Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellowship

Program Overview


The PGSSC was founded in 2010 in response to the lack of surgery in global health. In 2015, The Lancet Commission for Global Surgery drew global attention to the urgent need for development in providing safe and timely access to surgical care. This led to significant expansion within this field, establishing a global network of partnerships. PGSSC has since evolved from clinical fellowships to fellowships focused on research and policy, always striving to respond to the current needs in the growing field of global surgery. 

Fellowship Description

The Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship purpose of Fellowship is to train leaders to promote universal access to surgical, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care through education, research, and policy development. Fellows will also develop academic, advocacy, and administrative skills in global surgery, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care, public health, and surgical systems development. All fellows, regardless of specialty background, will work collaboratively on projects to advance the mission of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change - advocating for universal access to safe, affordable surgical, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care when needed. 



The Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship is for individuals who are currently in surgical residents, registrars or international equivalents in obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesia, and all surgical subspecialties. Please contact if you have any questions or concerns about eligibility. 

Fellowship Structure

Duration: 24 months

Curriculum: Divided between (1) Research, (2) International surgical care and systems strengthening and education, (3) Local and international policy and advocacy, and (4) Masters of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health (optional)

  1. Research: Fellows will conduct clinical and health care service research related to global surgery. Potential topics may include research focused on the burden of surgical disease in LMICs, local surgical capacity strengthening, clinical outcomes, cost effectiveness, and the implementation of innovative and/or disruptive technologies in resource-poor settings. Fellows will also be expected to gain experience writing grant proposals to obtain funding for research projects and working with IRBs.

  2. International surgical care and systems strengthening and education: Fellows will develop and monitor research projects at various stages of implementation. Fellows will also gain firsthand experience in surgical care delivery and program development, public health, human rights, and training of local providers.

  3. Policy and Advocacy: Fellows are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the global surgery agenda and will have the opportunity to participate in activities of the WHO, UNITAR and other international organizations such as the G4 Alliance and COSECA.

  4. Masters of Public Health: If they choose to do so, Fellows may pursue a Masters Degree in Public Health through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health during the Fellowship. The MPH degree must commence during the first year of the fellowship. Previous fellows have started their MPH through the Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health. Separate applications to these programs are required; acceptance into the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship does not guarantee acceptance into the MPH program.


  1. To train leaders in global surgery and build a multidisciplinary community involved in global surgery, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care.

  2. To advance the specialty of global surgery through research, advocacy, policy, development and education in resource poor settings worldwide.

  3. To develop, implement, and evaluate clinical and health care delivery research in LMICs based on a formal education in public health and clinical effectiveness.

  4. To mentor colleagues, including residents, medical students, and in-country collaborators, in the development of a global surgery research agenda. 

  5. To develop a knowledge of global public health issues, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and health care infrastructure around the world.

Application Information

In order to apply for the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship, please fill out the application.


In addition to submitting a completed application, please be sure to also include:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae listing all research, work, leadership positions and volunteer experiences. In addition, please list any international experiences you have had (include location, dates, and nature of involvement). 

  • A Personal Statement (should be limited to 700 words). This statement should attempt to address some or all of the following components: 

    • Your commitment and motivation to the field of global surgery. ​

    • Your understanding of the PGSSC and the work that we engage in. 

    • How you might benefit from the fellowship and how it aligns with your career goals. 

    • Share your background or experiences that have shaped your perspectives and interest in global surgery and how this will contribute to the work of the PGSSC.​​

  • Equity Statement (should be limited to 150 words): 

    • Provide a brief statement that explains your understanding of social change and equity, and its place in global health and surgery.

  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from residency director or chairman, a consultant or attending you have worked with closely in a clinical setting (these can be sent separately to the PGSSC email below or attached with your application materials) 

  • Official medical school transcript 

  • Official transcript of USMLE or Non-US equivalent test results (if applicable)


All application materials and questions should be emailed to If you choose to send your application materials via post, please send to the following address:


641 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA 02115