General Questions

How can my organization qualify to be a collaborating organization? 

Public or private organizations can qualify to be collaborating organizations as long as they work on issues related to one of the five focus areas: (i) addiction and overdose; (ii) environmental challenges; (iii) obesity and the food system; (iv) adolescent health; and (v) violence. For example, an organization that works on neighborhood development may have interest in training a staff member around food systems. Similarly, organizations that seek to reduce levels of community violence may have interest in training a staff member around violence prevention. The organization’s work in the chosen focus area must be based in the United States.

Would our organization be a good fit for this program if we are not a traditional public health organization? 

Yes, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative seeks to engage with organizations outside of traditional public health departments or organizations. There is no one type of organization that we are looking for in this program. Rather, we seek a diversity of organizations, Fellows, experiences, and locations to ensure greater impact on improving the health of communities across the country. 

What are some benefits of being a collaborating organization? 

Collaborating organizations will join a national network of practice connecting them with organizations across the country working to address the same types of challenges. Not only will a member of your organization gain skills and knowledge through the fellowship, but there will also be opportunities for the organization to engage in various activities hosted by the Initiative and School. The Initiative hosts an annual summit, bringing together collaborating organizations, Fellows, faculty and researchers to share best practices, updates, and progress being made in the focus areas of the Initiative. There are often opportunities to connect with faculty experts and collaborate on grants or research. We seek to support organizations’ interest in engaging in ways that align with the Initiative. 

What are the responsibilities and expectations of collaborating organizations?

There is a portion of the Fellow’s application that must be completed by the collaborating organization to ensure the organization is engaged and supportive of the applicant. The collaborating organization will also sign a letter of commitment should the applicant be accepted into the program. Collaborating organizations pledge to employ the Fellow for at least one year following graduation. (Note: This pledge is not a legally binding commitment on the part of the collaborating organization.) They also participate in activities such as conferences and seminars with the School during the course of the Fellow’s studies. After graduation, the organization remains part of the national network of practice and can participate in a range of activities.

Do collaborating organizations have access to funding opportunities? 

Fellows are eligible to apply for small grant awards to develop a special project that benefits their work and organization. In addition, collaborations with faculty may yield joint grant proposals and other funding opportunities. 

How does the collaboration with the Initiative work? 

Initiative staff reach out to new collaborating organizations to introduce themselves and the Initiative to the organization. Organizations will have opportunities to join online forums centered on the five focus areas of the Initiative. Initiative staff will send regular updates on opportunities for organizations to be involved with various projects or research. The Initiative will work with collaborating organizations to understand their needs or priorities, and will facilitate connections to faculty or other organizations for consultations or collaborations.  

Is there a financial cost to our organization?

No, collaborating organizations do not have any financial obligations that come along with participation in the Bloomberg Fellows Program. 

Do Fellows take time off from work to participate in the Fellowship?

Fellows in the full-time MPH Program take an 11-month leave of absence from their organizations so that they can complete the program. Fellows in the part-time MPH program and the part-time DrPH program usually continue their existing work arrangements. These arrangements are made between the Fellow and the organization.

How often does the Fellow have to leave work to participate in obligations of the fellowship? 

All fellows are required to attend one two-week orientation in June. Fellows are given opportunities to attend in-person trainings, orientations, and other events throughout the year, and these opportunities are announced in advance to allow for adequate planning. It will be up to collaborating organizations and the Fellow to determine the process for taking time away from work to attend these sessions. 

Are organizations required to pay Fellows during while they are taking classes? 

Organizations are not required to pay Fellows during the time they are away from work to take a class. 

What can I do if I have additional questions?

Please email our Fellowship Officer, Shane Bryan,