Student Resources

The GFE award is an amazing opportunity for students to receive financial support to complete an Applied Practicum Experience (APE) outside of the United States. GFE afforded me the opportunity to: gain international experience, learn how cultural context may influence health outcomes, and it forced me to use the skills and knowledge I gained during my 1st year at Rollins.

Quote from 2018 GFE Financial Award recipient

GFE Financial Award Application Process 

The application process is circular, not linear. Challenge yourself to REFLECT, EXPLORE, PLAN and CONSULT, before you APPLY. Be humble and accept feedback with grace, before you compile or submit your application.


For GFE Applicants - Quick Links 

GFEFA applicants:
Please read all the instructions carefully. Applications are due Thursday, February 21.

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

This is a pdf version of the application so you can gather answers to all the fields and all the required components in Word first:

Your faculty guide must submit this form before you apply:

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

Think about your priorities and the skills you want to develop during your summer field experience. Use this worksheet to guide your thoughts.

For funding consideration, a GFE project must be an applied public health field experience of value to the community and the student.

Identify an opportunity for your global field experience.

Opportunities and ideas are everywhere!

  • Review the slides from the GFE Award Information Session for the 2018-2019 Award Cycle
  • Review dates for the 2018-2019 GFE Financial Award cycle
  • Prepare your resume or CV
    • If you haven’t taught or published a lot, then you should use a resume. If you have extensive work and academic experience, then a CV is more appropriate. Please plan ahead and meet with a Career Services representative or Career Services Ambassador (peer) for guidance in advance on preparing your résumé or CV.
  • Connect with your host organization early and often. 
    • Use the provided “Guide for Host Organizations” inform them and facilitate discussions with your host organization.

    • Make sure you have a local contact that you are working with throughout the project development and that they contribute towards both your project AND supervision during the program.

    • Communicate in advance on project components (e.g., rainy season, dry season, Ramadan, populations at risk, personal and beneficiary risk mitigation, confidential data management, etc.)

    • Be sure that your project contributes to the needs of the organization and is documented in proposal.
    • Are they able to provide any in-kind support such as subsidizing accommodations (get details!); providing ground transportation; covering the cost of translators or research participant incentives?
    • Make sure you ask whether local/national IRB is required. If so, it will often take a long time. Start early and discuss with your advisors. Don’t expect them to tell you everything you need to know - ASK QUESTIONS and stay in communication.
  • Review materials for review by the Institutional Research Board (IRB)
  • Schedule your immunizations (do not wait until April as appointments fill very quickly). Find resources below for more information on vaccine requirements and services.
  • Review visa requirements and travel guidance
  • Learn about safety and evacuation planning
  • Call your health insurance provider, using the number on the back of your health insurance card, to ask about coverage outside the U.S. You may need to purchase supplemental travel insurance to maintain coverage.
  • Anticipate Expenses
    • GFE awards will not cover all the cost of your experience. Expenses will vary widely by region. Please review the data presented above from the Summer Field Experience survey of students who completed global field experiences in 2017. The average total cost of a summer field experience was $3,838. Credit: Summer Field Experiences 2017 Financial Report by Evelyn Howatt/Donahoe
    • Below is a budget report based on data collected from student expenses in 2017**. This information is intended for planning purposes only.

** Summer 2017 Average costs for students participating in Non-US-Based Field experience

Item Average Cost

International Flight








Incidentals Personal Fun/Travel


Internet & Phone


In-Country Transportation


Visa & Immunizations


Work Related Expenses





= 3,838

Find a faculty guide in the fall semester if possible – this could be your advisor, a mentor, an APE advisor or someone with expertise in the country, topic or methodology you are proposing.

