Global Field Experience Financial Award

The Global Field Experience Financial Award (GFEFA) is a unique scholarship offered by the Rollins School of Public Health. GFE Financial Awards provide supplemental funding to support Rollins student summer field experiences in low- and middle-income countries. The scholarship was started to encourage students interested in global health to participate in supervised field training which will facilitate the transfer of classroom knowledge into practical experiences.

COVID-19 Update

Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we do not know what the GFEFA program will entail for Summer 2021. Please stay tuned for updates.


The total amount of funding awarded each cycle will be based on availability of funds in a given year, the number of students who apply and the quality of the applications.

MSPH and MPH students from all departments are eligible to submit a proposal for a GFE Financial 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 Financial Award after they have completed 9 hours at Rollins.
To apply, students must develop and submit an application 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
It is important to note that the GFE Financial Award on its own does not provide you with an Applied Practice Experience. Rollins School of Public Health has separate resources dedicated to Applied Practice Experience (APE).

Understanding Field Experiences and Funding Sources

There are many funding resources available to financially support your APE. The GFE Financial Award is one of many, check below for more information on other funding sources.

  • GEMMA Award – this award is used to fund students’ applied practice experience, research, or awareness raising events related to the Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality From Abortion (GEMMA).
  • EGHI Field Scholars Awards Program - Students work in multidisciplinary teams to conduct short-term global health projects focusing on underserved and/or vulnerable populations around the world.

GFEFA Student, Project and Site Eligibility and Exclusion Criteria


  • The GFEFA applications are open to RSPH MPH and MPSH students pursuing summer fieldwork, usually between their first and second years. GFEFA is not available to accelerated MPH students.
  • The field experience must be a minimum of six weeks but average field experiences are between 10-­‐12 weeks.
  • Students must be enrolled at RSPH or Emory for the semester following their field experience to qualify for a financial award (and to meet award requirements).


  • For the purposes of GFEFA, a field experience is defined as applying public health knowledge and skills in partnership with a community to advance the wellbeing of a population(s); this includes but is not limited to research projects.
  • Funding is not provided for student travel that can be categorized as medical- or public health-"tourism;" short term mission opportunities; or shadowing clinicians in settings abroad. Students are also warned not to fall prey to third-party companies that "sell" experiences in LMIC and call these APE even though they do not offer public health supervision nor a specific implementation/research partner. Such organizations often charge for a service such as tuition, enrollment or registration. If you are not sure if your site is eligible, please contact Dr. McFarland or Dr. Zesiger.
  • If a project will consist only of data analysis or lab-based work, the applicant will need to justify why those activities require a student to be in-country.


  • The review committee gives priority consideration to eligible fieldwork that takes place in low- and middle-income (LMIC) nations as defined by the World Bank or within indigenous regions, e.g. tribal designated statistical areas (TDSAs), land base or reservations.
  • Consideration will be given to projects in the United States and other high-income countries for specific projects related to underserved or marginal populations, e.g. refugee populations in Belgium, post-hurricane environmental data collection in Puerto Rico or Zika virus education and surveillance in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The review committee will not consider applications to countries with a U.S. State Department Level 4 warning at the time of application. Should the risk of a project site escalate after funds are awarded, additional criteria may apply and there is a chance the trip may not occur at all. In addition, travel to all countries under trade or economic embargoes by the United States government (OFAC) and Afghanistan require a specific endorsement by Emory's international insurance carrier.

For GFE Applicants - Quick Links 

GFEFA applicants:
Please read all of the instructions carefully. Applications are due Thursday, February 20, 2020.

1. Instructions can be found in the horizontal blue tabs on this page:

2. A Word version of the application so you can gather answers to all the fields and all the required components in Word first can be found at this link, under the “apply” tab:

3. Your faculty guide must submit this form before you apply, due February 19:

4. Please share this partner guide with your in-country host organization:

5. Finally, the application – (cannot be saved, compile all responses in Word first and then cut and paste into the form and submit all at once):

Important GFE Financial Award Dates 2019-2020

October 17, 2019Information Session, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Rita Ann Rollins Room
8th Floor, GCR
December 2019  Applications will be available online
February 19, 2020

Faculty guide sign-off form due

February 20, 2020 Applications for funding due
March 6, 2020

First round acceptance letters sent

March 20, 2020

Revise and resubmit applications due

March 27, 2020

Final notification letters sent


Contact for more information.