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MHIRT Summer Program
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program is a component of a long term strategy to establish a cadre of biomedical, behavioral, and social science researchers working to reduce the disparate health burdens among underserved populations in the United States and ultimately eliminate those disparities.

- NCMHD, National Institutes of Health

The “Cornell Biomedicines and Control of Tropical Infectious Diseases and Vectors” MHIRT Program at Cornell University provides full summer support for field and laboratory research at a training center located in the Dominican Republic.

MHIRT participants receive:     

   Training in experimental research design, procedures for analyzing and interpreting data, and the use of current scientific literature;

   Cultural, linguistic, ethics, and other training pertinent to professionals engaged in scientific and public health research at the foreign site;

   Encouragement and mentoring during the remainder of their academic years leading to the completion of degree requirements and possibly pursuit of a career in health disparities research.

MHIRT schedule:

The training period at the international research site is 8 weeks, during June and July, including travel to and from the site.

MHIRT funding includes:

   Round-trip airfare.

   Room and board at the foreign site.

   Summer stipend of $2,000.

   All local expenses related to instruction, field or laboratory activities.

MHIRT eligibility requirements are:

  • To be a US Citizen or Legal Resident.
  • To be a member of an underrepresented minority in biomedical research such as Black and African American, Hispanic American or Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.
  • To have a GPA of 3.0 or better

The central theme of the MHIRT Program at Cornell is the study of the healthcare system of the Dominican Republic, the most important diseases and the therapeutic treatments with an emphasis on herbal remedies.  As a MHIRT participant you will travel to a host country where medicinal plants remain an important element of the health care system dispensed by traditional healers and herbalists.

Faculty from Cornell University, Yale University, Florida International University and the host country serve as both instructors and research mentors. Participants will receive instruction on a diverse range of topics including medical anthropology, plant taxonomy, phytochemistry, pharmacology of drugs derived from natural products, and mechanisms of disease.

The MHIRT Program at Cornell University encourages participants to present the results of their research at Cornell Undergraduate Research Board conference and at selected national research conferences (i.e., Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, SACNAS; American Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Scientists, ABRCMS).

Over the past 18 years the MHIRT Program at Cornell University has successfully trained more than 200 students in biomedical research. While MHIRT is a summer research program two things distinguish the MHIRT Program from most of the other undergraduate research training programs that exist on campus. First, it targets students from health disparities populations or from groups historically underrepresented in clinical and biomedical research fields. Second, the program uses of international training opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin America to highlight the role of culture in affecting the production of scientific knowledge. The fully-funded research opportunities provided by MHIRT are designed to enhance the participants interest in pursuing careers that will contribute to the amelioration of the discrepancies that exist within our health care system.

For information contact:
Dr. Manuel A. Aregullin
MHIRT Program
239 Plant Science
Department of International Programs
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-8365


Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.