check-ins, and helping fellows to overcome any obstacles they might face at their placement.
GHC is a leadership development organization that envisions a world where we achieve health equity for all. We believe that everyone has a role to play and working across lines of difference is integral to achieving that vision. The GHC community is highly diverse, comprised of fellows and alumni from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. We are united in our belief that health is a human right and our commitment to social justice. The diversity of our community is our strength, which requires that each one of us show up thoughtfully and intentionally to our community. Being part of the GHC community means living, serving, and collaborating with people who may be very different from you. It means staying open and empathetic to others’ beliefs and perspectives, while asking hard questions of yourself and others.
The GHC fellowship is a 13-month paid role with extensive training, leadership development, and networking opportunities. Fellows bring skills that support capacity gaps at their organizations. However, they are not employees, and their professional growth is a key purpose of the fellowship year. This emphasis on their training is reflected by the time-bound nature of the role and by the fact that fellows receive a living stipend, not a salary.
All GHC placement organizations must apply for fellows each year, even if they have had fellows in the past. This allows us to make sure each of our placements is rewarding and impactful for fellows. Placement organizations are evaluated on a number of factors including: location, financial health, impact of the organization on the health of the community it serves, ability to manage two full-time fellows, creation of two meaningful role descriptions, and identification of a supervisor for each fellow. We strive to have diversity in our placement organizations, both in terms of organizational size and in terms of health issues addressed and fellowship roles available.
The GHC Alumni program currently supports a community of over 1000 highly connected, accomplished alumni who remain actively engaged and committed to health equity long after their fellowship year ends. We organize regular in-country, regional, and global alumni opportunities such as leadership summits, speaking engagements, professional networking opportunities, and career advising. Alumni also stay engaged in fellow recruitment, application review, and even provide mentorship to fellows.
Additionally, our online Community Portal provides alumni opportunities to stay connected and engaged even as they live and work around the world. And, Rootwise Leadership coaching support extends for three months after the fellowship ends.
Global Health Corps alumni are leaders in various fields and in various levels of the health system across issue areas and across continents. Most of our alumni rise into roles of leadership within global health, though many are doing excellent work in other sectors. About half are offered roles with their placement organizations after their fellowship year ends, and many now hold leadership roles within those same placement organizations. Some are completing graduate degrees, while others are leading country offices on the ground, working in government, or working to affect global policy changes. We are tremendously proud and inspired by the work of our alumni who continue to motivate us every day in the important work we are doing as a movement.
GHC tracks impact in a number of ways. Fellows are surveyed throughout and at the end of the fellowship in order to assess the impact the program has had on them. Fellows also take part in facilitated feedback sessions throughout the year. GHC alumni are also surveyed once a year and included in facilitated feedback sessions. GHC placement organizations are surveyed each year in order to assess the impact fellows have had on the organization. Additionally, fellows are required to submit two reports during the year summarizing their accomplishments and impact – one at the 6-month mark and one at the end of the year. GHC compiles and aggregates these reports in order to measure our impact.
GHC Fellowship: Health, Security, and Logistics
I have concerns about managing my health as a GHC fellow. What resources does Global Health Corps provide to help fellows manage their health?
Traveling to and living in new environments may present challenges to a person’s immune system or the management of a chronic condition. GHC provides the following resources to support fellows as they manage their health during the fellowship year:
- Recommendations about and reimbursements for travel-related medications, vaccines, and malaria prophylaxis for fellows.
- Health insurance with comprehensive benefits including preventative and emergency care, prescriptions, medical evaluation, mental health, dental, and coverage of pre-existing conditions.
- Access to accompaniment services, including confidential, one-on-one listening and support to fellows, many of whom are living and serving in difficult contexts. Please note that this is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care.
Only you know what’s best for your health, and we encourage you to critically assess your health needs within this context.
I have concerns about my security as a GHC fellow. What resources does Global Health Corps provide to help fellows manage their security?
As in any other moment in your life, you are the captain of your own safety and security; however, during your fellowship year, GHC provides you with extra tools to help you succeed. We support fellows to integrate into their placement communities and to prevent and mitigate the security risks inherent in any living environment, and we work to respond swiftly and appropriately to any incidents.
Throughout the year, GHC will equip you with knowledge and resources to manage your safety, alert you to any security issues ongoing in your placement country, and coordinate with placement organizations to ensure your safety while at your placement organization and in the field. In turn, it is our expectation that fellows exercise situational awareness and sensitivity to cultural norms, inform GHC of travel, stay informed of current events, alert GHC and other fellows to relevant local news, and adhere to GHC security directives. GHC retains a risk management firm to closely monitor local events in all our placement locations which has systems in place should we need to engage in crisis response management.
The level of risk that you are comfortable taking is a personal decision. You should consult your national security or travel advisory resources for up-to-date information as you decide whether to apply for Global Health Corps or accept a potential offer.
I have concerns about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community as a Global Health Corps fellow. How can I decide if GHC is right for me?
Moving to a new country with unfamiliar cultures and laws may be anxiety-inducing for LGBTQ+ fellows, whether or not they are public about these aspects of their identity. GHC fellows experience and navigate this uncertainty every year.
It’s important to research both the legal and social climate around LGBTQ+ rights in the placement countries where you apply for GHC fellowships and to consider your comfort level. Our placement countries have varying degrees of institutionalized or socialized homophobia/transphobia as well as resources for LGBTQ+ pride and community.
