UC Berkeley School of Public Health launches fellowship thanks to grant from Gilead Sciences

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With $1.4 million in funding from Gilead Sciences, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health will launch a fellowship program that includes about 15 residential students pursuing a Master of Public Health. Through the program, fellows will focus on disciplines such as epidemiology and biostatistics while also expanding upon their methodological skills.

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UC Berkeley School of Public Health will launch its Global Public Health Fellowship Program as a result of a $1.4 million gift from Gilead Sciences.

The program — which seeks to address new and emerging public health challenges — is a continuation of a 2018 pilot program that sought to bolster public health capacity, specifically within “scientifically lagging countries,” according to School of Public Health spokesperson Elise Proulx. With the granted funding, the program seeks to expand and welcome 25 additional fellows, making for a total of 30.

“We at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health were extremely happy to get the support from Gilead to launch the UC Berkeley Global Public Health Fellowship Program,” Proulx said in an email. “This will help us build domestic and international capacity to respond to emerging global health challenges through public health research, policy and practice.”

The initial program — the Gilead Fellowship for the Advancement of Global Healthsupported five fellows as they worked to increase public health capacity both domestically and abroad. The fellows came from diverse backgrounds and included scholars from Uganda, Malawi, Cameroon, Brazil, Nicaragua and regions of the United States that have been underserved.

With the funding, the School of Public Health will provide $40,000 fellowship award packages and will include about 15 residential students pursuing a Master of Public Health, or MPH. The school will also welcome 10 students in its online MPH from low and middle-income countries, according to Proulx.

“I know we will find students who will be changemakers in shaping how we tackle health challenges in resource poor communities around the globe, who will be driven to imbue the values of health equity, innovation and collaboration in their career choices,” said program director Hildy Fong Baker in a School of Public Health press release. “I am so excited to meet these early career professionals—and I’m even more excited imagining what they will be doing after our program.”

Through the program, fellows will focus on disciplines such as epidemiology and biostatistics while also expanding upon their methodological skills. The program, according to the press release, will incorporate six specific features: mentorship, research projects, global health training fellowships, robust cohort experiences, field placements and post-training support.

This is the largest gift campus has received from Gilead Sciences, which has given nearly 100 gifts in 10 years to UC Berkeley, the press release reads. Their contributions have totaled more than $6.2 million and have supported a wide variety of scientific projects.

“Gilead is proud to be able to support these public health-minded researchers in their efforts to ensure global health equity,” said Gilead Sciences spokesperson Chris Ridley in an email.

Contact Mallika Seshadri at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.

Clarification(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the pilot program sought to increase public health capacity, specifically in lagging countries. In fact, the program sought to increase public health capacity, specifically in scientifically lagging countries.