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First Year Medical Students,

Are you interested in working at UNC international partner sites and alongside faculty conducting global health research during the summer of 2018?

Read below for complete application and site research details.


IGHID MS1 Global Research in Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, China and Vietnam: Summer 2018

For the past 10+ years, the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases has sponsored first-year UNC medical students to conduct summer research at the UNC Project in Lilongwe, Malawi or the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia. We are now extending this program to include our research sites in Hanoi/Thai Nguyen, Vietnam; Guangzhou, China and Johannesburg, South Africa. If chosen, UNC faculty will sponsor/mentor students to apply for scholarships and grants’, however students must procure their own funding.

Eligibility: First-year medical students who are available for eight weeks during the summer, 2018. We are looking for students with a demonstrated or strong career interest in (global) research. Total costs: $3,500-$5,000. Note: if your research proposal is favorably reviewed by the UNC Office of International Activities (OIA) they will provide substantial support. China requires at least 3 years of formal Mandarin training..


The application deadline is November 30, 2017

Select students will be granted a series of interviews with final decisions communicated by email by December 15, 2017.


IGHID Global Research in Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, China and Vietnam application

Summer, 2018

The UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases is sponsoring first-year UNC medical students to conduct summer research at our global research sites in Lilongwe, Malawi; Lusaka, Zambia; Hanoi, Vietnam; Guangzhou, China and Johannesburg, South Africa. If chosen, UNC faculty will sponsor/mentor students to apply for scholarships and grants, however students must procure their own funding.

Eligibility: ­First-year medical students who are available for eight weeks during the summer, 2018. We are looking for students with a demonstrated or strong career interest in (global) research. Total costs: $3,500-$5,000. Note: if your research proposal is favorably reviewed by the UNC Office of International Activities (OIA) they will provide substantial support. China requires at least 3 years of formal Mandarin training.

Application Timeline:

Application deadline is November 30, 2017.

Select students will be granted a series of interviews with final decisions communicated by email by December 15, 2017.


Application Requirements:

  1. Current CV
  2. You can apply to multiple countries, but you must submit a one-page description explaining why you are applying to each country, why you want to conduct global research in that country including your short- and long-term career goals. Applications linked to a particular mentor, project or subject matter are preferred.

Electronic applications must be sent to:

The country contact (listed below); Irving Hoffman ( Martha Carlough ( and Shay Slifko (

More information on funding for global health electives can be found here:

This year we will select up to 5 students who will work with mentors on a variety of possible research projects.

1) The UNC Project,-Malawi website is:

2) The Zambia website is:

3) The UNC Project-Vietnam website is:

4) The UNC Project-China website is:

5) The South Africa web site is

Here are some examples of what research activities may be available to students at each site:

UNC Project – China

Guangzhou, China

Contact: Dr. Joe Tucker


UNC has a long history of collaborative health research, service, and training in China. The mission of UNC Project-China is to work collaboratively to improve the health of China and promote UNC-Chapel Hill’s presence in China. UNC faculty, students, and trainees are leading research on non-communicable diseases, HIV and STIs, maternal and child health, and other global health areas.

China has tremendous inequalities and unique capacity for public health implementation, providing a dynamic and rich environment in which to pursue mentored research. China’s rapid resurgence of sexually transmitted diseases creates opportunities for clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and basic science research focused on sexual health. Large funded projects supported by the NIH, WHO, and Gates Foundation create opportunities for students to carve out parallel mentored research.

Students interested in working with UNC Project-China must demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin (preferable) or Cantonese during an in-person interview.

Students in China may work in the following areas:


Social entrepreneurship for sexual health (SESH, Many key populations do not receive regular HIV testing. This project uses crowdsourcing to improve HIV testing among key populations. Crowdsourcing has a group solve a problem and then shares the solution with the public. The project initially focused on HIV testing among MSM/TG, but now has related projects on hepatitis testing, the meaning of recovery among PWID, and HIV cure. Opportunities for qualitative and quantitative research are available. Contact: Joe Tucker, part-time in Guangzhou ( and Weiming Tang, full-time in Guangzhou (

Chlamydia infection in pregnancy – This UNC-Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center collaboration examines the impact of untreated Chlamydia infection on adverse pregnancy outcomes in Guangdong, China. This study also aims to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes through screening and other intervention strategies. This project is led by the Guangdong Provincial Center for STD Prevention and Research Center. Contact: Weiming Tang, full-time in Guangzhou (


Sexually Transmitted Infections: China has a resurgent syphilis epidemic and some of the highest rates of purchasing sex among urban men of anywhere in the world. The Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center plays a key role in organizing a response to STIs in Guangdong, a southern province with a high syphilis burden. This provides unique opportunities for clinical, behavioral, epidemiological, and modeling STI research. Contact: Ligang Yang, full-time in Guangzhou (


