January 4, 2011

Database is a Resource for Members of the Vanderbilt Community Interested in Global Health

A group of Vanderbilt medical students have created an online global health information resource to help students, residents, fellows, and researchers identify faculty members actively engaged in global health.

The Global Health Opportunities Database details research interests and initiatives, and lists Vanderbilt faculty who are available to serve as mentors for those interested in global health.

The need for this resource arose when members of the student-run Global Health Committee (GHC) recognized how difficult it is for first-year students — who are unfamiliar with the research interests of Vanderbilt faculty — to choose a research area, identify a mentor and select a project for their Emphasis program requirement by mid-year.

In collaboration with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH), the GHC created an online survey to poll Vanderbilt faculty members about their global health interests and to collect information about research and service opportunities. Survey results were then used to compile the database.

In addition to their program information, submitters post their willingness to serve as mentors, which helps those interested in following the global health track of the Emphasis Program, a mentored, self-directed research learning experience required of all first-year students at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Already, first-year medical students have used the database to investigate Emphasis projects,” said Katie Burns, GHC co-chair and second-year medical student. “Our hope is the database will continue to be a valuable resource for all of Vanderbilt.”

The database is currently open only to members of the Vanderbilt community. It is maintained by the GHC and housed on the VIGH website. Submissions are encouraged from faculty across the entire Vanderbilt campus.

To access or submit project information, go to www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/education/GH_opportunities_database.