Africa Fellowship FAQs

Considering applying to be a GHC fellow? Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about joining our community of leaders. 

GHC Africa Fellowship Application Process

This video tutorial reflects the 2024-2025 fellowship application. To watch the tutorial, 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 December 5, 2023 . Our priority deadline is on January 2, and final applications close on January 10, 2024 at 12:00PM (noon) EST / 7:00PM CAT / 8:00PM EAT. During that time, you’ll be able to access the application through our Apply to be a Fellow page. Before then, you’ll be able to start drafting your responses via our application preview. We encourage you to complete and submit your application as soon as possible.

There are four components of the Global Health Corps fellowship application:

  1. Background Information and Essays: This is where you will fill out your general information, including professional and educational background, as well as personal essays.
  2. Fellowship Role Selection: You must select at least one fellowship role for which to apply and you may apply for up to two. For each role, you must complete a Role Selection form, including a brief essay about your interest and qualifications for the role.
  3. 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, they 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 24, 2024.
  4. 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 fellowship 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.

GHC sends regular status updates throughout the application process. Please add our email addresses ([email protected] and [email protected]) to your email contacts so they don’t go to your spam!

Applicants will receive status updates:

  • By early March 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.
  • By early April 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 late April through late May on a rolling basis whether they’ve received a fellowship offer.

The timeline for finalist interviews differs across fellowship roles because of variations at each of our placement organizations. If the review process for any role extends past early June, we will be in touch with the affected individuals regarding the alternative timeline.

Yes, remote interviews can be arranged (ie. via Zoom, Skype, etc.)

No. Every year, we work with our partner organizations to create new fellowship 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 of the four placement countries.

GHC requires each applicant to have one recommendation form submitted directly by a current or past supervisor by January 24, 2024. If you have never had a supervisor for any paid or volunteer work, please use 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 Africa Fellowship 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 CV/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. 

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 work to 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: [email protected]. And every year, we analyze our applicant pool and survey our reviewers to be sure that we’re living up to our commitment.

GHC Fellowship Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the GHC fellowship, by the start of the fellowship, you must:

  • Be 30 years of age or younger.
  • Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe.
  • Hold a bachelor’s or undergraduate university degree.
  • Be proficient in English.


While GHC places young professionals from these 13  countries, there are many ways for all people to be health equity champions. Please check out open positions on our staff team or check out our partner organizations for other opportunities to volunteer or work in global health.

Citizens and legal permanent residents of all 13 eligible countries can apply for up to three total roles in any of our four operating countries. 

Malawian citizens are eligible to apply for national roles in Malawi (M-Nat) as well as international roles in Rwanda (R-Int), Uganda (G-Int), and Zambia (Z-Int).

Rwandan citizens are eligible to apply for national roles in Rwanda (R-Nat) as well as international roles in Malawi (M-Int), Uganda (G-Int), and Zambia (Z-Int).

Ugandan citizens are eligible to apply for national roles in Uganda (G-Nat) as well as international roles in Malawi (M-Int), Rwanda (R-Int), and Zambia (Z-Int).

Zambian citizens are eligible to apply for national roles in Zambia (Z-Nat) as well as international roles in Malawi (M-Int), Rwanda (R-Int), Uganda (G-Int).

Citizens or legal permanent residents of Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Zimbabwe are eligible to apply for international roles in any of our four placement countries – Malawi (M-Int), Rwanda (R-Int), Uganda (G-Int) and Zambia (Z-Int).

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 proficiency. GHC 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.

Yes, you are still eligible to apply. As long as your undergraduate university 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 GHC only accepts fellowship applications from individuals who will be 30 years old or younger by the start of the fellowship.

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 check out our partner organizations for other opportunities to volunteer or work in global health.

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 fellowship 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 12 months from July 2024 – June 2025. Exact dates will be shared on the application.

Applicants must be able to commit to the entire fellowship period from the first day of Training Institute to the last day of the End of Year Retreat. Please do not apply if you are not available for the full duration of the fellowship.

Fellows convene as a full cohort for leadership development workshops multiple times each year. Additionally, fellows attend in-country networking events and leadership development workshops. Fellows also attend online workshops alongside their full cohort throughout the year. More information can be found here.

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 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 visits 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 professional development opportunities and resources. 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 executive coaching 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 are part of a highly networked community. They serve in teams of two at the same placement organization as co-fellow pairs. Some pairs collaborate on all their projects and others perform completely different functions. Fellows also have a quad group to lean on that includes their co-fellow and a co-fellow pair from another country in the cohort. Quad groups have regular check-ins for coaching, resource sharing, and support.

Fellows in the same city may also live together or seek each other out for support. GHC believes in a hub model, so we have vibrant and close knit regional groups of fellows and alumni. Additionally, fellows will participate together in GHC’s regular leadership development trainings. Fellows also have access to an online community portal that allows fellows to connect and engage with current and past fellows across the globe.

We expect to recruit 32 fellows for the 2024-2025 cohort.

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 obstacles they 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 12-month placement 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: 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 1,200 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 professional development programs and courses, leadership summits, speaking engagements, networking opportunities, and career advising. Alumni also stay engaged in fellow recruitment, application review, and even provide mentorship to fellows.We also support alumni chapter-led flagship activities. These activities are meant to fill critical gaps in health systems in our countries of operation. Some examples are the Gender Based Violence activities in Uganda and the Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) and Mental Health activities in Rwanda, Malawi and Zambia.

Additionally, our online platform GHC Connect 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.

Please check here for open roles on our staff team, including internships, which we offer throughout the year.

Also, check out our partner organizations for other opportunities to volunteer or work in global health. You can stay in touch with us for more news and opportunities  by signing up for our listserv here and following us on Facebook (Global Health Corps), Instagram (@globalhealthcorps), and Twitter (@ghcorps).

GHC Fellowship: Health, Security, Logistics

We continue to adapt our in-person programming and expand our virtual programmatic offerings in response to any ongoing COVID-19 related precautions and government travel restrictions. Current fellows are serving with their placement organizations either remotely or in-person, in accordance with local government regulations. 

The health and safety of our fellows remain a top priority, and we will continue to monitor risks that may impact our fellows where they are placed.

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:

  1. Recommendations about and reimbursements for travel-related medications, vaccines, and malaria prophylaxis.
  2. Health insurance with comprehensive benefits including preventative and emergency care, prescriptions, medical evaluation, mental health, dental, and coverage of pre-existing conditions.
  3. 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. 

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.

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: 

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. The stipend takes into consideration the local economic indicators, and set at a level appropriate for a professional trainee for that location.

In addition, fellows are provided with:

  • Housing or a housing allowance;
  • 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.

Upon successful completion of the fellowship year, all fellows receive a completion award of $800 USD.

GHC coordinates all travel logistics or, in some cases, provides an equitable travel stipend to fellows for all GHC retreats.

For international fellows, a valid work permit is required for the fellow to legally fulfill the fellowship in the placement country. Global Health Corps and your placement organization will guide you in completing and submitting your visa/work permit application. Applications will be reviewed by the government of the placement country, which grants work permits. Applicants will receive more information after accepting the offer.

For all fellows attending a GHC retreat outside of their placement country, GHC will provide instructions to those who need to obtain visas.

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.

Fellowship 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 fellows with an international home base outside of the placement country, 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.

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. GHC fellows must also ensure that they comply with local COVID-19 restrictions and/or requirements as it relates to their travel.

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. Please 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. More information on funding sources is included in our Annual Reports.

Still have questions?