For the latest information, please consult sites like:
- International LGBTI Association (ILGA): world federation of national and local organizations dedicated to achieving equal rights for LGBTQ people. Puts out resources like this map of laws related to sexual orientation around the world.
- UHAI East African Sexual Health & Rights Initiative (UHAI-EASHRI): indigenous activist-led organization which provides flexible, accessible resources to support civil society activism around issues of sexuality, health, and human rights in East Africa
- United Nations Free and Equal (UNFE): campaign launched by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTQ+ people
- Alturi: global online LGBTQ hub for news, stories, and advocacy
- LGBT Health Center for Disease Control: public health data representing perspectives and needs of LGBTQ people to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Global: internationally focused branch of the United States’ largest lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender and queer civil rights organization
You may also be interested in watching documentaries like Umunthu by the Art and Global Health Centre Africa (2013), Call Me Kuchu by Katherine FairfaxWright (2012), or Stories of Our Lives by Jim Chuchu (2014).
GHC fellows receive a living stipend that varies based on location and placement organization. Stipends take into consideration the cost of living, peer organization fellowship stipend, and local compensation of full-time employees.
In addition, fellows are provided with:
- Housing or a housing stipend;
- Health insurance; and,
- Payment for travel to/from the placement site as well as GHC training and retreats for the duration of the fellowship.
See the Fellowship Benefits and Logistics page for specific information relevant to each role type.
All fellows may also apply during their fellowship year for professional development funds of up to $600 USD. Upon successful completion of the fellowship year, all fellows receive a completion award of $1,500 USD.
For most Global Health Corps trainings and retreats, GHC will arrange your travel. In some cases, you will be notified that you are responsible for your travel arrangements and granted an equitable travel stipend.
You are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and work permits. You will receive support from GHC and your placement organization in this process, as outlined below.
For international fellows, a valid visa and/or work permit are required to legally fulfill the fellowship in the placement country. Your placement organization will guide you in completing and submitting an application. Applications will be reviewed by the government of the placement country, which grants work permits.
For all fellows attending a GHC retreat outside of their placement country, GHC will provide instructions to those who need to obtain visas.
Will I qualify for loan deferment or forbearance while I am doing the Global Health Corps fellowship?
It depends on your lender. In our experience, some lenders consider the Global Health Corps fellowship to be a “graduate fellowship” and do permit loan deferment or forbearance during the fellowship period. However, others do not. We recommend consulting your specific lender to find out more details. We have seen several fellows defer their loans during their fellowship year, and GHC is able to provide documentation explaining your financial situation for the fellowship period.
Fellows are responsible for paying and filing their personal tax returns.
Stipend and benefits are generally subject to tax and reporting in the placement country. Exception to this is dependent on various factors, such as the placement organization’s tax status and fellows’ personal status, which may reduce or allow tax exemption. It is advised that fellows speak with Human Resources during onboarding with the placement organization as well as consult with tax professionals to understand their personal tax obligation.
For international fellows, it is encouraged that fellows consult with tax professionals in their home country to review individual tax treatment. GHC and placement organizations are not able to support fellows on their home country taxes.
Yes, we are happy to participate in any program your school has which might allow your Global Health Corps fellowship to fulfill credit requirements, and can complete any necessary forms.
Will I need to pass a background check to become a Global Health Corps fellow? If so, what will the check be looking for?
Global Health Corps runs an international background check on all semi-finalists, searching each applicant in the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control database for Specially Designated Nationals. Some roles or placement organizations may require a background check either before or after an offer has been made; it’s best to ask the placement organization whether this applies to your role(s) during the finalist interview. Additionally, some governments require a background check as part of a visa or work permit application. We’ll be sharing more information about visa and work permit application processes at the semi-finalist and finalist stages, but we also encourage you to do your own research on the requirements for your potential placement country(ies), especially since these checks would come after the offer has already been made.
Yes, many fellows conduct personal travel during the fellowship year. Global Health Corps does not cover the cost of this travel, and the logistics surrounding all personal travel would have to be worked out directly with your placement organization. GHC fellows must adhere to the vacation policy laid out by their placement organization.
We do not prevent spouses from accompanying fellows during the fellowship year. However, the spouse will be responsible for all of their own costs associated with housing, travel, visas and so forth, and note that the living stipend is intended to support only the fellow.
If you have a spouse/partner whom you would like to invite to stay in GHC housing for an extended period of time, you must notify GHC as soon as you receive your offer. If your housing is provided by the placement organization, you’ll need to discuss the matter with your supervisor.
If your housing is provided by GHC, then your spouse/partner is allowed to live with you if all the following conditions are satisfied: (a) your housemates approve, (b) you and your housemates agree on the division of house responsibilities and expenses, (c) the occupancy limit set forth by the landlord is not exceeded, and (d) you agree to pay for any additional costs assessed by the landlord. Additional terms and conditions will be discussed and agreed upon prior to GHC approval being granted.
If you choose to find your own alternative housing, you will need to coordinate that immediately following your acceptance to the fellowship, including determining whether you will be eligible to receive a housing stipend.
GHC shares the cost of fellows with our placement organizations, which are expected to contribute a specific proportion to covering the cost of fellows. GHC is a privately funded organization with about 89% of our funding coming from foundations and corporations, 8% from government, and 3% from individual donors. More information is included in our Annual Report.