  • Consult with your faculty guide and APE Advisor and the IRB to determine IF your project requires IRB review. Email to set up a meeting with an IRB analyst.
    • If Emory IRB review is required, you MUST have Emory IRB approval before conducting any Human Subjects Research that requires review. Emory IRB review can take as little as 2-3 weeks, but will take considerably longer if the submitted protocol is incomplete or unclear as to the procedures and the engagement of Emory or of potential participants.
    • Local IRB review may also be required. Your Field Supervisor will be the best source of information about that.  Emory IRB does not require local review unless local laws and regulations require it, and does not control how long such a review might take. Where local laws and regulations do not require local IRB review, Emory IRB expects a ‘letter of cultural context’ to be supplied from someone with research experience in that setting who can provide an opinion on the cultural acceptability of the methods on the local context, and especially on the approach to obtaining informed consent of potential research participants. The Emory IRB staff can provide more guidance on who can provide such a letter and what it should contain. Emory IRB will provide a ‘conditional approval’ letter for a local IRB as needed, when the only remaining requirement is local review.
  • Repeat this process with your in-country host/field supervisor
  • Talk to second years and international students, ask about how they communicated in-country, best data plans, social media taxes, comforts from “home” they had to do without, what they wish they had/had not brought with them


  • The deadline is 9:00 pm on Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • Gather the information outlined on this PDF version of the application (this is NOT the application, this just tells you what information to collect to submit online). 
  • Have your faculty guide complete the Faculty Guide Confirmation Form before the deadline. This means you must share a final (Word) version of your application for funding with your faculty member well before the deadline. 
  • Complete the GFEFA Application for Funding online. Review the rest of this document to understand the full breadth of information you will need to prepare in advance.



Please read this information thoroughly. It includes eligibility requirements and conditions for accepting a financial award.

Purpose of Global Field Experience Financial Awards

The Rollins School of Public Health values applied public health learning experiences. The purpose of the Global Field Experience Financial Award (GFEFA) is to provide supplemental funding to RSPH students participating in public health fieldwork in low-­‐resource or high-disparity global settings.  To qualify for an award, a student’s proposed global field experience project must be 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. In addition to enhancing students’ skills and experiences, a successful global field experience can increase the capacity of host organizations, strengthen faculty/Emory ties with host organizations, contribute to faculty research and attract outstanding students to RSPH.

For the purpose of consideration for funding, priority consideration will be given to eligible fieldwork that will take place in low- and middle-income nations as defined by the World Bank ( The committee may also consider funding proposals for fieldwork in high-income nations with underserved and/or vulnerable populations. Examples of previously approved field experiences in high-income nations include immersive work with First Nation/Native communities in Alaska and Canada and with Syrian refugees in Brussels.

Faculty Responsibilities

Students must have an RSPH faculty member read, review and advise each proposal; the person selected may be the student’s assigned advisor or mentor but at the least should be a faculty member with interest in the project or expertise in the proposed region, topic, or methodology. For the sake of the application, this faculty person is referred to as a “guide”. GFEFA applicants are encouraged to develop fieldwork proposals and seek a faculty member early in the academic year to allow ample time for faculty consultations, site selection, and securing appropriate support letters. The RSPH faculty member must read and sign off on the final financial award application submitted to the committee to verify that it meets the expectations for a GFEFA (an example of this form appears at the end of the PDF). The faculty member may also assist in partner development of the fieldwork host/site contact which may include facilitating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the site and the RSPH (in collaboration with Student Services).

Note: Your application is not complete until your faculty guide has submitted the Faculty Guide Confirmation Form

Fieldwork Host/Site Contact

Students must also work closely with the agency and local contacts to identify a specific role to play in support of the project goals and objectives in the field. The host letter serves to verify this information.  This approach allows students to gain valuable practical experience while making important and tangible contributions to their host organization’s success.


The GFEFAs applications are open to RSPH MPH and MPSH students pursuing summer fieldwork, usually between their first and second years. 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).

IRB and Fieldwork Ethics

Consult with your faculty guide about current IRB requirements. If indicated, student must provide proof of IRB determination before funds will be dispersed. Request a determination here:

For further information on necessary procedures, contact the Emory IRB website or office.

GFEFA applications must also include ethical considerations above and beyond IRB considerations.

