Frequently Asked Questions
- I have never traveled or studied abroad before. Should I apply?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to apply. One of the primary objectives of the program is to provide qualified minority students with the opportunity to further their career goals by participating in international opportunities.
You will be expected to work with mentors to carry out an independent research project, which will likely be an extension of ongoing research. As such, the MHIRT program will foster independent research opportunities under the support of program mentors.
Upon completion of the MHIRT program, you will be required to write and present a report of your research findings. Opportunities available may include presenting your findings at scientific meetings and/or submitting your findings for publication. Additionally, you will take part in a post-training session with other participants, where you will be given the opportunity to share your experiences.
Students are not expected to be fluent in a foreign language in order to participate at a majority of the sites; however, a basic working knowledge of the native language is necessary at some of the research sites. Language prerequisites are included in each site description.
For those sites without a language prerequisite, students may undergo language training in order to gain basic conversational skills in the language spoken at the site. (Program funds are available for any necessary language training.)
Yes. The cost of visas, passports, immunizations, airfare and housing while you are away are covered, and you will also be provided with a stipend for food and incidental expenses.
Program funds can also be made available for language training, and limited funds are available for costs associated with research projects performed at the overseas training sites.
The statement of purpose is a critical part of the application. This is your opportunity to present your reasons for wanting to participate in an international research program. Reviewers will study your application for evidence that you are capable, flexible and that your decision to travel to an international research site is purposeful, goal-oriented and in keeping with the mission of the program.
The primary mission of the MHIRT program is to provide minority students with an opportunity to undertake international research that has the potential to make a real difference in the care of under-served populations in the U.S. and developing countries.
You will be sent an acceptance letter that will include next steps to follow. First, you will meet with a member of the MHIRT staff to complete necessary paperwork, including an acknowledgement of your acceptance and willingness to participate in follow-up meetings after the completion of your training opportunity. You will then make an appointment to visit Tulane's pre-travel clinic for any necessary immunizations, as well as schedule time to attend mandatory orientation meetings that all trainees will attend prior to leaving the country. All questions you may have regarding what to take with you, travel and living arrangements, passport and visa requirements, and cultural and training issues for the specific site you will visit will be answered at the orientation meeting.
MHIRT trainees will meet as a group with program leaders at three training sessions prior to travel. The first will cover general program organization and cultural issues, the second will cover research methodology and research ethics and the third will cover biosafety issues. You will also arrange for individual training sessions with your U.S./Tulane mentor to plan your research project prior to traveling. Most of the 2010 MHIRT overseas training programs will take place in June through August.
Upon your return, you will be expected to present a report on your research project to other trainees and program staff, as well as prepare a presentation for local or national scholarly meetings. You will also participate in group sessions with other returning MHIRT trainees to share your overseas experiences. Finally, you will participate in a program evaluation and a long-term tracking program to follow MHIRT graduates' professional and academic training.