Doctoral Scholars

Successful Global Health Scholars have a strong foundation in their home discipline and use this foundation to conduct high quality, innovative dissertation research on a relevant global health challenge.

The Global Health Doctoral Scholars Program fosters dynamic intellectual exchange and mentorship between Duke doctoral students and encourages students to work on a global health project, develop a global health dissertation, and become involved in DGHI's intellectual community.

A Global Health Scholar is a doctoral candidate with a substantive interest in global health from the perspective of the student's primary discipline. A global health perspective is interdisciplinary and is influenced by social, economic, and cultural contexts of health. The Scholar's dissertation would be based on a project undertaken in a low- or middle-income country.

DGHI contributes 50% of the scholar's nine-month stipend. Initial funding is for one year and can be renewed for an additional year upon student’s successful application for continuation. Doctoral Scholars may request office space and are encouraged to spend time each week in Trent Hall to participate in research activities and facilitate participation in the intellectual community.

DGHI Faculty Expectations

The success of the Global Health Scholars Program rests on the mentoring relationship between the doctoral scholar and the DGHI faculty mentor. Mentors are expected to provide career development and opportunities to increase the likelihood of a successful career in global health. We encourage mentoring teams and collaboration between faculty, to maximize the student's exposure to and engagement with interdisciplinary approaches in the field of global health.

Contacts

Kathleen Sikkema
Director of DGHI Doctoral Studies

Sarah Martin
Assistant Director, DGHI Graduate Programs

Deadline

Friday, December 15, 2017 for the 2018-2019 academic year

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Program Components

Scholars will have the opportunity to engage in the following activities:

  • Contribute to a global health project being conducted by a DGHI faculty member. The project will ideally include exposure to international partner or location.
  • Conduct dissertation research on a global health topic.
  • Actively participate in the DGHI doctoral lunch seminar and present ongoing research at least once per year.
  • Contribute to DGHI programs through activities such as leading a lecture in a global health course, mentoring undergraduate students, leading a professional development workshop, or participating in a panel discussion.

Program Details

Eligibility

  1. Any student currently enrolled full time in a Duke doctoral program and working with (or proposing to work with) a DGHI faculty member. This includes any faculty member with a formal appointment as a member at the Duke Global Health Institute.
  2. Doctoral student must show evidence of significant interest in research on an important global health topic and likelihood of conducting a global health dissertation.
  3. Global Health Doctoral Scholars must be making successful academic progress in their home department and are encouraged to apply starting in their second year of PhD study, for funding in the third year or beyond.

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Program Duration
The Scholar appointment is for a minimum period of nine months (September to May). Initial funding is for one year and can be renewed for an additional year upon student’s successful application for continuation.

 

How to Apply

Doctoral students are encouraged to apply as early as their first year at Duke for the start of the next academic year. Successful application depends on the match between student interest and that of proposed DGHI faculty member, proposed topic of dissertation, and number of current scholars from the same department.

To apply, please submut the following items to gh-education@duke.edu by the deadline, with "Global Health Doctoral Scholars Application" in the subject line of your email:

  • A 3-5 page statement describing your background, global health interest, dissertation focus, and proposed research collaboration with DGHI faculty (submitted directly by applicant)
  • Current curriculum vitae (submitted directly by applicant)
  • A nomination letter detailing support for the applicant and a plan for mentoring his/her growth and development as a global health scholar (submitted directly by faculty member)
  • Statement of support from home department advisor, if not same person as the DGHI faculty member above* (submitted directly by advisor)
  • Letter of recommendation from Director of Graduate Studies of your home department (submitted directly by DGS)
  • Unofficial transcript of graduate-level coursework from Duke

*The program is most relevant for students in schools/departments that train doctoral students and are home to DGHI faculty members. It is recommended that the DGHI faculty mentor on whose research project the scholar is working also be the student's home department mentor/main advisor. In circumstances where this is not the case, or where the mentor/advisor does not have a global health research project opportunity, the student may propose to work with another DGHI faculty member. A letter stating the home department advisor's support of the student's application must be included with the above application materials.

The Duke Global Health Institute is part of why I applied to my PhD program at Duke. I wanted to collaborate with global health researchers as I sought doctoral training in environmental engineering. - Aaron Forbis-Stokes

 

Current Doctoral Scholars

EMILY CHERENACK

EMILY CHERENACK

PhD program: Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
DGHI mentor: Kathy Sikkema
Dissertation project: Study how stress and coping among adolescent girls during puberty impacts mental health, sexual risk, and reproductive health in high-risk, low-resource environments. 
 

Drew Day

ELSA FRIIS

PhD program: Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
DGHI mentor: Eve Puffer
Dissertation project: Use mobile technology to facilitate the dissemination of a family therapy intervention in Eldoret, Kenya.

Ali Giusto

Ali Giusto

PhD program: Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
DGHI mentor: Eve Puffer
Dissertation project: Investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally-adapted intervention integrating evidence-based principles of motivational interviewing and behavioral activation for alcohol-abusing fathers in Kenya to reduce problem drinking, co-morbid mood symptoms, and promote positive family engagement.

Yidong Gong

Yidong Gong

PhD program: Cultural Anthropology
Fieldwork site: South Sudan and China
DGHI mentor: Harris Solomon
Dissertation project: Investigate how Chinese doctors working in South Sudan reconfigure an influential socialist medical practice and exert an impact upon the biopolitical deployment in the post-conflict country.

