Travel Grants for BUSM IV Students

The GH Program at BUSM awards travel grants to BU medical students for research or clinical electives at least four weeks in length. Travel grant applications are accepted once per year (October 15) and funded through a competitive process.

[ Related links: How to Set Up an GH Elective | Required Responsibilities for Students Undertaking GH Electives ]


Awards typically range from $400 to $1500, although awards of less or more are given. If a student received funding previously from the GH Program (e.g., summer scholarship), then the amount of the travel grant may be reduced. Since funds are limited, students are highly encouraged to seek other sources of funding to support their GH elective. See Funding for a list of possibilities.


BUSM GH Program will not give academic credit for, pay for, supervise, direct, or otherwise support a medical student in a country where a U.S. State Department Travel Warning is in effect. See Travel Warning Policy.

Application Process

Before a student may apply for a travel grant, the elective must be added to his/her schedule – see How to Set Up an GH Elective.

To apply for the travel grant, submit one of the following by October 15:

  • Travel Grant Application (for electives not yet undertaken by October 15)
  • Post-Experience Report (for electives completed before October 15). If you completed your elective before October 15, you must submit a post-experience report. Under Student Information, check ‘Yes’ to the following question: "Is this post-elective report also a travel grant request for a 4th-year GH elective?" This will ensure your elective will be considered for funding.

Application deadline is:

  • October 15 (yearly)

Selection Criteria

The selection committee uses the following criteria when awarding the travel grants:

  • Academic standing
  • Length of time spent on project (minimum of 4 weeks)
  • Location of study site, with priority given to sites in developing countries
  • Clarity of ideas expressed and level of detail given
  • Extent to which the proposed experience meets the goals of the GH program
  • Effort put into preparation for proposed experience
  • The degree to which the experience includes a public health component
  • Relevance of learning objectives. The B.U. mentor can assist the student with developing learning objectives and planning the project.
  • Appropriateness of proposed budget

When determining the level of support for each particular travel grant, the committee takes into consideration previous financial support given to the student such as funds received from the GH Summer Scholarship Program as well as support from outside sources (e.g., private organizations). This allows equitable awards for all students.


Announcement of awards are made about four weeks after each application deadline. Once the grant is awarded, no further negotiation of terms can be expected, but the timing of the award is flexible. Experiences that span more than one block may be eligible for more than one block’s funding. If plans change after an award letter is sent (in the case of those students who have not yet undertaken their electives), the student must notify the GH Program by submitting a revised Travel Grant Application and updated ADD Form for GH Elective. Funding is not guaranteed if changes to the original project are substantial.

Travel Grant (Reimbursement)

Upon finishing the GH elective, students must complete the following steps for reimbursement. The steps must be completed within 30 days of the student’s return and no later than the Friday before graduation.

  • Complete the Post-Elective Report.
  • Complete “Course 3: Reflection, the third of three courses of the Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health series. The series prepares students and trainees to safely and effectively participate in global health learning experiences. "Course 3: Reflection" helps you prepare to return including dealing with unexpected feelings and health issues. It also helps you plan for future work and sustainability. The course is free-of-charge and will generate a certificate upon completion that must be submitted as part of the reimbursement form (next step).
  • Complete Student Reimbursement Form for Travel Grant to receive payment. 

Other Opportunities

Students are encouraged to develop a presentation or poster (based on the GH experience) for consideration at the annual meeting of Consortium of Universities for Global Health held annually in the spring.