Gold Student Summer Fellowships

Learn about the 24 medical students named 2021 Student Summer Fellows!

The Gold Student Summer Fellowship program offers opportunities for medical students to complete a research or service project related to community health. Projects must be focused on understanding and/or enhancing culturally competent practice and developing skills to become a compassionate, relationship-centered physician.

We are particularly interested in projects that:

  • are focused on improving the health and lives of traditionally underserved and at-risk populations.
  • encourage collegial and interprofessional teamwork
  • are creative, and designed and implemented by students
  • will encourage a lasting or systemic change

There are two types of fellowships: Gold Student Summer Research Fellowship and Gold Student Summer Service Fellowship. Learn more below.

For more information, please contact Director of Program Initiatives Louisa Tvito at ltvito@gold-foundation.org with any questions about the Gold Foundation programs or their status.

Types of Fellowships

There are two types of fellowships:

The Gold Student Summer Research Fellowship is awarded for research in community health, cultural competency issues and improving the health and lives of traditionally underserved and at-risk populations. The research focus should be on humanistic patient care and as such the proposal should show significant interaction with the target patient population.

The Gold Student Summer Service Fellowship is intended to provide students an opportunity to design and implement a service project addressing a public health need in an underserved community or population. The Foundation’s goal is to provide an opportunity for students to work directly with patients and to become more compassionate, relationship-centered physicians.

We expect that all submissions will include some level of patient interaction. If there are obstacles with this component of your application due to Covid-19, please address it specifically in your proposal.

Who is Eligible?

Medical students at an accredited U.S. or Canadian school of allopathy or osteopathy may apply for either the Research or Service Fellowships (details below).

Project Details

The grant award includes a stipend of up to $4,000 for a 10-week period.

The student is expected to conduct the project under the oversight of a mentor (the student is responsible for identifying an appropriate mentor from their school). Multiple students can work together and submit one application.

We are particularly interested in projects that:
  • are focused on improving the health and lives of traditionally underserved and at-risk populations.
  • encourage collegial and interprofessional teamwork
  • are creative, and designed and implemented by students
  • will encourage a lasting or systemic change

How to Apply for a Student Summer Fellowship

  • The application due date has passed for 2021.
  • All applications must be submitted using this online form 
  • Documents must be named using the following format: lastname_firstname_documenttype, e.g. Simmons_Amanda_MentorFormB

Your application must include:

    • Electronic application (register/log-in to grant request system)
    • Mentor Form A (download and attach to application)
    • On-site Supervisor Form (only required if project takes place off-site or overseas)
    • Letter of support from the Student Affairs or Medical Education Dean must accompany all applications. The letter must state that: 1) the student is presently in good academic standing, 2) the school approves of the mentor and the location of the project, and, 3) the school is willing to accept and administer the grant on the student’s behalf.
    • Proposal (2-3 pages) including:
      • abstract (research)
      • hypothesis (research)
      • objectives and significance (research)
    • Statement of need identifying and providing background on the public health issue and population being addressed (service)
      • background and literature review with appropriate citations (citations do not count toward page limit) (all)
      • a detailed implementation plan to address these needs (if IRB approval/exemption is necessary, please provide application status) (service)
      • an evaluation component to assess impact of student’s intervention (service)research design and methodology (if IRB approval/exemption is necessary, please provide application status) (research)
      • expected level of direct patient interaction during course of the fellowship (all)
      • possibility for research to continue after student fellowship (all)
      • thoughtful discussion of how this fellowship might contribute to the applicant’s understanding of the practice of humanistic medicine as well as the patient experience with illness, their health and the healthcare system (at least two paragraphs in length) (all)
      • timeline of planned project activities (all)

Reporting Requirements Service or Research Fellowship

A final report describing project activities is due in Fall 2021. The final report must include:

  • a restatement of  the original hypothesis and objectives and planned intervention
  • a description of the investigation/implementation and activities undertaken
  • qualitative and/or quantitative data and its significance
  • conclusions and impact including whether or not the original goals were met, evaluation of project (include tools, methods used, work to date if part of a larger project)
  • comment on possibility for continuation of this research
  • discussion of how this fellowship has contributed to the Fellow’s understanding of the practice of humanistic medicine – based on your experience, speak on/discuss the patient/provider relationship as well as the patient’s experience with illness, and the healthcare system
  • what avenues are available to you for dissemination or presentation of your project? Describe any steps you have taken or identified to disseminate your project
  • pictures that document the student’s experience
  • headshot for publication on website
  • Mentor Form B (download and return completed form)
  • On-site Supervisor Form (only required if project takes place off-site or overseas)

Some well-conceived projects may fail or yield ambiguous results when unexpected problems are encountered. In all cases, students should write a clear and candid appraisal of the project and interpretations of the collected data.

  • For the Student Reflection answer the following questions:
    • What about your summer fellowship experience had the most impact on you and why?
    • What was the most challenging aspect of your fellowship and why?
    • How has the fellowship affected the way you will approach patients?
    • What did you discover about yourself during this process?
    • Do you think your Gold Student Summer Fellowship will strengthen your ability to connect with your future patients?
      • a) No
      • b) Yes
      • How? _____________________________
    • Compared to other medical school experiences so far, both in and out of the classroom, how does your Gold Student Summer Fellowship rank among experiences that will help strengthen and humanize your future connection with patients?
      • My fellowship experience ranks at the top
      • My fellowship experience ranks within my top 5 experiences
      • My fellowship experience ranks in the top half of experiences
      • My fellowship experience ranks in the bottom half of experiences
      • My fellowship experience will make no difference in my future connections with patients.
      • Other: ___________________

After the conclusion of the grant, we will likely follow up with several additional questions regarding your experience as a Gold Student Summer Fellow.

2021 Gold Student Summer Fellows

Alex Miner | Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Brain Barriers: Elucidating Complex Language-Based Barriers to Mental Health Resources and Neurological Care in Limited English Proficiency, Refugee, and Immigrant Populations

Maha Saleem | University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine
Building Strong Families: Bridging the refugee health gap during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond through a virtual community-based program in Burlington, VT

Rachel Gaufberg | Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University
Expanding Healthcare Access to the Spanish-Speaking Community of the Negev, Israel

Anna Farrel | The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Incarceration’s Aftermath: Developing Patient Education Tools and a Clinical Manual to Improve Outcomes of Children with Incarcerated Parents

Marissa Pharel and Natali Smiley | Rush University Medical College
A Clinical & Community-Engaged Approach to Understanding Mental Health Barriers in Low-Income, Minority Perinatal Expectant Mothers

Sarah Holzmann, Natalie Peña-Brockett, and Zachary Josse | California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine
How the implementation of street medicine programs among the homeless population reduces the implementation of the emergency department facilities and resources in Bakersfield, CA

Trisha Kaundinya, Rebe Arteaga, and Elizabeth Adams | Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Disability Advocacy Coalition in Medicine (DAC Med): Creation of a Disability Safe Space Training Module

Janet Fan, Haris Pepermintwala, and Sruti Rachapudi | University of Texas Medical Branch
St. Vincent’s Ophthalmology Screening Program

Tyler Kidd, Taryn Lai, and Rana Mehdizadeh | The University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School

Christopher Huerta, Nisha Choothakan, Bronwyn Stone, Ilana Golub, Austin Burrows, Derek Zhang | The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
Assessing COVID-19 Vaccine Perception in a Student-Run Clinic’s Unhoused Patient Population

Read the announcement of the 2021 Gold Student Summer Fellows.