International Exchange Program for Minority Students

If you are a student or recent graduate wishing to conduct mentored research abroad, our International Exchange Program for Minority Students may be the internship for you. Our program emphasizes collaboration, cultural and scientific exchange, diversity, and a passion for medical sciences. To be eligible, you should qualify as an underserved minority and be a current bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree student, or have graduated no earlier than 24 months prior to the start of the program in June. We select candidates from all over the United States, from such diverse fields as medicine and science, anthropology, education, public health, social work, and laboratory backgrounds in areas such as cell and molecular biology.

Program Director Luz Claudio, PhD, is Chief of the Division of International Health and Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Student Information

Find out about eligibility, applying, orientation, travel arrangements, projects, and benefits.

In order to apply, you must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident with a 3.0 GPA or higher. You should come from either a traditional biomedical sciences background, or have studied other sciences, business, math, language, or other subjects that you can apply to the program and to medical or health sciences.

The program follows the definition of “underrepresented minorities in science" used by the National Institutes of Health. This includes people who are: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and rural Appalachian. We do not make any priority determinations of eligibility before reviewing the applications.

Your letters of recommendation must be signed and on letterhead from the reference’s institution. They should be submitted either by you via the online application form, or by the reference via email to We reserve the right to verify recommendations via phone or email. If you have a hard copy of your letter, you may scan and upload it on the online application form, or email it to us.

Transcripts from undergraduate education, previous training programs, and graduate work will all be helpful in the selection process. Please combine all transcripts from previous educational institutions that you attended as one file and upload it to the online application form. There are programs and online websites where you can combine multiple PDF files into one document.

View the application

Once selected as an intern for the program, you travel to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City to participate in an intensive one-week, mandatory orientation during the first week in June. The orientation covers a wide variety of topics to prepare you for your project, including research ethics, cultural competency, study design, writing workshop, and career development.

If selected for the program you will receive the following benefits:

  • Paid round-trip travel and housing to attend the Orientation Week in New York City
  • Housing at international research site
  • Emergency health coverage for the 11 weeks spent in the host country, including emergency evacuation coverage
  • Monthly stipend between $1,200 and $2,000, depending on level of training

As an intern you are required to dedicate 11 or 12 consecutive weeks to the program. You must also submit a report on your research in the form of a scientific paper worthy of publication. We choose two papers for presentation at an international conference, based on merit.

After completing the orientation week for interns, you travel to your host country in dyads (two students per country) to begin the research and international experience. You work with a mentor in your host country for 11 weeks (no exceptions to length can be made). As an intern, you are assigned an international site based on your research skills and other criteria. Our international affiliates are renowned institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, and South Africa.

Below is the list of countries, and the topics/fields in which our mentors specialize. Please note that the research sites change each year.


Buenos Aires, Argentina

Site 1: HIV epidemiology, prevention and management; tuberculosis.

Site 2: Metabolic disorders; obesity; metagenomics.


Murcia, Spain

Site 1: Pediatric environmental health; childhood cancer; leukemia; breastfeeding; obesity.

Site 2: Clinical and molecular epidemiology; public health; pancreatic cancer; cancer.


Cape Town, South Africa

Public health; occupational health; environmental health; health effects of agrichemicals; alcohol and substance abuse; prenatal alcohol use and risks; healthcare for people with disabilities.


Dublin, Ireland

Prostate cancer; cancer research and treatment; radiation therapy; chemotherapy.


Cuernavaca, Mexico

Environmental health; epidemiology; arsenic exposure; cancer research and prevention.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Site 1: Public health; occupational health; health literacy; health education; pesticide exposure; risk communication; risk perception.

Site 2: Environmental health; occupational health; pesticide exposure; cancer.

View a list of current and past research projects along with a brief description of the skill sets interns must possess to qualify for consideration for each specific project. The Program Steering Committee and the Program Director together match accepted interns to mentors/research projects based on skills and interests.

Our steering committee determines the priorities of our program, manages its organization and activities, and maintains the highest standards of integrity for all who lead and participate.

Ruth Browne, ScD
Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health

Gary Butts, MD
Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Icahn School of Medicine

Dave Kotelchuck, PhD, MPH
Urban Public Health Program, City University of New York

Danielle Ompad, PhD
Center for Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine

Lizbeth Lopez-Carrillo, PhD, MPH
Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico (National Institute of Public Health)