Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MIRT Program eligibility criteria, the application process, and program logistics are presented below.

Eligibility Criteria

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 undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows are eligible regardless of their state of residence or university location.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

To be eligible to apply as an undergraduate or graduate student, you must be in a full time degree program at the time the fellowship training period begins.

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

Undergraduate and graduate 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.

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

If you’ll be a 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.

7. I am interested in applying as a postdoctoral fellow. What are the eligibility requirements?

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Comparable doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., DC, DO, DVM., OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, DPT, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), DSW, PsyD, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research. Individuals in postgraduate clinical training, who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs, are also eligible.


How to Apply

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

You need three recommendations from (1) Academic Counselor, Academic Advisor or Mentor, (2) Science Professor or Research Preceptor and (3) Employer or Personal Reference (non-family).

2. 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.

3. 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!

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

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.

5. How do I access the MIRT Program application?

All applications should be submitted through our online application system. Specific instructions and links to the applications are available on our Apply page.


Program Logistics

1. 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, fellows’ interest, past research experiences, skills, and other factors. We do ask applicants to indicate their preference during the applications process.

2. 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.

3. 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.


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