MSM-Competent Services Project: Many MSM have difficulty finding MSM-competent physicians who provide evidence-based services. This project will develop a pilot m-health platform to help link MSM and MSM-competent physicians. This project is in partnership with the Shenzhen Nanshan District Centers for Disease Control. Contact: Joe Tucker, part-time in Guangzhou ( and Weiming Tang, full-time in Guangzhou (


HIV-HCV Co-infections: The Number Eight Hospital in Guangzhou sees over 3700 HIV-infected patients and has detailed data on a cohort of HIV-HCV co-infected patients. Clinical, behavioral, and basic science research opportunities are available. Contact: Linghua Li, full-time in Guangzhou (


Immunobiology of syphilis (IBIS) – This UNC-Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center collaboration examines the biological basis for the syphilis serofast state and related syphilis clinical management issues. The team has created a bio-repository of specimens, with the medium-term goals of enhancing diagnostics and developing a syphilis vaccine. Contact: Arlene Sena at UNC ( and Heping Zheng, full-time in Guangzhou (


UNC Project- Malawi

Lilongwe, Malawi

Contact: Dr. Mina Hosseinipour


UNC has had a presence in Malawi since 1990. UNC Project-Malawi, a collaboration between UNC and the Malawi Ministry of Health, was established in 1999 on the campus of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe. UNC Project has grown to include more than 300 employees with research, clinical and laboratory space, and living quarters for students and visiting faculty. UNC Project’s current portfolio of activities spans clinical service delivery, public health program implementation, and clinical and operational research focused on HIV and STDs, other infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, emergency obstetrics, cancer, family planning, surgery and trauma.

Students in Malawi may work in the following areas:


Option B+ PMTCT study: This study evaluates the safety of first and second line treatments among HIV infected pregnant women and their infants. There are multiple aims related to safety, viral suppression, opportunistic infection, neurocognitive development of infants, and understanding defaulters. This takes place in 2 clinics in Lilongwe.

Community-facility linkage study: A retrospective cohort study enriched by epidemiological sampling methods to characterize widely adopted community-facility linkage models and assess their impact, compared with each other and to the standard of care, on mother-infant pair care retention and other priority maternal-infant health outcomes in the context of Malawi’s Option B+ program. Anticipated start February 2017.

FP-ART study: This 4-year prospective cohort study will compare the pregnancy rates among 1,420 HIV-infected women on Efavirenz who are initiating either the Jadelle implant or Depo injectable. The study began enrollment in August 2017.

Depression Case Management in HIV: This two clinic pilot study will evaluate models for depression care management among HIV infected patients as a strategy to improve HIV adherence and suppression.

TBM Kids: This trial is investigating the optimization of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) treatment in children hospitalized at Kamuzu Central Hospital with TBM. Children diagnosed with TBM at KCH either receive standard of care medications per WHO guidelines or receive a high dose rifampicin with or without levofloxacin within intensive phase of TBM treatment. Study recruitment began in June 2017. Target accrual for Lilongwe site is 30 patients and duration of follow up per patient is 18 months.

Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program (MVIP): Malawi is one of 3 countries in Africa in which there will be a pilot exercise on the administration of the RTS`S malaria vaccine as per recommendations from WHO. The aims of this pilot exercise are: to assess the feasibility vaccination per proposed dose schedule, assess the impact on mortality in the clusters where the vaccine is administered and to further assess the safety of the RTS`S though hospital surveillance. This exercise is planned to take place across Malawi. A consortium of research partners has been formed to carry out this evaluation of which UNC Project will primarily work in 2 districts (Lilongwe and Ntchisi). The UNC team will lead the evaluation of the safety assessment objective across all 8 sentinel district hospitals in Malawi. Vaccine administration and the evaluation exercise is targeted to commence in the third quarter of 2018.


UNC Project-Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Contact: Vivian Go PhD:


Students will primarily work out of the UNC-Vietnam Project office, where eleven full-time UNC employees who are Vietnamese nationals that speak fluent English are based. Dr. Vivian Go, PhD, associate professor of health behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health will be the primary mentor and is based at UNC in Chapel Hill. Dr. Go travels to Vietnam quarterly (contact: The In-Country director is Dr. Ha, who has been working with UNC for more than ten years, will be the on-site supervisor (contact: Hanoi is a beautiful, culturally vibrant city. Apartments are available in areas around the office.

The UNC-Vietnam project office is located in Yen Hoa General Clinic building in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the permanent UNC-Vietnam staff is based. The working space for UNC Vietnam contains office space for the In-Country Director and all permanent staff as well as the HPTN083 study site. There are three fully functioning, furnished office rooms on the second floor and the third floor with air-conditioning, telephone and hi-speed internet access via password-secured Wi-Fi. A large conference room on the third floor is available to all staff for meetings and tele-conferences. There are also a number of extra cubicles that may be used by visiting investigators and students. All staff office rooms are equipped with desktop or laptop computers and printers. There is a Data room on the second floor, which is equipped with a multifunction photocopier. The offices have several locking cabinets where project files are stored. The HPTN083 study site is next to the office room on the same 2nd floor of the building. There are three well equipped clinical rooms, a laboratory and a pharmacy room for the HPTN083 site. In addition, there is a reception room for welcoming the participants of the HPTN083 study.

