Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT)

Christian Brothers University
Memphis, TN.
Type Basic Science Research, Global Health


The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program at CBU provides international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from socially or economically disadvantaged groups who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research careers.

This program offers research sites in Brazil and Uganda. Students spend 10 weeks during the summer at their designated international research site. CBU has partnered with leading scientists and universities in these countries who serve as research mentors for MHIRT students.

  • MHIRT students engage in research related to: biomedical science, behavioral science, environmental science, carnivore conservation, and/or public health.
  • MHIRT is a paid internship. All expenses relative to travel, room and board, preparation, and workshops are paid. In addition, students receive a monthly stipend.
  • This program has been continuously funded since 2000 by the Fogarty International Center and the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.
  • The Mid-South Coalition For Minority International Research consists of the lead institution, Christian Brothers University, and the following participating universities: LeMoyne Owen College, Rhodes College, Tennessee State University, and University of Memphis.
  • Preference is given to students from participating schools within the Coalition and from the Mid-South Region; however, any US citizen or permanent resident may apply.



  • Participating students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Undergraduate students must have completed at least 3 semesters of course work in a major related to biomedical or behavioral science.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • Previous undergraduate research experience is preferred.
  • Graduate or medical students may be accepted after all eligible undergraduates are placed.
  • All applicants must demonstrate an interest in undertaking serious study abroad as part of their academic and career goals. 
  • Length of Study: Student research takes place during the summer months (late May - early August); however the entire MHIRT experience requires a time commitment of up to one year based on pre and post-trip activities (see Upcoming Events)
  • PRE-TRIP: Pre-departure preparation activities are designed to help you maximize your international experience. Preparatory training designed especially for this program is required of all trainees, and the international research experience is contingent on satisfactory completion. Applicants are required to attend a series of weekend workshops which include:
  • A retreat at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas in March
  • Bioethics, qualitative research, and cultural workshops held in May prior to departure
  • Literature reviews and various reading assignments to familiarize yourself with background of assigned country and research project.
  • For those applying to work in Brazil, language tutoring will be provided and required for students lacking competency in Portuguese
  • Student work on-site will last a minimum of 10 weeks and coincide with the summer sessions of U.S. colleges and universities.
  • POST-TRIP: A symposium is held in September at Christian Brothers University in which students present the findings from their summer research. A reflection paper and journal style article are also required for completion of program. Optional conference presentation opportunities are also available.
  • Home Institution. The MID-SOUTH COALITION FOR MINORITY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH is committed to widely publicizing this opportunity to minority students in colleges and universities located in the Mid-South. When students of equal talent apply, preference will be given to students from the Mid-South.
  • Students will be notified of the results of this review via email no later than February 1st.

More Information


Julia Hanebrink
School of Science, 650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104-5581
Phone: 901 321 3262
Fax: 901 321 4433