At a Glance

November 11, 2019 11:59 pm EST

Junior or senior pre-med undergraduate student

Funds one pre-medical student to participate in a three-week women's health program with UNC medical students and clinical faculty in Honduras

ID# 10031 | Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The UNC Medical Horizons Fellowship provides funding for an undergraduate student to join 1st and 4th year medical students on a summer women’s health project in Honduras. In collaboration with the UNC School of Medicine and the Honduran Health Alliance (HHA), this program offers the following:

  • Fully funded trip to Honduras to collaborate with medical students and local communities and provide health education talks, family planning resources, and women’s health screenings
  • Experience in a medical school environment and patient contact
  • Career and personal development and networking opportunities

The UNC Medical Horizons Fellowship was made possible by an anonymous donor who wants to break financial, cultural, and institutional barriers for students interested in medicine who would not otherwise have a global opportunity. The donor hopes this program can help change the face of medicine to be more inclusive of all people, one student at a time.

Applicant Profile

This program is part of UNC’s major effort to significantly increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students who have access to global opportunities. As such, we encourage applications regardless of a student’s age, disabilities, educational or family background, gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

Applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident
  2. Have advanced proficiency in Spanish
  3. Be a UNC undergraduate junior or senior planning to apply to medical school
  4. Have limited or no global travel experience
  5. Demonstrate financial need through one of the following:
    • Need-based financial aid eligibility as determined by your FAFSA
    • A narrative statement, if the other option does not apply, that discusses need


  • Particular interest in women’s health

The Opportunity

Students will travel to Honduras for three weeks in late June through July. Two 4th year medical students elected as the HHA Student Leaders will plan and execute the experience joined by the undergraduate student and 1st year medical students from the UNC School of Medicine. Participants will provide health education workshops, conduct preventative clinical women’s health screenings with UNC clinical faculty supervision during all patient interactions, and follow up with care. Students will live in small towns and rural villages in group home-stays with local families.

Please note that this award requires the fellow attend FMME 233/433 Global Health Elective Course, a one-hour, weekly spring semester course (not for credit) to prepare for the experience. See other award requirements below. 

Application Components

The initial application is completed online, and you can preview the application before you begin. The application consists of the following:

  • Application form, including name and contact information
  • Five short answer questions
  • Supporting financial documentation (if required)
  • List of past global travel experience (if any)
  • One reference
  • UNC Honor Pledge

Selected students will be invited for an interview with the HHA Student Leaders, Shay Slifko, from the Office of Global Health Education in the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases (IGHID), and Carolin Suedkamp, from the Center for Global Initiatives (CGI).

Evaluation of Applicants

Applications are evaluated by the HHA Student Leaders and the CGI and OIA Program Managers. In addition to the eligibility criteria, the following criteria will be considered:

Personal Need

  • Does the applicant require resources (i.e. funds, network) in order to complete the opportunity? Do they appear to be able to access other resources?
  • Would participation in the global opportunity allow the applicant to gain new, relevant global experience they wouldn’t otherwise have?
  • Will the experience encourage the applicant to explore other global opportunities and with greater depth?

Diversity of Background & Perspective

(Read more about our Opening Access work to learn more.)
  • Does the candidate bring an experience, perspective, and/or a background that has traditionally been underrepresented in global experiences?
  • Does the student face barriers to global experiences that are challenging to overcome through traditional global programs and opportunities?
  • Has the candidate demonstrated individual initiative which will help them maintain self-motivation and work independently?

Impact and Alignment with Academic & Career Goals

  • How will the proposed opportunity contribute deeply to the applicant’s stated career and academic goals?
  • How likely is the experience to impact a wide group of other UNC students and community members once the applicant returns?
  • Does the applicant exhibit the commitment to apply for medical school?

Feasibility, Planning & Commitment

  • How does the student plan to fit in all of the requirements for the program?
  • Does the applicant have the required language, technical and cultural skills necessary to successfully complete of the project?
  • How adaptable and capable is the student in dealing with the unique challenges in Honduras (sleeping in hammock with others, little access to showers, hiking, etc.)?

Application + Review Timeline

  • Application opens: early October
  • Applicant interviews: November 21-22, 2019
  • Application status notification: December 2019

Award Requirements

If selected for participation, all awardees must:

  • Attend FMME 433 Global Health Elective Course during spring semester (no academic credit or grade will be issued)
  • Complete an online survey before and after the trip
  • Attend Women’s Health Education Consultant (WHEC) pap smear education and training in March
  • Attend either GO! Global Orientation on Culture + Ethics (March 21, 2020) or the Office of Global Health Education’s Pre-Departure Meeting (April 2020)
  • Submit a final report to CGI after the experience
  • Attend debrief with School of Medicine in August
  • Present at one of the following:
    • The Center for Global Initiatives’ Global Projects Showcase (multiple offered throughout the year)
    • UNC Development event
    • Other approved speaking engagement