COPH supports faculty endeavors to bring public health to the world

| CFH, EPI-BIO, Global Health, Intl Programs, Monday Letter, Our World, Undergraduate

The public health field is a global entity by nature, touching everyone from our next-door neighbors to people in remote villages on the other side of the Earth. Acknowledging a burgeoning swarm of public health issues and needs everywhere, the USF College of Public Health answers the call by encouraging professional development through faculty and staff scholarships for endeavors domestic and abroad.

world map

International travel is facilitated in part by the Public Health Faculty International Program Development Award, an internal award that helps cover travel costs associated with “instituting new collaboration or facilitating existing collaboration with international partners” or “developing educational programs, initiating new research collaborations (but not to conduct research), or other similar scholarly activities overseas that will advance the global agenda of the COPH.” International conferences do not qualify.

“The travel award program is basically for faculty who want to visit a place to start a research collaboration, or to look for scholarly exchange, or to write a grant,” said Dr. Boo Kwa, professor and associate dean for international programs in the Department of Global Health. “Faculty usually have other means of funding if they’re going to give a paper at a conference. They also may have research grants that allow them to go to another country to do research. But if they want to just explore possibilities of new linkages, new partnerships, new collaborations, they usually find it hard to find funding. This award is specifically for that.

Boo Kwa, PhD

Boo Kwa, PhD

“So if we have faculty who might go to a new place where they had already talked to people about collaborations,” Kwa further elaborated, “they can go there, sit down with their collaborators, write a grant together, look at the potential of that place to do more than research. It could be bringing students there, too, at a future date to do international field experience. So that’s basically the function of this grant, to allow some initial exploratory visits to places overseas that will result in either research, writing grants, collaborations, scholarly exchange or workshops.”

The COPH Office of International Programs administers the competitive award, including reviews of proposals based on a list of specific criteria. All COPH faculty members are eligible to apply for one award per fiscal year. Proposals may be for travel anywhere in the world, but priority is given to OIP’s regional hubs in Panama, Ecuador, Uganda and Malaysia. Travel to countries under State Department warnings is allowed but must be approved by the dean.

An award of up to $3,500 may be granted to a faculty member traveling alone. A delegation of two or more faculty members traveling to the same destination for the same purpose may apply together for larger amounts that ordinarily is capped at $5,000.

Each application must include a written statement of purpose, the program to be developed, an outline of goals and objectives, planned itinerary and agenda, an itemized estimated budget and certification of passport, visa(s) and emergency medical and evacuation insurance. The application must be approved by the faculty member’s department chair before it can be submitted to the OIP.

Student travel is not covered by the award, but students do sometimes go on trips with faculty funded by the award. Additional paperwork submitted to the Field Experience Office is required.

Awardees are required to submit written reports of their travels and what they accomplished within four weeks of their return or by July 15, whichever comes first. Reports are submitted to the appropriate department chairs and the Office of International Programs.

The review for this fall’s applications began Oct. 17 for travel to be completed by June 15, 2015. Depending on availability of funds, applications may be accepted after the review process has begun.

This year’s awardees:

Rank Department City Country Proposed Partner Organization
Yiliang Zhu, professor
Wei Wang, associate professor
EPB Beijing, Xi’An, Lanzhou, Shanghai China Lanzhou University, Gansu Traditional Chinese Medicine University, North West Normal University
Ismael Hoare, assistant professor
Martha Coulter, professor
GH/CFH Belmopan, Belize, Punta Gorda Town Belize Women’s Department (Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation), The National Women’s Coalition, Department of Social Work, UB Toledo Campus, San Antonio Polyclinic
Lauri Wright, assistant professor CFH New Delhi India University of Delhi Department of Nutrition
Kay Perrin, associate professor and assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies CFH Panama Panama USF Health Panama
Rita DeBate, professor and associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs CFH London England Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust


Story by David Brothers, USF College of Public Health. Photo by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications.