Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MIRT Program are presented below. We hope students applying to the MIRT Program will find this section useful.

1. Is the MIRT Program open to non-Harvard students?

Students from all over the US can and do apply to the MIRT program. Highly qualified students are eligible regardless of their state of residence or university location.

2. Will I be able to choose the country I want to go?

The country assignments will be made by the admissions committee. These assignments are based on availability of projects and local mentors, students’ interest, past research experiences, skills, and other factors. We do ask applicants to indicate their preference during the applications process.

3. I’m not a permanent resident or US citizen, will I be able to apply to the program?

Sorry, you must be a US Citizen or permanent US resident to apply to the program. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to participate in the MIRT Program.

4. How many recommendations do I need to my applications?

You need three recommendations: (1) from your professor, (2) from your academic counselor, and (3) from employer or personal reference.

5. I’ll be graduating in the fall quarter; will I be able to apply?

No, you can not apply to the program. You must be in a full time degree program at the time the fellowship training period begins.

6. I’ll be graduating in the spring /summer quarter, will I be eligible to apply?

Students graduating the semester or quarter prior to the beginning of the MIRT fellowship in June/July; but who will be enrolling into a degree program the following fall (and can provide an acceptance letter) are eligible to apply.

7. I am currently a sophomore student; will I be eligible to apply to the Program?

If you’ll be junior by the time of the fellowship, you are eligible to apply. One of the eligibility criterion of the program is to be in at least at a junior standing at the time of the start of fellowship.

8. Will I be able to get credit for my MIRT Fellowship?

MIRT requires that all students complete a research paper and abstract. The program has no influence on what your home university considers to be work that is worthy of receiving credit. If you want to receive credit for your summer project that you do with the MIRT Program, then it will entirely be up to you to negotiate this with your adviser or professor that you expect to receive credit from. Interested students should contact their academic advisers or professor at their home institution first to determine the process for receiving credit.

9. What is the GPA requirement for application?

We don’t state a particular GPA as being necessary to apply. However, those students with an excellent GPA are the most successful. Most successful applicants have at least a 3.0 in their major courses.

10. What does underrepresented students means?

Students who are underrepresented in basic science, biomedical, clinical or behavioral health research career fields. The NIH particularly encourages institutions to recruit individuals from health disparities groups that are underrepresented in health-related research. Nationally, these groups include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and rural Appalachians.

11. Do I need to have a previous research experience?

NO, a strong desire to participate in international health research is required. Having some previous research experience is helpful but not required. Other criteria which make a successful application would include a strong interest in biomedical/behavioral science/research, and mature/independent students who would make a good member of a research team.

12. What will be the housing situation?

Housing is arranged by MIRT Program staff and faculty. We take into consideration cultural issues, safety, and other factors. When possible we try to provide “home-stays” with local families. Home-stays provide students the opportunity to learn more about the country and culture. Lasting friendships develop from many of the home-stays. In some countries, we find individual apartments for students and supplement with experience with a series of cultural activities including language training and local travel and tours.

13. I wish to apply for the MIRT Fellowship, but I don’t have any Spanish speaking skills.

MIRT has English speaking sites too. So, we encourage you to apply. To be most competitive, however, we encourage applicant to begin studying foreign language of the site they are most interested in being assigned to. It’s never too late to begin a rigorous self- or group study of Spanish, Thai, Georgian, etc!

14. Can I be a MIRT Fellow even if I am a graduate student?

Yes, you can. However 75% of the trainees are undergraduates.

15. Can I apply after the deadline? I just heard about the program?

No, we accept applications by the deadline.

16. Any other questions?

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