Applying For a GFE

GFE Costs

Rollins’ GFE program gives MPH and MSPH students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in low-resource or high-disparity settings around the world. Students typically pay for the experience with:

  • Funding from U.S., international, and in-country host organizations
  • Grants (including the Global Field Experience Awards listed below)
  • Scholarships
  • Personal savings

GFE Budget Example

Below is a budget report based on data collected from GFE students in 2012. This information is intended for planning purposes only.

Summer 2012

Item Cost (Average)

International Flight

$1,670

Housing

$1,010

Food

$600

Utilities

$170

Incidentals

$120

Internet & Phone

$110

In-Country Transportation

$230

Visa & Immunizations

$300

Work Related Expenses

$620

TOTAL

$4,820

Personal Fun/Travel

$530

GFE Funds

GFE Award Review Process

All proposals are reviewed by the GFE Committee, comprised of Rollins faculty and staff.

Each application is read and evaluated by at least three committee members using a standard score sheet. Proposals are evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Did the applicant follow instructions?
  • Is there evidence of organizational support, communication, planning, and preparation with the host?
  • Is the project feasible?
  • Do the methods match the project objective?
  • Is the final deliverable well defined?
  • Is there demonstrated value added for the host organization and populations served by the project?
  • Will this be a meaningful experience for the student?
  • Is the time frame realistic to accomplish the project objectives and learning objectives?

The reviews are then heard by the entire committee and the committee makes the final decision to: 1) accept with no revisions; 2) accept with minor revisions; 3) revise and resubmit; or 4) reject.

Students are not competing against one another for funding. However, proposals accepted with no revisions will receive higher funding than those that require additional revisions or resubmission.

For additional tips from the student perspective see Bill MacWright's 2012 GFE presentation, 10 Tips in 10 Minutes or Brittany Schriver and Kat Meagley's 2013 presentation, GFE for Dummies: 10 Easy Steps for Mastering your GFE.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

One of the requirements for receiving funding through the GFE Award is to follow ethical guidelines for research and practical experience. Students must provide proof of submission of a research protocol to the Emory IRB before funds will be awarded. If a project does not require IRB review (exempt), the justification should be explained in writing by the Emory IRB or the student’s faculty field experience advisor. For further information on IRB procedures, visit Emory's IRB website.

GFE funds are awarded to students on a competitive basis to help them pay for their GFE. Grants generally range from $800 - $2,200. The GFE funds I received covered more than half the cost of my plane ticket to Ghana. Even though this helped with my expenses, I paid for everything else using my personal savings. It is a good idea to look into alternative sources of funding through churches or local community groups. Consider organizing a fundraising activity for yourself and a group of friends. A little work goes a long way!

Steph Hess, GFE student

The amount of funds available depends upon the quality of awarded proposals and the balance in the endowment funds. MSPH and MPH students from all departments are eligible to submit a proposal for a GFE Award and must be enrolled at Rollins for the semester prior to their field experience to qualify for an award. 

Students can apply to receive a GFE Award after they have completed 12 hours at Rollins. To apply, students must develop and submit a proposal describing a project that is:

  • Well-defined, rational, and feasible
  • Integral to the student’s public health training
  • Of measurable value to the host organization/community, and
  • Based in a clearly articulated, mutually beneficial partnership

All students who are awarded GFE funding share their experiences—where they went, what they did, and what they learned—at the biweekly Brownbag Series in the fall. The GFE Brownbag Series is open to the public and takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:00-12:50 p.m. in the Claudia Nance Rollins Building, Room 1000, every fall.

Watch the GFE Award Program Info Session to learn more

“Important note: all successful GFE Award applicants are required to book their airline flight through Emory Travel. This is a program requirement.”

Important Dates For 2017

Task Date

Complete Proposals Due Online and to RSPH Office of Student Services

February 17th 

GFE Committee Review Process

Feruary 28th

GFE Committee Decision to Applicants

March 9th

Proposal Revisions Due

March 17th

Accept Awards and All Payment Paperwork Due (Including IRB submission)

March 31st

Pre-Departure Training (All-Emory Safety and Cultural Preparation)

April 3-7th, 12- 1pm CNR Aud (RAR on the 5th)