Perkins Burke Fellowship


Applications will be linked when available


UNC School of Medicine has a long and distinguished history of international activity, including rich opportunities for medical students to study and observe medical systems and practices in other countries under the supervision of international faculty and with UNC SOM faculty oversight. The Office of International Activities (OIA) of the SOM serves to foster these interests by providing information, mentoring students and supporting student-led groups dedicated to international health. Students who undertake international elective opportunities during medical school often incorporate their learning into their career in important ways, including increased emphasis on care of the underserved wherever they practice, increased sensitivity to cross-cultural issues in medicine, and leadership in public health and health care systems.

Perkins-Burke MD/MPH Global Health Fellowship

Each year, one or two outstanding UNC MD/MPH students will be selected as a Perkins-Burke Global Health Fellow. In order to qualify, the student must be accepted into the Public Health Leadership Program (12 month MPH degree is designed to prepare public health leaders with population-based knowledge and skills). The student will demonstrate academic excellence during the pre-clinical years of medical school at UNC as well as clear interest in incorporating global public health into his/her career as a physician. Applicants will work closely with MPH faculty and a physician mentor to incorporate global health content into their MPH curriculum (including core classes towards the Global Health Certificate) and to plan an internship abroad and Masters paper focused on a related global health topic. Language ability in the intended country of experience is also an important factor in selection. The Perkins-Burke MD/MPH Global Health Fellowship will be awarded annually to a 3rd or 4th year UNC medical student pursuing an MPH at UNC School of Public Health.


Perkins-Burke International Health Fellowship
Each year, one outstanding first year UNC medical student will be selected as a Perkins-Burke International Fellow. Fellows are funded to pursue a global health experience in the summer before starting second year. Applicants design and plan an activity that allows them to experience or investigate an aspect of global health that positively and directly influences the health of people in the region they are studying. Preference may be given to those studying infectious diseases such as global tuberculosis or malaria and to students who have who have had limited opportunities for international travel previously. Language ability in the intended country of experience is also an important factor in selection.  A selection committee composed of School of Medicine faculty reviews the applications, interviews the applicants and selects the awardee. The Perkins-Burke International Fellowship awardee will receive a minimum of  $1000 towards the cost of travel and expenses.
Applications will be submitted to the Office of International Activities and reviewed by the Fellowship Selection committee composed of UNC medical faculty (including faculty from the HCAP program), representatives from the Office of Student Affairs and a Medical Foundation representative. Members of the committee are selected based on their interest in international medicine and knowledge of medical education. All students applying would necessarily be in good academic standing, have the appropriate letters of recommendation from faculty, and be committed to following the processes required for international health electives, including: defining objectives of the learning experience and any potential projects or research (including IRB approval) orientation to travel health and safety, obtaining evacuation insurance through the OIA, and signing the UNC Travel Waiver Policy. The OIA will oversee the fellowship awardees through this process. On completion of their international elective, students would be expected to submit a paper/report detailing their experience and its impact on their medical education and, if there is opportunity, meet with Dr. Petya Lee Perkins to discuss their experience.

Proposals should outline a substantial educational experience that is well thought out and would not be possible in the U.S. In the proposal, applicants should demonstrate a unique advantage to their travel to a particular site, state a realistic goal or goals, explain the merit and feasibility of their project and explain how the experience will be supervised and is related to their personal educational goals. Applicants should address how they intend to deal with any potential language barriers that may be encountered. Students must be actively enrolled in the school of public health during the time of the project, and the project must be connected with their MPH training and plans for a Masters Paper. All applying students must be in good academic standing. All fellowship recipients must complete travel health and safety requirements for UNC public health/medical students, including obtaining emergency evacuation insurance and signing a UNC travel health waiver (see for details).



Protection of the Rights of Human Subjects
During the fellowship experience students may participate in direct patient care and/or engage in other types of learning or research which includes confidential patient information. Whenever obtaining information that is not directly related to a patient’s care -- for example, when a student conducts interviews with patients or with health care providers, administers surveys or questionnaires, or takes part in clinical research -- respect for the rights and interests of others obliges you to inform those people as to why you are collecting the data. It is your duty to appropriately protect the privacy and confidentiality of those from whom you are gathering information.

All fellowship applicants must discuss the relevance of IRB approval with their faculty advisor and if appropriate (i.e. if the experience involves human subject research) submit their proposals to the Office of Human Research Ethics (OHRE) to confirm compliance regarding the rights of human subjects and the IRB. Please review the IRB site at for more information.