The Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), dedicated to “building the field of global health,” exists to explore the nexus of 21st century health challenges and opportunities across geographical and conceptual borders. Embracing the interdisciplinary linkages between health and the broader social context, HGHI provides a global health outlook to a critical mass of scholars across the arts, sciences, and beyond, to support a University-wide effort to educate the next generation of global health leaders.
Around the world today, the chasm between the health status of disparate populations—risks as well as opportunities—has never been greater. Intense changes in demographics, from population growth to rapid urbanization, along with unprecedented shifts in patterns of disease and cross-border risks, are coupled with unprecedented advances in knowledge, technology, and innovation. The contemporary 21st-century context reveals a paradox of side-by-side wealth and poverty, a juxtaposition of challenge and opportunity, potential and promise for collective global progress adjacent to a stark reality that begs for greater social investment.
A landscape of global health that can address these disparities must begin at the level of community. The scale and complexity of emerging 21st-century challenges will require a community of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers—with different areas of expertise and perspectives—to engage in research, teaching, practice, and policy at the borders of traditional disciplines: through collaboration, inspiration, and education.
Harvard University has among the world’s greatest capacity for global health research and education with its internationally recognized schools of medicine and public health, teaching hospitals, and health-relevant institutes. The global health landscape at Harvard also includes faculty, students, and alumni from a body of world-class non-health professional schools (business, law, education, government, design, religion, arts and sciences, and engineering and applied sciences), as well as regional centers, leadership programs, and interfaculty initiatives. HGHI leverages this collective expertise through three core functions:
Educate: Strengthen learning and teaching opportunities in world health.
The Institute has transformed our educational platform by reframing world health within a global and interdisciplinary context. HGHI promotes collaborative curricular design, innovative pedagogy, and cross-disciplinary teaching; supports the integration of global health perspectives into learning opportunities across the University; and designs student experiences to prepare socially responsible, self-reflective, respectful global citizens.
Integrate: Catalyze progress on 21st-century global health challenges.
The Institute creates learning spaces that accommodate ‘unusual conversations’ and seed new intellectual communities; prioritizes interdisciplinary challenges that are consequential, intractable, and actionable; provides flexible convening and support to facilitate collaboration and promote engagement across sectors; and ensures scholarly efforts are paired with a strategy to contextualize, translate, and disseminate new knowledge.
Inspire: Incubate and invest in innovative ideas and individuals.
The Institute inspires students to pursue aspirational ideas for social change, providing means, mechanisms, and mentorship; fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and scholarship that embraces context and community engagement; incentivizes attention to relevancy and impact through fellowships for doctoral students and junior faculty; and invest in emerging leaders (local and global) and innovative partnerships (individual and institutional).
Cutting across all HGHI’s objectives, our flagship initiatives include a Global Health Teaching Incubator, through which the Institute pilots novel ways to teach about world health, incubates high-impact educational practices, assesses new strategies for integrative learning, and inspires research to improve teaching, and a Global Health Educational Repository, which includes curated resources for teaching and learning, flexible interchangeable modules, contextualized to diverse settings and learners, and teaching tools adaptable to new technology.
The Harvard Global Health Institute was established in 2010 as a cross-university, inter-faculty institute by Harvard University President, Drew Gilpin Faust.
The Harvard Global Health Institute’s mission is to provide a global health outlook to a critical mass of scholars across the arts, sciences, and beyond, to support a University-wide effort to educate the next generation of global health leaders.
The Harvard Global Health Institute aspires to equip future generations – inclusive of all professions – with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for serving as agents of change, recognizing that real progress will require a transformation in education across disciplines, and integrated global action. HGHI seeks to:
Promote a conceptual framework of global health that embraces health and well-being as interlinked and fundamental social goals, that is inclusive of all populations in the world;
Establish a foundation for the field that reflects the worldwide interdependence of health conditions, social determinants of health, and society’s responses to both;
Catalyze a transformation in what we teach, who we teach, and how we teach; our contemporary context requires new kinds of leaders, inspired scholars and innovators, and an educated citizenry; and,
Support a paradigm shift for problem-solving and information-sharing through principled partnerships and new knowledge networks; shared global problems require shared global solutions.
The Institute inspires students to pursue aspirational ideas for social change, providing means, mechanisms, and mentorship; fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and scholarship that embraces context and community engagement; incentivizes attention to relevancy and impact through fellowships for doctoral students and junior faculty; and invest in emerging leaders (local and global) and innovative principled partnerships (individual and institutional).
From level -10 to +10, spanning from the quantum to the cosmic.
Myriad resources — including organizational profiles, reports and articles, videos, reading lists, course recommendations, teaching tools, and more – are available on HGHI’s website, http://globalhealth.harvard.edu/
The Harvard Global Health Institute recommends eight ways to start exploring global health at Harvard: Talk to a career advisor; Participate in HGHI-sponsored events; Join a student group; Take courses in global health; Visit a global health career fair; Get prepared for experiential learning at Harvard and abroad; Find internship, job opportunities and other funding sources for global health projects; and Perform global health research.
To learn more about careers in global health and how to pursue these steps, visit http://globalhealth.harvard.edu/considering-careers-global-health#EGH.
Interested undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and community members can visit http://globalhealth.harvard.edu/ to learn about internship and funding opportunities, global health resources, educational events, and more.