All MSc-GH students must complete a mentored, minimum 10 week field-based research project. The fieldwork component of the MSc-GH was designed with the goal of having students engage in research with populations affected by the challenges of global health disparity. The fieldwork experience forms the basis of the master’s thesis, which is the culminating product of the MSc-GH.

Working closely with a Duke Kunshan faculty mentor, students will design and implement an original research project to address a global health research question, conduct fieldwork over at least ten weeks, and write a thesis reporting on their original work. There are several models for doing this:

  • Faculty research projects – students may join a faculty research project, and their thesis research will focus on a specific question within the overall project activities and goals. The fieldwork activities may support research beyond this specific question.  
  • Original research project in an area where faculty members have contacts, research history, and infrastructure in place for students to carry out an individual project of their own design. 
  • Group projects – DGHI and Duke Kunshan have a number of ongoing international research collaborations that may offer opportunities to small groups of MSc-GH students.  Students work together at a site on their individual projects, allowing for greater collaboration on logistics and support.  
  • Data analysis and contextual fieldwork – In some cases, fieldwork activities will complement data already collected by others or enhance research activities.  In that case, the student thesis will focus on secondary analysis of existing data, with the field experience offering a contextual understanding of the topic or project environment.

Students will receive funding to support the fieldwork experience, provided they submit appropriate documentation on time to Duke Kunshan Global Health Education Program Office in support of their project.

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