Many CPH students have an interest in global research projects, and the Global Public Health Initiative is here to support those goals. Since the needs of each project are different, we advise any student interested in international research to begin the preparation process immediately, as it might take up to a year to finalize all the details.
Below is a summary of the first steps you should take. Not all of these steps will be relevant to all projects.
Step 1: Speak with your faculty advisor
When it comes to research abroad, whether it’s your own or as part of a larger faculty research project, students are advised to work closely with their faculty advisor or research mentor regarding project content. We recommend discussing the possibilities of global research with your faculty advisor to help you determine if an international project is the correct fit for your academic goals and timeline.
Items to discuss:
- Your research topic
- Your travel dates (i.e. time you plan to be abroad)
- How this project will impact your graduation plan, academic goals, and GRA status
- Travel locations (if specific to research topic)
Please note: Students traveling under the affiliation of the University of Iowa must adhere to travel safety restrictions as determined by the central administration. For liability reasons, students are not allowed to travel to countries with a travel safety rating of 3 or 4. In exceptional circumstances, select students may apply for a travel waiver for locations with a travel safety rating of 3. You can check the current travel safety status of any country at travel.state.gov/destination.
Step 2: Meet with the Global Public Health Office
After you have spoken with your faculty advisor and determined a research topic, you should meet with the CPH Global Health Coordinator. The coordinator will help you with the logistics of traveling within the university system. Factors such as funding, mandatory travel insurance, and pre-departure orientation are required for all students traveling on behalf of the university and are overseen by the Global Public Health office. The Global Public Health office can also assist in identifying partner universities, NGOs, and research mentors abroad if needed.
During this meeting, the Global Health Coordinator will advise you on the appropriate next steps and a timeline for preparing for your trip. Students can schedule meeting with the Global Health Coordinator by logging in to MyUI and clicking on Advising Appointments.
Step 3: Write your project proposal
As with any research project, the quality of your research comes first. If research abroad is part of an ongoing research project and you already have a prepared project proposal, that may be sufficient for these purposes. If this trip abroad is for a stand-alone project, you will need to create a detailed project proposal to ensure your research is relevant and sound, including an IRB review. The project proposal should also include justification of the need for international travel pertaining to your research.
At this time, students should also begin working on a preliminary budget, as cost might impact your length of stay and project feasibility. You can download a budget template here.
Step 4: Identify and connect with international research partners/institutions (if necessary)
Students are advised to work jointly with an academic institution or NGO that is local to the area where you will be traveling. Your faculty mentor or advisor may have partners with whom they prefer you to work. The Global Public Health Initiative also has a database of collegiate partners all over the world who may be available to you as potential resources.
As soon as you know your travel timeline, you should begin working with your in-country contacts to ensure you will have living and research necessities. Some students may need to communicate with their in-country contacts to complete their research proposal and will need to initiate contact sooner.
Step 5: Apply for funding
Students can apply for funding through a number of on- and off-campus entities. For more information about the CPH Global Public Health Student Travel Grant, click the button below.