Global Public Health Student Travel Grant

The College of Public Health Global Health Committee is committed to providing and expanding international opportunities for public health students at all levels of their educations. Due to the generosity of members of the greater CPH community, CPH is able to offer substantial grants to be used for the express purpose of making international experiences more accessible to student who wish to go abroad as an integral part of their global health education. The Global Public Health Travel Grant is available for experiential learning opportunities outside the U.S. and applications are reviewed on a rolling monthly basis.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are encouraged to consider study abroad opportunities are part of their experiential learning requirement. Working in conjunction with the University of Iowa Study Abroad Office, undergraduates should meet with their academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss adding study abroad to their 4-year graduation plan. Eligible global experiences might include international coursework, internships, or other experiential learning opportunities.

Travel grants will be awarded in amounts up to $3000.

For a full summary of grant eligibility and application considerations, download our Undergraduate Student Travel Grant Award Guidelines.

Graduate Students

Graduate students interested in working and studying overseas may apply for a travel grant to fund a variety of international learning opportunities. MPH, MS, and PhD students are all strongly encouraged to apply. Research and practicum experiences are both eligible for funding, as well as international internships and select coursework.  Students must have completed a minimum of 2 semesters of coursework toward their current degree to be eligible, but should begin the travel planning process as soon as possible. Students who need assistance in finding international opportunities should meet with their faculty advisor or the global health coordinator for guidance.

Travel grants will be awarded in amounts up to $5000.

For a full summary of grant eligibility and application considerations, download our Graduate Student Travel Grant Award Guidelines.

 Submit an Application

Applications are accepted and reviewed monthly via the global public health online submission form. Applications must be received no later than 3 months before the intended departure date to be considered.

A complete application should include:

  1. Cover page (s) including the title of the proposed activity, dates of the proposed activity, applicant’s name and contact information, and a 250 word summary of intended travel purpose or research abstract. (1 page)
  2. Please provide answers to the following questions (2 pages maximum):
    1. What will your proposed activities be while you are overseas? If you continue your activities once you return to the US, please also include that information.
    2. Why did you choose this international site or program and how does it relate to your current public health educational goals?
    3. What is the name of the faculty or staff advisor at the University of Iowa who is advising you about this activity? In what ways are they helping you?
    4. Please describe any previous research, work, or volunteer experience you have had that you think will contribute to the success of this project, including previous international experience.
    5. How do you think that this experience will contribute to your future academic and career goals?
    6. How do you feel this experience will contribute to the goals of globalizing the College of Public Health? For example, can this activity lead to the establishment of any long-term collaborations that may benefit other students or faculty in CPH?
  3. Provide an itemized budget with written description of the justification for each item requested (1-2 pages). A budget template can be found here.
  4. Provide an anticipated itinerary of your trip, including details regarding location, accommodations, and activities.
  5. Include a recommendation form from a faculty advisor and department head.
  6. Letter of support from the in-country host or program, which states that the host or program is expecting you to come and agrees to assist you with making arrangements “on the ground” as necessary. If going abroad with an international organization, please include an acceptance letter from your program provider.


For students conducting research abroad, please also include the following items:

  1. Describe the project aims and the research methodology, including plan for IRB approval (you may attach as a separate document, 2 pages maximum).
  2. Please provide a timeline showing progress of activity, to be completed in one year or less.

 Proposal Review

All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the CPH Global Health Committee. Criteria for review include:

  1. Program or research goals are related to public health and contribute to the student’s educational goals.
  2. Experience will provide students with learning opportunities they would not be able to gain at UI CPH.
  3. Chosen program or location is in good academic standing and can provide the student with basic necessities during the time abroad.

For students conducting research, the committee will also look for the following criteria:

  1. Proposed project and budget are feasible during the amount of time specified.
  2. Sufficient evidence of enough existing contact with proposed international collaborators to support successful visit.
  3. Impact of proposed project on applicant’s future career goals.

 Reflection Requirements

All grant recipients must prepare a final reflection of their time abroad using the guidelines below. The final reflection is due no later than 60 days following their return to the U.S. All submissions should be sent to the Global Public Health Initiative at

For students going abroad in non-research capacity (internships, study, etc):

1. Prepare a 1-page cover page that includes the following items.

  • One paragraph summary of where you went and what you accomplished or participated in while you were abroad.
  • Answer the following question: Why did you choose to go abroad in a public health capacity?
  • Answer the following question: How did your time abroad shape the way you approach the field of public health?
  • Answer the following question: How has your time abroad influenced your future goals, interests, and ambitions in the field of public health?
  • Answer the following question: Based what you learned during your time abroad, why should other CPH student consider an international experience?

2. Create a media journal (photos and text or video story) reflecting on or more of the following questions. This journal is meant to be both personally and professionally reflective and should demonstrate your thoughts on the benefits and experiences of your time abroad. Student are encouraged to be creative in how they choose to capture their reflection.

  • What are the cultural differences you encountered in public and environmental health practice and how did you adapt?
  • In what ways did you experience culture shock and how did you react?
  • What personal interactions did you have with different health systems and how would these interactions impact your assessment of health systems in your home country or other global systems?
  • Demonstrate how communication is different in international settings and how you adapted your professional/academic communication style to work with international peers.
  • What are the social, political, and environmental determinants that impact health in the country you visited and how does it differ from your home country?
  • How did your problem-solving skills evolve during your time abroad and what cultural aspects impacted that evolution?
  • Did you experience an ethically-confusing situation? If so, how did you respond and how would you improve international collaboration to be more ethically beneficial for all countries and cultures involved?
  • How do you plan to incorporate your global learning experience in your future career plans?
  • How has globalization impacted determinants of health?
  • Compare and contract public health problems and responses in different countries.

3. Complete the attached assessment questionnaire. (COMING SOON)


For students going abroad in research capacity: (COMING SOON)


Questions or comments? Contact CPH Webmaster. This page was last reviewed on February 20, 2018.