Global Partnerships

Lending a hand to bridge the divide. Photo by: A. Yahyaoui, CIMMYT

Partnership  |  Our Partners  |  Become a Partner


The Gillings School – respected internationally and sought out as an international public health partner – is committed to having impact around the globe. Many international partnerships, such as our HIV/AIDS initiative in Malawi, have developed in strength and scope over several decades. Others, including our newly established partnership in global aging, are exciting, cutting-edge projects, engaging academia, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and both local and global community groups. Read More

Complex global problems require action and collaboration among multiple players, and in response, our partnerships increasingly have become more strategic and multilateral.

We aim for partnerships that have potential to make an impact upon major public health challenges, that strengthen the Gillings School and its partner institutions, and can be sustained over time. Of particular interest are partnerships that align with our strategic priorities – infectious diseases, obesity, water, cancer, global aging, health disparities, and chronic, lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes.


Our Partners

Click on the icons below to read more about some of our partnerships.

The Gillings School and the University of Cambridge have joined forces in an effort to bring new understanding about and solutions for four major public health concerns: dementia, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, and healthcare data gaps. Cambridge is also a partner in our collaboration on healthy global aging. The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. It consistently ranks as one of the top five universities globally.

The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) has been an active partner of the Zambian Ministry of Health since 2001 and affiliated with UNC through the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases since 2012. Nine UNC faculty members work at CIDRZ full-time. The Gillings School and CIDRZ have collaborated on summer fellowships for Gillings students for the past two years. CIDRZ’s mission is to provide access to quality healthcare through community empowerment, exceptional research, and effective sustainable public health programs in Zambia and sub-Saharan Africa. CIDRZ focuses on adult and pediatric HIV prevention, care, and treatment; maternal and child health (including childhood immunizations); tuberculosis control; primary health care; and cancer prevention and treatment, with a focus on gynecologic cancers.

More than twenty years ago, Professor Mike Cohen and a team from UNC-Chapel Hill were invited by the Malawian government to help the country develop treatment protocols for sexually transmitted infections. UNC has been working with the Ministry of Health in Malawi ever since. The mission of UNC Project−Malawi is to identify innovative, culturally acceptable, and relatively inexpensive methods of reducing the risk of HIV/STI and infectious disease transmission through research; strengthen the local research capacity through training and technology transfers; and improve patient care for the people of Malawi.

The Gillings School is working with Cambridge University (UK), MIT AgeLab, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Carol Woods and other groups in the public and private sectors to start a new collaboration on aging. The focus is on transformative solutions for healthy aging-in-place through technology, with the goal of implementing smart technologies for healthy, successful aging-in-place, as well as interdisciplinary training of the next generation of leaders in global aging.

The Sanofi Global Nutrition Scholars program represents a unique and visionary partnership between academia and industry. The program currently supports four gifted students – three from China and one U.S. student working in China – to study for their PhD in Nutrition at UNC and complete a summer internship at Sanofi or one of its partners. The program has provided a springboard for initiating a wider strategic partnership around non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cancer and effective methods for patient engagement.

Both the Gillings School and RTI International have major strengths in implementation science, a research area focused on action needed to assist adoption of evidence-based interventions or policies into everyday health practices. We have formed a consortium to protect and improve the health and well-being of people living in North Carolina, the U.S. and the world by accelerating uptake of effective and innovative clinical and public health programs and services in communities.

IntraHealth focuses on improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. IntraHealth has been working for over 30 years in more than 90 countries to empower health workers to serve communities in need. IntraHealth was founded in 1979 as the Intrah program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in 2003. The IntraHealth UNC Summer Fellows Program has provided wonderful opportunities for Gillings students since 2010. The Fellows are placed in a specific project, where they work directly with IntraHealth staff, and also participate as a group in activities, seminars, and rotations with a variety of mentors.

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization with expertise in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender equality, youth, research and technology, and a presence in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. Their longstanding partnership with the Gillings School includes joint grants and major support for the Water Institute at UNC’s annual Water and Health Conference. One of the most notable areas of partnership has been the establishment of FHI360/UNC Fellowships, which over the past eight years have supported 21 fellows in global health internships.

World Vision, a global relief and development agency, supports talented graduate students from the Gillings School to provide research expertise to the World Vision water, sanitation and hygiene teams located in West, East, and Southern Africa each summer. These internships offer real-world field experience for emerging leaders with a passion for international humanitarian work. The partnership has grown to include monitoring, evaluation and learning initiatives led by the Water Institute at UNC.

The Galapagos Islands are a world heritage site and the birthplace of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Free of human predators for almost all of its history, these islands have developed some of the most unique life forms on the planet. However, population growth, resource conflict, tourism and economic development have created a huge strain on the islands’ water resources and marine ecosystem. A collaborative partnership has been created between UNC and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador designed to foster research, education, and outreach programs in the islands, with the larger goals of advancing conservation efforts in the Galapagos and promoting better understanding of ecologically sensitive and protected areas worldwide. The Gillings School is a major actor in this partnership, particularly around water resources and human health.

The Triangle Global Health Consortium, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2009 by UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, N.C. State University, IntraHealth International, RTI International, FHI360 and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. The founding chair of the board was the Associate Dean for Global Health at Gillings. Its mission is to establish North Carolina as an international center for research, training, education, advocacy and business dedicated to improving the health of the world’s communities. Since its inception, the Consortium has grown to 18 organizational members, including five academic institutions, several non-governmental organizations, and a growing number of multinational corporate members.

The Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH) prepares mid-career professionals for senior-level positions in organizations working to improve the public’s health. The Program targets diverse individuals working full-time in the U.S. or internationally with substantial leadership responsibilities in communities, organizations and institutions. Students remain working in-country as they complete their degrees. With the exception of three short visits to Chapel Hill or an alternate global site in years one and two, learning takes place via Internet video in participants’ homes and offices, away from the UNC campus. Program faculty are also working to help accelerate global access to online health leadership training by partnering with other schools around the world. Examples include the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, EHESP French national school of public health, King’s College London, the University of Ghana and the University of Oslo.

The Gillings School and the Institut Pasteur have a new partnership built around Gillings post-doctoral students selected to work in some of Pasteur’s global research sites. Based in Paris and founded by Louis Pasteur in 1887, the Institut Pasteur is one of the world’s leading private nonprofit centers for scientific research including immunology, molecular biology, and the neurosciences. Established in 1891, the Institut Pasteur’s International Network is comprised of a multi-national team of scientists and includes 32 research institutes on 5 continents.


Become A Partner

To learn more about Gillings School partnerships, or arrange a visit to the Gillings School, contact