Additional Information about Award Funding

Funding Source and Amount of Awards: GFEFAs are made possible through the generous support of endowment funds established to give RSPH students the opportunity to obtain supervised field training and to enable the transfer of classroom knowledge into practical experiences. The money provided is a grant that students do not have to repay. The total amount of funding awarded will be based on availability of funds in a given year and the number of students who apply and the quality of the applications.

Appropriate Uses of the Award:

  • Travel to and from the field site
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Immunizations
  • Room and board while at the field site
  • Direct project costs (transportation and incentives for participants, translators, equipment, lab supplies, etc.)

Conditions of Accepting a Funding Award:

If a student accepts funding from the GFEFA committee, the student must complete the following by 4/6/2019:

  • Pre-register for classes or be a Graduate in Residence at Emory University in the fall semester after the global field experience.
  • Register online with International SOS and create a profile including your itinerary; provide screen-shots demonstrating this has been done.

User guide for registering in My Trips:

Provide a screen shot showing you have completed these video tutorials:

  • Participate in pre-departure training. Sessions will be online and in-person. There is a mandatory session on April 6 (Saturday) from 8 am to 2 pm at RSPH.
  • Complete a travel waiver/release. Relevant forms will be included with the award letter.
  • Complete all necessary forms required by Emory to facilitate transfer of funds. Relevant forms will be included with the award letter.
  • Comply with Emory’s Policy on Student International Travel.
  • Follow the Emory Honor and Conduct Code as well as applicable standards of conduct of the host organization.
  • Abide by the laws of the host-country.
  • Provide proof of IRB submission or justification for the project being deemed exempt by IRB or faculty guide.
  • Obtain health insurance that will cover the student in the destination country.
  • Complete the deliverables described in your application for funding and provide them to the host site. (Adjustments to deliverables may occur in consultation with the site supervisor, provide documentation in writing.) Failure to complete and share deliverables may result in the student paying back the amount of the GFEFA. The host site will confirm receipt of deliverables.



The following information will be necessary to complete the application—please collect all necessary information in advance to only submit one accurate online form.

 ***Save all of these components in a word processing document so that if your initial application is not accepted, and you are given the opportunity to revise and resubmit, you can revise first in the word processing document before re-submitting online.***

Section I - Applicant and Project Information

Student Contact Information

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Department
  • Concentration (if applicable)
  • Cell phone number (U.S.)
  • Mobile number (international, if known)
  • Emory email address
  • Non-Emory email address
  • Emergency contact – a friend or family member who will not be traveling with you who can be reached in the event someone needs to make decisions about your welfare if you are incapacitated abroad. Name, relationship, phone number
  • Skype contact info (if applicable)
  • WhatsApp contact info (if applicable)

Project Information

  • Title of project
  • Country in which field experience will take place
  • Length of proposed field experience (minimum of 6 weeks required)
  • Name/Department of RSPH Faculty member offering guidance on your GFE financial award application (must be RSPH Faculty or  Adjunct Faculty)
  • Will your GFE be used for your: thesis, capstone, practicum, unsure
  • Prior classes taken, or to be taken before departure, relevant to your topic? Please list:
  • Prior classes taken, or to be taken before departure, relevant to your methodology? Please list:
  • Prior experiences relevant to your summer field experience?
  • How did you find this GFE opportunity?
  • Fieldwork Topic (select all that apply)
    • Behavior change
    • Community Health and Development
    • Emergency preparedness and Humanitarian relief
    • Environmental health
    • Gender Based Violence
    • Health care systems
    • Immunizations/Vaccinations
    • Infectious Diseases (Specify)
    • Maternal, Newborn and Child health
    • Mental Health
    • Non-Communicable Diseases (Specify)
    • Sexual and Reproductive Health
    • Water Hygiene and Sanitation
    • Other ( Specify )
  • Methods and tools used (Select all that apply)
    • Quantitative
      • Survey
      • Epidemiologic methods
      • Economic/financing
      • Other ( Specify )
    • Qualitative
      • Interviews
      • Focus Group Discussion
      • Other
    • Case Study
  • Organization Level(s)
    • Domestic (local) Organization
    • Domestic (national) Organization
    • Faith-based Organization
    • Foreign Agency (USAID/UKAID)
    • International Organization (WHO, UNAIDS)
    • Non-Governmental Organization
  • Fieldwork Purpose what is the main activity you will be doing during your field experience?
    • Community Assessment
    • Data Collection
    • Education
    • Evaluation
    • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Program Development
    • Program Implementation
    • Surveillance
    • Other ( Specify )


