Global Health Policy Lab Projects


The Global Health Policy Lab engages Dartmouth students in team-based projects conducted in partnership with Ministries of Health, nongovernmental organizations, and community partners in resource-constrained settings. The projects combine formal coursework at Dartmouth with a term of international field research culminating in the production of a policy brief for a partner institution. Global Health Policy Lab projects involve a credit-bearing course in the spring term followed by ten weeks of field research in an international setting. Past Global Health Policy Lab teams have focused on topics such as: 

  • The creation of a palliative care program in Kosovo
  • The use of telehealth to increase access to specialty care in Peru
  • Substance abuse treatment among indigenous youth in Greenland
  • Policy responses to rising cesarean section rates in Kosovo

In the spring, students participate in a spring course preparing students to undertake independent, team-based field research. Course components are as follows:

  • Topical sessions with a range of subject matter and country experts from Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and other institutions
  • Advanced research methods workshops 
  • Project management clinics taught by Tuck School of Business School faculty
  • Training on global health ethics, research ethics, and intercultural awareness.

By the end of the spring term, students will develop a comprehensive literature review on their research topic and formulate a research methodology for their project. 

In the subsequent summer term, teams travel to country sites to implement their research plans. Teams gather data through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and meetings with local and international experts. Within the country, teams may visit multiple sites to learn about the larger context for their research question – for example, last year’s Peru team visited hospitals in three cities, each in a different region of the country, to learn about the range of health access issues that a telehealth program could address.

At the end of the summer, teams use their research findings to create a policy paper, which is then delivered to the Ministry of Health or project partner. Producing the final product requires students to synthesize data from a wide range of sources, reconcile different perspectives and interests, and translate their findings into language that is accessible and useful to decision-makers.

Projects: Winter 2020

The Global Health Policy Lab expects to field up to four teams in Winter 2020. working on a range of policy projects on maternal health, cancer screening, and telehealth with partners in Kosovo, Peru, Nepal, and Honduras. Candidates will be assigned to teams based on skills and experience. 

Requirements & Application Process

The Global Health Policy Lab is open to upper class undergraduate students. Students must have completed either a public policy or social science research methods course. Completion of a global health course and additional research methods courses and/or prior global health or cross-cultural experience is highly encouraged. Strong cross-cultural skills and an ability to work as part of an independent research team are essential for participation in lab projects. Candidates must be available to participate in both a spring seminar on campus in Fall 2019 and the co-curricular field experience in Winter 2020.

Candidates apply to the Global Health Policy Lab program. Candidates are required to submit transcripts, one to two letters of recommendation, and a writing sample at the time of application. Finalists will be invited to participate in an in-person or remote interview. All applications are due on May 1, 2019 at 5pm.  

Please note that the application process for the Global Health Policy Lab is now conducted separately from the Global Health Initiative Internship Program. 


Friday, May 1, 2020 - 5:00pm
Fund type: 
The John Sloan Dickey Center