Starting Global Health Research

Global health topics may be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students planning independent research – perhaps through an independent project during the summer or academic year, or through a senior thesis, master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Here are some resources for getting started.

Finding a Faculty Advisor

Identifying a faculty advisor is usually the first step for student research projects. Faculty members conducting research related to global health are found in many departments, across all of the Harvard Schools. The links below can help you start searching for a faculty advisor who matches your interests.

Searchable Databases

  • Harvard Catalyst (HMS, HSDM, HSPH)
    Keyword-searchable database of faculty members from Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard School of Public Health, maintained by Harvard Catalyst.
  • Harvard Worldwide (University-wide)
    Keyword-searchable database of faculty members and research projects with an international dimension; maintained by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs.

School-Based Lists of Faculty

Securing Funding

Undergraduate & Graduate

The Harvard Global Health Institute maintains a Funding Opportunities database including grants and fellowships for students' global health research projects.

Undergraduate

Harvard has several programs that match undergraduate students to research placements during the summer or academic year:

  • Harvard Global Health Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) - global health research placements on campus.
  • Harvard Global Health Institute International Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (I-SURF) - global health research placements with projects outside the USA.
  • Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) - Summer program for Harvard undergraduates to conduct research in science and engineering.
  • Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) - Summer program for undergraduates to work with Harvard Business School faculty on research projects.
  • Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences (BLISS) - Summer program for undergraduates to work with Harvard Faculty on research in social science disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health.
  • Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program - Awards program to support Harvard undergraduates pursuing full-time summer research in the life, physical, math, and computer sciences - at Harvard and affiliates, or other domestic and international centers of excellence.
  • Institute of Politics Research Assistant Program - Matches Harvard undergraduates with faculty research assistant opportunities during the spring semester of each academic year.
  • Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives - Manages several of the programs listed above and offers a wealth of resources.
  • Harvard College Funding Sources Database - Contains over 100 funding opportunities for Harvard undergraduate research. (Harvard PIN required)

Resources for Experiential Learning Abroad

Visit the Resources for Experiential Learning Abroad section for:


Research Ethics and Planning Resources

Harvard Guides and Policies

Harvard Institutional Review Boards

Learn more