Field Site Information

  • Host organization
  • Name/title of in-­‐country contact you will be working with or have been in communication with at the host organization with contact information (MUST include in-country phone and e-mail, Skype if applicable)
  • Contact information for any other contact that you are working with (may be US-­‐based)
  • What is the English language proficiency of your site contact? None, some, fluent
  • What is your site contact’s primary language?
  • What is the primary language of the area in which you will conduct your GFE?
  • What is your proficiency in that language?
  • If you are not proficient, what plans have you made for hiring translators or otherwise managing your project?
  • What contributions or support is the host organization providing?
  • Have Emory students worked with your host organization previously?
  • Are other Emory students planning to work there in 2019? If yes, how will their role differ from yours?


Section II - Abstract

Provide an abstract of your proposal, 250 words or less. An abstract should include summary statements about your project’s importance, objectives, methods and deliverables.


Section III - Detailed narrative 

Essential background, context and motivation for the work that you will be doing. (500 words) Please include information on the significance of the proposed work and why it is important to the specific country and community where you will be working and to the field of public health. This section should include a brief literature review.  References/Citations should be uploaded as a separate file and do not count toward the word limit. 

Project objectives. (250 words) Clearly identify your research question or project scope. Describe the objectives of your project. Use SMART objectives, that is, your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Be sure to clearly define your specific role and responsibility in the project. If these are embedded in a larger project or a team, show the relationship and where your discrete project fits in the larger project. 

Methods. (350 words) What methods will you use to achieve the objectives of the project? Be specific. All proposals are not necessarily research proposals, but you still must have methods to achieve your objectives.

If you are not experienced and prepared in the methods you propose, are there other methods you might use to assist the organization and achieve your goals?

If your project puts you or your beneficiary/target group at increased risk, you must detail how you will mitigate the risk (this includes physical risk but also emotional or stigma-related risk if working with certain topics and/or populations). If you are working with communicable diseases or a population experiencing an outbreak, you must include your Personal Protection in Outbreak (PPO) considerations.

If you intend to conduct data collection, provide a copy of your instrument as an attached file. It may be in draft form. Explain how you will complete the instrument, the data collection process and the report. If you will conduct an evaluation, provide the evaluation instrument or plan. If you are going to participate in developing or implementing a training program, provide a draft curriculum. Include draft tools as attachments, indicating you will revise in-country based on input from your stakeholders.

Committee concerns in the past have most often been in the areas of ethics and research methods. Please review your proposal carefully with a faculty mentor well in advance. For example, if you plan to conduct focus groups of adolescents in an STI clinic in Uganda – what are the ethical implications and considerations regarding stigma, limits on confidentiality, working with minors, discussing sexuality, etc.

Deliverable/s. (200 words) Provide a detailed description of the deliverables that you will provide to the organization/community and how you plan to share this information with stakeholders. (Examples of deliverables include a final report, a curriculum, a training module, an evaluation, a research study manuscript, draft legislation or policy proposal, etc.

Learning objectives and career goals statement. (200 words) What skills, knowledge and experience do you want to gain as a result of the project? How does this project relate to your career goals?

This is also the section where you would describe any previous qualifications (i.e. experience, language) that justify how you are the appropriate person to complete this project and describe how this experience will utilize your public health practice and any additional perspective. Describe your previous training, coursework or other preparation (mentoring support from faculty experts; online course; etc.) in the specific methods to be utilized (survey research, interviews, focus groups, evaluation, curriculum development, needs assessment, etc.).

