Global Health Research Certificate Program

For health science researchers, it doesn’t get much bigger than the notion of global health – both in terms of scope and potential impact. No matter what your expertise and research interest, there are meaningful ways to apply your work in a global health setting. Yet for all of its promise, the field can be daunting, requiring know-how, networks and resources that extend around the world. How do you get started?

The Global Health Research Certificate Program is intended to help faculty, fellows and residents incorporate global health into their research portfolios, creating a foundation for meaningful collaborative relationships and research in the global health setting, and ultimately paving the way to successfully compete for extramural funding for global health research. Through a combination of mentorship and monthly seminar events, participants will gain the tools to develop their own research activities abroad, including the skills to seek extramural funding for global health projects.

Participants may come from any of the U-M health science schools, and there is no tuition cost. 


The program is open to any U-M faculty (MD or PhD), fellow, resident, or PhD candidate interested in establishing or expanding their research activities in an international setting. The program is managed through the University of Michigan Medical School, but participants are welcome from other U-M health science schools.

Requirements & Competencies

Participants will work through a customized curriculum that for most will extend over two years and include the following.

  • Active participation in at least 70% of monthly seminars for the 2022-23 session. Most seminars will be virtual with some opportunity for in-person networking within the cohort.
  • Participating in other U-M/UMMS global health programming/seminars (e.g., Global Health Initiative seminars organized by Global REACH).
  • Engaging in mentorship with local and international mentors.

In addition to the requirements above, participants upon program completion should have a demonstrated understanding of the following key competency areas. The following competency domains are broad in nature, framed as questions participants should be able to answer. They will be customized by the faculty presenters to complement their skills and address the needs of the program learners.

  1. What is global health?
  2. What are the challenges and optimal approaches for collaborating with international research partners?
  3. How can one prepare to understand the local context in order to practice cultural humility?
  4. How do health systems vary internationally in terms of their financing, governance, and organization structures?
  5. What are some of the significant topics/trends in global health that are current focuses of inquiry and funding (i.e., global burden of diseases; access and universal health care, including access to trauma, surgical management; quality and safety in healthcare settings; maternal and child health; infectious diseases; non-communicable/chronic diseases)?
  6. What are common information sources and potential data sets available to global health researchers?
  7. What are some research skills that are particularly useful in global health (i.e., secondary data analysis, qualitative and mixed-methods research, implementation science)?
  8. How can funding opportunities be identified and successfully pursued?
  9. How can one develop and nurture a 'community of practice' regarding global health research?
  10. What are the optimal models for blending global health research in a domestic-based career?


The application period for the 2022-23 session is now closed. The next enrollment period will begin in summer 2023.

Participating Scholars


Tessa Adzemovic
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Anton Avanceña
Health Management & Policy

Melissa Elafros

Chelsea Finkbeiner

Phillip Hsu

Thomas Klein
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Lu Qu

Angela Quain
Pediatric Cardiology

Victor Rentes
Learning Health Sciences

Jiawei Ribaudo
Global REACH

Lee Schroeder

Melissa Zochowski
Learning Health Sciences


The Global Health Research Certificate Program is managed and administered by Global REACH under the leadership of Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Behavior & Health Education Michele Heisler, MD, MPA, Cheryl Moyer, PhD, Associate Professor of Learning Health Sciences and Ob-Gyn, and Joseph Kolars, MD, UMMS Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives. The program is managed by Global REACH Program Manager Jiawei Ribaudo, PhD.


For more information, email program manager Jiawei Ribaudo.