Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellowship

Fellowship Description


The Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship was created by the Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with Partners In Health and the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School. The purpose of the Fellowship is to train leaders who will further promote surgical, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care, education, research, and policy development in the field of global surgery in resource poor settings around the world. 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 hallmark and priority of this program is to provide Fellows the opportunity to learn the research and business management skills necessary to develop and manage surgical care delivery and research in low and middle income countries.

The main focus of the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship curriculum revolves around education, research, and the provision of surgical care. Fellows are expected to work collaboratively and participate in the education and training of other residents and medical students that may be working as part of the Global Surgery Team.



The Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship is for individuals currently in surgical training or residency from 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 EESC at the WHO as well as 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 can be started 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 delivery of surgical care 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 participate in humanitarian relief and delivery of surgical care in LMICs in conjunction with non-governmental organizations or local Ministries of Health.

  6. 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, and volunteer experiences. In addition, please list any international experiences you have had (include location, dates, and nature of involvement)

  • A Personal Statement. This statement should describe your interest in and commitment to expanding the field of global surgery. Please also explain how you feel that you might benefit from this fellowship. Personal statements should be limited to one single- spaced page

  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from residency director or chairman (these can be sent separately to the PGSSC email below) 

  • Official transcript of USMLE or Non-US equivalent test results

  • Official medical school transcript


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

© 2020 by Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change

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