Health Equity Research Summer Scholars Program

The Health Equity Research Summer Scholars Program (HERSSP) is sponsored by the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions (FCHES) and was founded by Dr. Debra Furr-Holden (FCHES Director). FCHES is funded through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health. Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Division of Public Health, in Flint, MI, hosts the Summer Program.

The HERSSP design allows each Scholar to have a primary summer project assigned to them, and work closely with an identified Center mentor. The home base for the HERSSP is MSU’s Flint campus; however, we have community-based partnerships with several community agencies, giving our Scholars an opportunity to engage in hands-on work in the Flint Community. Work may include developing survey questions, administering surveys, data entry, developing social media campaigns, creating flyers, writing abstracts, and an end of program presentation.

Each year, beginning in February, we begin looking for Scholars to participate in the Health Equity Research Summer Scholars Program. Scholars will participate in an eight-week research and career development program with a focus on the introduction to public health research, practice, and communication.

Application Process

Applicant Requirements

  • Student must be 16 years or older to participate
  • High school student with aspirations to attend college with a general interest in learning about public health
  • College student with an interest in learning about public health

Application Requirements

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Academic letter of recommendation (e.g. teacher, counselor, professor, advisor, etc.,)
  • Community letter of recommendation (e.g. coach, pastor, program mentor, program director, etc.,)
  • Essay response to the following questions (300-500 words):
    • What is public health to you and how does it influence your academic and/or career interests?
    • From you answer to the previous question, tell us how public health impacts your local community.

Applications for the 2019 Health Equity Research Summer Scholars Program are available.  Apply Now!

2017 Summer Scholars

Students who participated in the 2017 HERSSP had different career interests. Majors included sociology, psychology, dietetics, and economics. When surveyed during the fall semester, the majority of the students indicated that the HERSSP helped them make decisions regarding their career, while 80% of the students indicated the HERSSP helped them better understand their course-work the following semester in college.

It was an amazing experience that showed me I was being too lax in pursuing my end goal. I made what I hope are life-long connections with professionals across the public health spectrum and I hope to have more opportunities to work within that environment or others like it in the future. It renewed my passion for public service.

Meet the 2018 Scholars!

Maeko McGovern is a rising senior at Genesee Early College. Maeko wants to be an emergency room doctor and is passionate about working in and giving back to her community. Maeko strives to always learn new ways to help improve her surroundings.
Olivia Holden is a rising junior at Powers Catholic High School. Olivia wants to be a Pediatric Psychiatrist and enjoys working with youth. Olivia aims to get her first academic publication before graduating high school.
Faizan Mohammed is a rising junior at Kalamazoo College majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Community and Global Health. Faizan is interested in understanding social support and relationships and how they depend on one another.