Christopher Lam

Christopher Lam

PhD program: Biomedical Engineering
Fieldwork site: La Liga Contra el Cancer in Lima, Peru; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
DGHI mentor: Nimmi Ramanujam
Dissertation project: Design and assist in clinical implementation of a low-cost digital point-of-care tampon (POCkeT) digital colposcope for cervical cancer detection in resource limited settings.

Justin Lana

Justin Lana

PhD program: Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment
Fieldwork site: Madre de Dios, Peru
DGHI mentor: William Pan
Dissertation project: Explore risk factors for cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Peruvian Amazon using clinical, epidemiological and environmental approaches.

Elisa Maffioli

Elisa Maffioli

PhD program: Economics
Fieldwork site: Liberia
DGHI mentor: Wendy O’ Meara
Dissertation project: Investigate the political consequences of the Ebola outbreak, in particular the effects of the health epidemic on individual attitudes and trust towards a wide range of actors involved in the response, and voting behavior.

ROBERT MORHARD

ROBERT MORHARD

PhD program: Biomedical Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering
Fieldwork site: Lima, Peru
DGHI mentor: Nimmi Ramanujam
Dissertation project: Create a low-cost surgical alternative for tumor treatment appropriate for use in resource-limited settings through the modification of ethanol ablation.

JOSHUA RIVENBARK

JOSHUA RIVENBARK

PhD program: Public Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy (also a Duke medical student)
Fieldwork site: Multiple
DGHI mentor: Kathryn Whetten
Dissertation project: Investigate experiences of stigma and discrimination among institution- and community-based orphans across five countries over time and examine how those experiences relate to health behaviors and well-being.

Faraz Usmani

Faraz Usmani

PhD program: Environmental Economics, University Program in Environmental Policy
Fieldwork site: Senegal
DGHI mentor: Marc Jeuland
Dissertation project: Investigate the impacts of and constraints on improving energy access in developing countries.

 

Doctoral Scholar Alumni

Karmel Choi

Karmel Choi

PhD program: Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Fieldwork site: Cape Town, South Africa
DGHI mentor: Melissa Watt
Dissertation project: Investigate the influence of maternal trauma history and depression on infant bonding, growth and development among South African women recruited in antenatal care.
First position after graduation: Clinical and research fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital 
 

Drew Day

Drew Day

PhD program: Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health, Nicholas School of the Environment
Fieldwork site: Changsha and Shanghai, China
DGHI mentor: Jim Zhang
Dissertation project: Use filtration technologies to manipulate air pollution mixtures and dissect the relative impacts of different pollutants on cardiopulmonary health.

sarah diringer

Sarah Diringer

PhD program: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering
Fieldwork site: Madre de Dios, Peru
DGHI mentor: William Pan
Dissertation project: Examine distribution of mercury contamination related to artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Peru. Research on reducing mercury release and exposure using low-cost mercury capture technologies.
First position after graduation: Senior researcher, Pacific Institute

Aaron Forbis-Stokes

Aaron Forbis-Stokes

PhD program: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering
Fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya; Chennai, India; Toledo, Philippines
DGHI mentor: Marc Deshusses
Dissertation project: Develop a novel onsite fecal sludge treatment system that couples anaerobic digestion with pasteurization to produce a sterile effluent, preventing the spread of diarrheal disease.
First position after graduation: Associate in research, civil and environmental engineering, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

jenny orgill

Jenny Orgill

PhD program: Environmental Economics and Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy
Fieldwork site: Odisha, India; Zarqa, Amman
DGHI mentor: Marc Jeuland
Dissertation project: Investigate the long-term sustainability of latrine adoption, use and benefits from a community-led total sanitation campaign.
First position after graduation: Assistant professor of government and public health, Franklin & Marshall College

chris paul

Christopher Paul

PhD program: Environmental Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy
Fieldwork site: Rift Valley, Ethiopia
DGHI mentor: Randall Kramer
Dissertation project: Understand decision making in the face of environmental health threats and climate change, using the case of Ethiopia.
First position after graduation: Assistant professor of public administration, North Carolina Central University

divya rajan

Divya Rajan

PhD program: Public Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy
Fieldwork site: Karnataka, India
DGHI mentor: Manoj Mohanan
Dissertation project: Evaluate the impact of providing information to ethnic minorities and non-minorities on how to hold public health providers accountable using India’s Right to Information Act.

jie shang tan soo

Jie-Sheng Tan Soo

PhD program: Environmental Economics, University Program in Environmental Policy
Fieldwork sites: India, Indonesia
DGHI mentor: Subhrendu Pattanayak
Dissertation project: Estimate Indonesians' willingness to pay for better ambient air quality using a locational equilibrium model, assess the impact of early-life exposure to outdoor air pollution on later-life outcomes among children in Indonesia and evaluate households’ preference for various attributes of improved cooking stoves in Uttarakhand, India
First position after graduation: Research manager at Water.org
Current position: Assistant professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
 

sarah wilson

Sarah Wilson

PhD program: Clinical Psychology; Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
DGHI mentor: Kathleen Sikkema
Dissertation project: Assess psychological symptoms of women receiving surgical care for obstetric fistula (an often disabling maternal morbidity), and compare symptoms to those of gynecology outpatients.
First position after graduation: Postdoctoral fellow, Veterans Affairs Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center

 

Dissertation Field Research Grants

Doctoral Scholars may apply for financial support to conduct dissertation research on a global health topic, including travel costs to and from the data collection site, expenses associated with staying at the site, and the costs of data collection. The maximum amount of this grant is $12,500. Global Health Doctoral Scholars are eligible for only one dissertation grant, and only Global Health Doctoral Scholars are eligible for this funding. Proposal deadlines will fall in mid-March annually.

Call for Applications
 

Scholar Dissertation Research Locations