Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research and Training (MHIRT) Program Internship Award
The MHIRT application is available for download here.
The application deadline for the Summer 2013 program is Friday, December 14, 2012.
Applicant Information Sessions
Information sessions will be held during the following dates & times. During these sessions, MHIRT staff will discuss the program sites abroad, past student projects, eligibility requirements, applicant evaluation criteria, and answer any questions.
- Friday, October 5, 2012, 3:00 pm, C301 CPHB (map)
- Thursday, October 18, 2012, 4:00 pm, 2191 Westlawn (map)
- Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:00 am, C303 CPHB (map)
MHIRT staff are also available to speak to groups, clubs, and classes upon request.
- Center for International Rural and Environmental Health
- Iowa Biosciences Advantage Program
The Iowa Biosciences Advantage (IBA) program mission is to identify academically talented undergraduate underrepresented minority students with aspirations for a research career and provide them with first-rate training that will facilitate their entry into doctoral programs in the biomedical, behavioral, and and biophysical sciences.
- National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the nation. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the appliation of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.
The Center for International Rural and Environmental Health (CIREH) is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to research, training and education concerning global issues in public health, especially those related to occupational and environmental health.
Purpose of Award
Because of the significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality and survival rates in minority populations as compared to the health status of the general population, there is a national need for increasing the number of well-trained minority scientists in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health services research.
Eight undergraduate awards and two graduate/professional awards are available to enable minority students and students from medically-underserved rural or urban areas to gain international research experience in a health-related field. Students enrolled in a degree-seeking program (at the time of application) at the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa with a demonstrated interest in research pertinent to reducing or eliminating health disparities may be eligible for the MHIRT program.
The University of Iowa MHIRT program has established student internship sites in the following locations:
At the time of application, students may indicate a site preference based on their geographical and research interests, however, the applicant's preferences are not necessarily guaranteed.
Graduate/professional students may also design their own project/site at an alternate location, if, at the time of application, they submit a project proposal and letters of support from both UI faculty mentors and international mentors at the site abroad.
- Participants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e. possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status). Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g. American Samoa). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to participate in the MHIRT program.
- Participants must be from a health disparities population that has been determined to be underrepresented in basic science, clinical, biomedical or behavioral health research. This may include (but is not limited to):
- African Americans, Hispanic/Latino(a) Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and/or
- The medically underserved (i.e. socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas). For more information on the definition of a medically underserved area, please contact our office or refer to http://muafind.hrsa.gov/.
- Participants must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program at either the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa, or provide proof of imminent acceptance to a degree-seeking program at the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa, at the time of submission of the MHIRT application
- Undergraduates must have completed at least three years of coursework in a major related to biomedical or behavioral health science
- Undergraduate and graduate/professional students with senior status are eligible provided they are able to comply with the obligations to the MHIRT program (stated below)
- Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Priority consideration shall be given to students that can demonstrate financial need (e.g. financial aid award letters and/or proof of receiving a need-based award)
Obligations to MHIRT
- Students must complete a course in responsible conduct in research prior to the internship departure date, such as the CITI online course offered through the University of Iowa Institutional Review Board & Human Subjects Office web site
- Students planning to conduct research with human subjects and graduate students who are designing their own project/site must designate a faculty mentor from the University of Iowa. This faculty mentor will serve to oversee student activities and provide academic counsel and support while the student is conducting the internship abroad.
- Should a participant choose to conduct research of their own design involving human subjects (rather than participate in an ongoing, pre-approved project coordinated by the international host institution), s/he must complete an IRB application and receive IRB approval prior to departing for the internship. Note: this process can be lengthy! If you are considering conducting research with human subjects, please contact our office as soon as possible for further information about this process.
- Students must comply with mandatory pre-departure activities, such as orientations and trainings
- During the semester following project completion, students must present their research results as a means of sharing their experiences and findings, typically at a seminar arranged by IBA and CIREH
- Students must complete a ten page paper describing their research projects or internship experiences and submit it at the conclusion of their projects
- Students must complete a program evaluation, both written and in person, with a MHIRT staff member
- Any publications resulting from research supported by a MHIRT internship award must be in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy
Terms of the Award
- Duration: The summer internship will last for a minimum of ten weeks and a maximum of twelve.
- Covered Expenses:
- Round trip airfare
- Stipend: $33/day (about $1,000 per month)
- Housing costs at host institution
- Passport, immunization, and insurance expenses
Applications will be read and evaluated by MHIRT selection committee members. Awards will be made based on how well they meet the following criteria:
- Appropriateness of the project to the trainee's academic level and future career plans
- A demonstration of background knowledge in research and/or technical skills for acquiring, processing and interpreting information to be gathered
- Priority will be given to applicants who are interested in research pertinent to reducing and/or eliminating health disparities
- Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need
Former MHIRT Trainees
Click here to view a list of past MHIRT students' sites and research projects.
Alternate Sources of Funding
Questions can be directed to:
MHIRT Program Coordinator
Center for International Rural and Environmental Health (CIREH)
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242