Timeline. Global field experiences must be at least 6 weeks in duration. Describe your specific project plan for the time that you will be in the field as well as any additional preparations before departing and steps that you must complete upon your return. As you prepare your timeline, consider the potential impact of the rainy season in some regions, the potential impact of Ramadan or other holidays or festivals in your host community; how long might it take to build relationships in-country to facilitate access to the populations on which your project depends?

Be sure to include plans for sharing your findings while you are in-­‐field and any necessary follow-­‐up.

Create a GANTT chart and provide this along with your application as an uploaded attachment. See

Budget. Detail the budget for your project and the expected source of funds for each line item. Consider language requirements and your ability to mitigate any translation and cultural understanding concerns. Budget for a translator or local teams if applicable.

GFE financial awards will not cover all expenses.


Section IV - Letter of invitation

  • You must upload a letter of invitation from the organization with which you will be affiliated during your summer field experience. (NOTE: It is important that a discussion of the following points and any necessary negotiations happen early during the program development stage and not merely as a technicality for the GFEFA application submission.)

The letter should include:

  • Name and position of supervisor and/or mentor in the organization and the individual’s contact details. (NOTE: The letter must be signed by an official representative of the organization but if there is another representative who will serve as your main contact in the field, that information must also be included.)
  • Statement that the organization knows about and approves your project and the timing of your visit.
  • Statement of value that your project will have for the organization/community and any agreement of expectations for what you will provide as deliverables for your project or during your stay.
  • Support or resources the organization may be able to provide or that they are able to help identify (i.e. local transport, office space, translators, assistance finding housing) NOTE: This letter is intended to appropriately communicate expectations and available resources and does not serve as a guarantee that any support or materials will be provided upon arrival.
  • Statement of whether local IRB/ethics committee approval is required and if so, whose responsibility it is to complete this and when it will be


Section V Current curriculum vitae or résumé

Upload your CV or résumé. Be sure that the CV or résumé reflects the experience or qualifications indicated in your career goals section. (Get help in advance from the staff in Career Services or one of the Career Development Ambassadors.)


  •  DRAFT project documents such as survey, interview guide, etc. (You must merge these into one file before uploading. A PDF is acceptable.) 
  • Budget 
  • CV 
  • GANTT chart 
  • Host letter 
  • References/Citations



All proposals are reviewed by the GFEFA review committee, comprised of personnel in RSPH with significant global health experience and experience supervising students conducting summer field work. Each application is read and evaluated by at least 2 committee members using a standard score sheet. Based on scores, application decisions will be: 1) accept with no revisions; 2) accept with minor revisions to discuss with faculty member; 3) revise and resubmit; or 4) reject.

NOTE: Proposals are evaluated against the criteria not against one another. However, proposals accepted with no revisions will receive higher funding than those that require revisions and resubmission.

To see how your proposal will be evaluated, please review the application assessment rubric.


When you have compiled all of this information AND your faculty guide has reviewed it with you in detail, AND you have made edits, AND your faculty guide has completed this Faculty Guide Confirmation Formthen you are ready to complete the online GFEFA Application for Funding.

For additional tips from the student perspective see:

Important GFE Financial Award Dates 2018-2019

Application DeadlinesDate
Application Opens Online December 19, 2018
Faculty Member Sign-off Required February 20, 2019
Applications Due

February 21, 2019

9:00 PM

First Tier Notifications Sent March 8, 2019
Revise and Resubmit Deadline

March 21, 2019

9:00 PM

Final Notification Sent

March 29, 2019

Pre-Departure Training

April 6, 2019

8:00 AM - 2:00 PM



 Contact Us

Heather Zesiger, PhD, MPH, MCHES

Senior Director Student Engagement, GFE Financial Award Program Manager

(404) 712-8926


Deborah McFarland PhD, MPH

Faculty Director of GFE Financial Award Program

(404) 727-7849