Global Short-Term Training Program
Participate in mentored research projects over the summer
The Global Short-Term Training Program (GSTTP) provides funded opportunities for students to participate in mentored research projects over the summer, after completion of their first year of medical school.
GSTTP is an eight-week program, during which students typically spend four to six weeks at a global site contributing to a research project.
Disciplines and mentorship
Research projects can be carried out across a wide range of disciplines (e.g., surgery, ophthalmology, pediatrics, infectious diseases, medical ethics, and public health, among others), as long as appropriate UCLA and in-country mentorship is available, and ethical regulatory applications (i.e. UCLA and in-country IRBs) are completed. A UCLA faculty mentor is required, but students may also have additional mentors outside of DGSOM.
The Global Health Program can help to pair students with mentors who conduct global health research in a student’s area of interest. However, it is the student’s responsibility to connect with mentors and receive approval to work on a global health research project through a formal application process (application is updated each year around September, please ensure you complete the most current application). We recommend that students explore opportunities early in their first year, with the selection of a mentor and project by October/November. The application deadline is in December/January of each year, although the exact date will vary from year to year.
Upon return, students are required to present their work as a poster at UCLA’s Josiah Brown Poster Fair in mid-July. Other scholarly outputs from the experience (e.g., publications and presentations) are encouraged but are not required. Students should discuss these opportunities with both UCLA and host country mentors to clarify expectations about publications prior to committing to a project. No prior international travel experience is required to participate in GSTTP.
Students accepted into the program will receive a stipend of $4,100 from the Dean’s Office, and the Global Health Program will award additional travel funds to offset some of the costs of travel and living abroad (typically $1,000 for students traveling to Latin America and Asia, and $1,500 for students traveling to Africa). Funding levels may vary slightly from year to year. Most students are able to cover their summer expenses with the funding provided, but it is up to the student to manage their budget carefully and understand that they are responsible for any expenses in excess of the stipends.
Examples of student research projects
A full list of posters from past Josiah Brown Poster Fairs can be found here. It is a great resource to see what projects students have conducted in prior years as part of GSTTP.
Recent examples of summer research projects include:
Title: Characterizing Clinical Manifestations of Congenital Zika Syndrome in Non-Microcephalic Infants
DGSOM Students: Jessica Cranston and Sophia Finn Tiene
UCLA Mentor: Karin Neilsen-Saines, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics
Title: Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Ocular Toxoplasmosis in Cameroon
DGSOM Student: Joseph Tran
UCLA Mentor: Gary Holland, MD, Jules Stein Institute
Title: High Prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in HIV-infected pregnant women in Cape Town, South Africa
Location: South Africa
DGSOM Student: Carolyn Smullin
UCLA Mentor: Jeff Klausner, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine / Dvora Davey, PhD, Fielding School of Public Health
Title: Assessing Malawian men's knowledge and opinions about cervical cancer
DGSOM Students: Samuel Lewis
UCLA Mentor: Risa Hoffman, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine / Corrina Moucheraud, ScD, Fielding School of Public Health
Title: Neurodevelopmental Assessments to Screen for HIV Encephalopathy
DGSOM Students: Jyodi Mohole
UCLA Mentor: Chis Buck, MD, Department of Pediatrics
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or email Dr. Dan DeUgarte, Director of the GSTTP Program at DDeugarte@mednet.ucla.edu and copy Dr. Traci Wells at TWells@mednet.ucla.edu (please be sure to include both names in your email).
How to apply
Application materials are updated in the fall of each year; please check the date on the application to ensure you are completing the correct version. In addition to the application, students are required to review and sign the Code of Conduct and Risk Reduction Agreement.
Once accepted, students will then be asked to complete the following additional participation requirements:
Sign up for UC Traveler Security and Health Coverage Benefits - The University of California has arranged for students and employees traveling on official University business to be covered for a variety of accidents and incidents while away from campus or the primary workplace. Please visit the UC Travel Insurance page for details. If your air travel is purchased through UCLA travel, you will automatically be signed up for coverage and will receive a confirmation email at your UCLA email address.
Register for the US State Department STEP Program - The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Please visit the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) page for more information and instructions on how to register.
Make an appointment at a Travel Clinic - For additional information on travel health and UCLA Travel Clinic resources, please visit the Traveler Security and Health page.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) and in-country bioethics committee approvals - Prior to departure, students are required to submit proof of both UCLA IRB and in-country bioethics committee approvals (or exemptions). For specific IRB requirements and guidance, please carefully review this document. We encourage students to get started on this process as early in the calendar year as possible! Please reach out to Rachel Abbott with IRB-related questions (REAbbott@mednet.ucla.edu).