OGPH Pre-Dissertation Awards

2022 Global Public Health Pre-Dissertation Travel Awards

Request for Proposals

Deadline: March 18, 2022

The UM-SPH Office of Global Public Health (OGPH) supports opportunities for critical innovative multidisciplinary global health engagement, transparent partnership, and capacity building for students and faculty. Office of Global Public Health Pre-Dissertation Travel Awards provide a travel stipend of up to $5,000 to any University of Michigan students (regardless of citizenship) who are enrolled in doctoral level programs at the School of Public Health, and who wishes to conduct internationally-based pre-dissertation research. Travel can be to any country or countries open to travel from the United States, for any duration adequate to complete the goals described, and can be combined with other sources of funding to provide for longer or more complex activities. Recipients must pass their comprehensives before travel begins but students can apply in anticipation of reaching candidacy.

Please note that the University’s current policy only to allow “essential travel”, and that a rigorous travel safety plan is in effect for every traveler. Travel for the purpose of dissertation research, including planning meetings with potential partners or collaborators, surveying potential data collection opportunities, etc., can be considered “essential travel” if the activity must occur in country. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a complicated and constantly evolving travel environment, and U.S. government policies, University of Michigan policies, and School of Public Health policies are just part of the criteria for travel. Each potential destination country may have its own policies about entry, testing, vaccination, and quarantine. It is the responsibility of the applicant to research these requirements and include any relevant costs in the proposal budget. The University’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) may require information from your Department before making a decision about travel, including but not limited to a letter from your Department Chair stating that the travel is essential to your dissertation preparation.

Application Requirements

Once you click the "Begin My Application" button, you will enter information about yourself, your degree program, and your travel proposal into an online form. You will then be asked to upload electronic copies of the following documents:

  • A proposal describing your preliminary project idea, including your rationale, objectives, and potential design, and methodology; and a description of the activities you plan to undertake during the pre-dissertation visit, as well as the projected benefits of the trip for your academic program and future career. If you will be working with an established research project, describe the organization and the activities in which you will be engaged. When applicable, identify the institution through which you will work and describe any institutional linkages to the UM. This proposal must be for the purpose of furthering your own dissertation plans, and not to assist on the work of your faculty advisor or other projects. The proposal must be three pages, single-spaced, maximum. You may use any spacing format that keeps your proposal within the three page limit).
  • Travel itinerary (include dates, anticipated air and ground transportation, and carriers when possible). Travel can begin any time before December 31, 2022.
  • Two letters of reference from your faculty project advisor and a second faculty member, which speak to your ability to carry out your proposed research. These should be e-mailed directly to sphglobalhealth@umich.edu by the recommenders.
  • A budget, including estimated cost for travel, lodging, food, visa/s, immunizations and other travel prophylaxis, where appropriate; and travel insurance (required by the University of Michigan); as well as efforts to obtain cost-sharing from departments, schools, UM-programs and outside funding sources (template here). Submit a complete budget for the proposed activities. If your budget exceeds the $5,000 requested, indicate the source of other funds. 
  • A resume/curriculum vitae Whichever you already have is adequate. It is not necessary to convert a resume to a C.V. for this application.
  • U-M transcript (unofficial is acceptable);
  • Completed copy of Human Use IRB application (if applicable and available), OR, a statement that, either, all IRB requirements will be met prior to the initiation of any data collection, or, brief explanation of why IRB approval is not needed.

You must strictly adhere to the naming protocols for all of the above documents in order to upload them to the application site. You will be able to log out, and log back in to complete your application at a later date. Your application will not be considered until you upload all necessary documents and click the "Submit My Application" button. You must have reached candidacy before the dates of travel. While any SPH PhD candidate is eligible for this award, preference will go to those earlier in their candidacy, as the primary goal of this award is to help candidate refine and strengthen their dissertation research.

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Review Criteria & Process

  • Projects will be reviewed by a team designated by the Office of Global Public Health;
  • Reviewers will assess:
    • Quality, significance and feasibility of the proposed activities;
    • Potential contribution to development of student's career in global health research;
    • Relevance to health issues and needs of low and middle-income countries;
    • Creativity or innovation of the project;
    • Record of academic achievement;
    • Strength of relationship with host institution.

Please be aware that all UM students planning international travel are required to purchase International Travel Insurance and register their research travel at the UM Travel Registry, whether or not travel is funded through the University of Michigan. We advise you wait until travel is approved by ITOC to purchase insurance, visas, etc. You are advised to begin the ITOC approval process as soon as possible.

The Global Public Health Application for Pre-Dissertation Travel Awards will be open until March 18, 2022. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only students who will be continuing University of Michigan students in January 2023 are eligible. If you are chosen to receive an award, you will be required to complete a brief report of two to five pages in length and outline the research experience as well as summarize all funds received from all other sources. Your budget must include any additional sources of funding. Students receiving funding elsewhere are eligible to apply, but may receive a
reduced award. Failure to report additional sources of funding may result in forfeiture of this award.

The fellowship supports travel for graduate students who are planning to conduct dissertation research in an international setting relevant to the health needs of low and middle-income countries, though students conducting research in high income countries can apply, especially if their work could be applicable to low resource settings or communities. The award provides travel support for preliminary visits to prospective overseas dissertation sites by graduate students to facilitate planning doctoral research. Students are responsible for complying with all University of Michigan Institutional Review Board requirements for the ethical conduct of research. While we expect most students will travel during the summer recess, it is not a requirement that you travel during the summer months. Travel must commence before December 31, 2022.

Applicants will be notified of awards on or about March 30, 2022. These awards can ONLY be deposited into the student's account.

The application system will open in January 2022.

Questions? Email sphglobalhealth@umich.edu or call 734-615-3514.