All MS1 students will have the opportunity to participate in clinical rounds at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and/or Bach Mai hospital, two of the largest hospitals in Vietnam.

Students in Vietnam may work in the following areas:

HPTN 074: Multi-site, two-arm, randomized vanguard study in Ukraine, Indonesia and Vietnam to determine the feasibility of a future trial that will assess whether an integrated intervention combining psychosocial counseling and supported referrals for antiretroviral therapy at any CD4 count and substance use treatment for HIV-positive people who inject drugs will reduce HIV transmission to HIV-negative injection partners as compared to routine care according to national guidelines for HIV-positive PWID. There are two study sites in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam.


HPTN 083: Multi-site study in 41 sites, 7 countries, to evaluate the efficacy of the long-acting injectable agent, cabotegravir for pre-exposure prophylaxis in HIV-negative men and transgender women who have sex with men. The study site in Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, and anticipated start date will be December, 2017.

HCV integration: Small qualitative study to examine the barriers to integration of HCV screening services in HIV clinics in Hanoi and/or Thai Nguyen Vietnam.

HIV-positive MSM: Pilot intervention using electronic and mobile apps to engage HIV-positive MSM in the HIV continuum of care in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hazardous Alcohol Use among Female ART clients: Comparative effectiveness trial of two evidenced-based alcohol reduction programs among ART clients, to understand the intersection of HIV and alcohol consumption unique to hazardous drinking among women.



University of Zambia (UNZA)

Lusaka, Zambia

Contact: Dr. Ben Chi


UNC has collaborated with the UNZA School of Medicine for over a decade. Together, this partnership has supported educational and training opportunities in the health sciences, with an eye toward local capacity building. This engagement has helped to foster bi-directional exchange of knowledge and collaboration at the faculty, fellow, and student levels. Several Chapel Hill-based faculty have lived in Lusaka for 10+ years; others – including four faculty members and fellows currently – continue to work full-time in the field. All have adjunct appointments at UNZA and support its clinical, research, and training activities. In 2017, UNC established a registered entity in Zambia to increase its field presence and provide greater oversight to UNC trainees.

UNC supports a vibrant environment for clinical, public health, and research activities in Zambia. The UNZA School of Medicine and its accredited teaching hospital, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), comprise the principal medical training institution in Zambia for medical students, interns, and postgraduate doctors. Post-graduate physician training is available in the Departments of Anesthesia, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Pathology. UTH trains nurses and midwives through the Nursing School located within the hospital grounds and clinical officers (physician assistants) through their college located at Chainama Hills College Hospital in Lusaka. UTH has approximately 2,000 beds. The Cancer Diseases Hospital, built in 2007, offers the country’s only cancer treatment via medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons. Our primary collaboration is with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, but over the years we have partnered with other departments and institutes at UNZA.

In the summer 2018, we have an opening for a medical student to work on the “ECHO” study, a multi-center randomized trial to determine the impact of different contraceptive methods on HIV acquisition among uninfected women of childbearing age. The trial has enrolled more than 600 participants and is currently in the follow-up period. Medical students will work with the Zambia-based team to gain experience in the conduct of international clinical trials. They will have the opportunity to rotate with team members in different settings, including study clinics, community outreach, data, and laboratory. Based on individual interests, we will also work closely with the medical student to develop a discrete project that develops their own skills while supporting ongoing work on the overall study.

Right to Care (RTC) Cervical Cancer Prevention Unit

Johannesburg, South Africa

Carla Chibwesha

UNC maintains a longstanding collaboration with the South African NGO, Right to Care [], and its affiliated research group, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU) []. The collaboration, currently led by Drs. Carla Chibwesha (UNC GWH) and Bridgette Goeieman (RTC), provides an excellent learning environment for medical and public health trainees interested in global women’s health and global oncology.

Established in 2009, RTC’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Program is supported through both the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and an innovative partnership with the South Africa insurance company, First for Women. The program provides cervical screening services in public-sector clinics across South Africa. Mobile screening services are also provided to peri-urban, rural, and remote communities. Between 2009 and 2015, over 75,000 women screening services through at RTC-support clinics (where either a Pap smear or VIA is the standard of care). In addition to this large service program, the Cervical Cancer Prevention Unit also conducts numerous single- and multi-site clinical trials, as well as implementation and decision science research. Current opportunities for implementation research include work on a new mobile app, designed to improve the quality and reduce attrition from care. The team is also leading a six-country randomized trial of the 9-valent HPV vaccine.