How to Apply: Eligibility, Selection Criteria, and Process

Thank you for your interest in a Gold Student Summer Fellowship. This page outlines the application process. Learn more about the Gold Student Summer Fellowships.

The Gold Foundation champions humanism in healthcare, which we define as compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent care. Grantees are expected to reflect these values in daily practice and to continuously strive to be exemplars of humanism in healthcare.

Humanism in healthcare puts people at the center:

  • The person in front of you
  • The caregiver beside you
  • The community around you
  • You


Medical students at an accredited U.S. or Canadian school of allopathy or osteopathy, or at an international school with a Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter, may apply for either the Research or Service Fellowship. Students may apply as individuals or in a group.

Selection Criteria and Process

Gold Foundation staff select the Gold Student Summer Fellows according the following criteria:

  • Project involves humanism, underserved community, community health, or cultural humility
  • Project reflects quality and quantity of patient interaction
  • Project design is rational, with sound methodology, implementation, and evaluation
  • Proposal clearly outlines plans for measuring outcomes
  • Project involves interprofessional teamwork
  • Project is designed and implemented by student
  • Proposal identifies methods for sustainability and/or publication
  • Project encourages systems change

We are particularly interested in creative projects that:

  • Involve partnership with a community organization, and/or
  • Work toward developing healing-centered spaces, which we define as environments and systems which support and promote humanistic care and interactions across all members of the healthcare team, and/or
  • Reflect values of diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and/or
  • Focus on improving the health and lives of traditionally underserved populations.

Additional Components

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 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 Foundation’s goal is to provide an opportunity for students to work directly with patients and to become more compassionate, relationship-centered physicians.

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.

Patient interaction: We expect that all submissions will include some level of patient interaction. If there are obstacles with this component of your application, please address it specifically in your proposal. If your project involves travel, please abide by the parameters of your institution and local restrictions.

Mentorship: 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. The mentor must be a medical school faculty member.

Onsite supervisor: This is only required if your project takes place offsite or overseas. The onsite supervisor can be any professional that makes sense for the fellowship.

How and When to Apply

The 2024 Gold Student Summer Fellowships application period has closed, and proposals are under review.

All applications must be submitted using our online form and adhere to the application requirements listed below.

Documents must be named using the following format: lastname_firstname_documenttype, e.g. Simmons_Amanda_MentorFormB

Application Requirements

Your application must include:

  • Electronic application (register/log-in to grant request system)
  • Gold SSF Mentor Form A (download and attach to application)
  • Gold SSF Onsite Supervisor Form A (additional 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.
  • If applicable, a letter of support from the organization or institution that you will partner with to implement your project is optional yet highly recommended.
  • The Gold Foundation does not require a project budget as the funds are meant to generally support the student(s) and their work during the fellowship period.
  • Proposal (2-3 pages) including the sections listed in the below table. Be sure to include all required components related to the type of proposal you are submitting.
Requirement Research or Service Proposal
Abstract Research
Hypothesis Research
Objectives and Significance Research
An evaluation component to assess impact of student’s intervention, research design, and methodology Research
Background and literature review with appropriate citations (citations do not count toward page limit) Both
Statement of need identifying and providing background on the public health issue and population being addressed Service
A detailed implementation plan to address the needs identified Service
If IRB approval/exemption is necessary, provide application status Both
Expected level of direct patient interaction during course of the fellowship Both
Possibility for research or service project to continue after student fellowship Both
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) Both
Timeline of planned project activities Both