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.

Update: Emory-sponsored travel has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel remains suspended by the University for the summer. Students should submit GFE proposals that reflect a domestic or virtual experience. 

> View slides from 2021 GFEFA Info Session
> View recording of 2021 GFEFA Info Session
> View examples of previously funded Global Field Experiences.

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).

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.
  • 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.
  • There will be modified site eligibility in summer 2021.*

*Fieldwork may take place in the U.S. in person and/or virtually per CDC COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Emory University policies regarding Emory-sponsored travel.


Contact or for more information.