Global Health Fellows Program


The Global Health Fellows Program offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how global health policy is formulated and implemented. As part of the Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance, Global Health Fellows receive both academic and experiential perspectives on how intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector shape global health policy.

The Global Health track combines internships with global health stakeholder organizations in Geneva and an intensive course on global health issues. It is open to graduate students attending schools of public policy, public health and medicine.

Program Structure

The Global Health track requires a minimum commitment of eight weeks. Program components include placement in a health policy-related internship for a minimum of 8 weeks, and the required five-day intensive course on “Health Policy in a Globalizing World.” Importantly, Global Health Fellows will also belong to a cohort of other fellows from a diverse range of backgrounds who share a common interest in global health. To apply to be a Global Health Fellow with the Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance, please refer to the admissions procedure.

About the policy internship

All Fellows work in a Geneva-based policy internship, where they gain useful experience contributing to program and policy-making in global health. Some Fellows help to prepare policy briefings and meetings; others conduct gap-filling research. From building databases and interviewing stakeholders to synthesizing literature and putting together presentations, fellows contribute to the work of placement sites. Recent internship sites have ranged from NGOs like Médecins Sans Frontières to public-private partnerships like the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and intergovernmental organizations such as WHO and UNAIDS. Those arriving by mid-May may also witness the deliberations of the World Health Assembly. Many Fellows forge lasting professional ties and friendships, both with mentors and with a cohort of future leaders in global health.

About the course

This course provides an overview of the forces of globalization shaping health in our world, with particular emphasis on issues of innovation and access to health technologies. The course modules cover issues of cross-border challenges in global health and the disparities that arise from asymmetries in globalizing public goods like medicines and public ‘bads’ like tobacco; the implications of trade rules and intellectual property regimes on public health; and the architecture of global health governance. Through seminars and site visits, participants will gain an appreciation of the context and policy levers affecting health in a globalizing world.

The course is led by Dr. Anthony So, Director of the Program on Global Health and Technology Access at the Sanford School of Public Policy. “Health Policy in a Globalizing World” draws lessons from different challenges in globalization and health equity, and in so doing, provides a clearer vision of how exemplars in one area might inform approaches in others. From year to year, the course offering varies, often highlighting current policy issues. In the past, course participants have heard from senior officials from a wide range of Geneva-based organizations engaged in global health, from the WHO’s Tobacco-Free Initiative and World Alliance for Patient Safety to the Polio Eradication Initiative and the WHO’s Department of Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property. Course participants also pay site visits to nine to ten different organizations. Past site visits have included the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Médecins sans Frontières, and UNAIDS. - Sample Course Syllabus

During the course week, the program also facilitates additional evening events, such as a program reception, mentorship dinners, and networking events.

About the Faculty Instructor

Dr. Anthony So joined Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy in 2004 as Director of a new Program on Global Health and Technology Access. The program focuses on issues of globalization and health, particularly innovation and access to essential medicines for those in developing countries. The program works as the Strategic Policy Unit for ReAct, a global coalition dedicated to combating antibiotic resistance. Dr. So's research on the ownership of knowledge and how it is best harnessed to improve the public's health spans from conceptualizing a technology trust and patent pools to reengineering the value chain from R&D to delivery of health technologies for developing countries.

About Funding

Please note that Fellows may not accept funding from industry or corporate foundation sources to support their participation in the program.

The Global Health track receives support from the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke University’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access at the Sanford School of Public Policy.