Global Research
Gillings faculty, students, and alumni have and continue to conduct research addressing some of the most challenging global public health issues of our time. We have over 80 faculty working across our eight departments who are conducting global health research which impacts public health practice and policy across more than 45 countries. In FY 21-22, our funding for research that included global components was $118 million, making up about 42% of total funding to the Gillings School.

We demonstrate leadership in global research through high-impact publications, leading technical consultations based on results of our research, working with funding agencies to establish research agenda, and providing expertise in the review of research grants for NIH, CDC, and other research foundations. The collaborative nature of our research is a hallmark of the global research at Gillings. This is reflected in the partnerships that faculty form with each other across disciplines, with students, and with international research partners. Gillings faculty place a high value on equity, fairness, and mentorship in the research relationships that we form for our global research through long-term collaborations that involve bidirectional learning. Building the next generation of global health research leaders is an important aspect of our research collaboration on and off campus.

Global Research Strengths

Our global research related to international nutrition, infectious disease epidemiology, water, sanitation and hygiene, health behavior, sexual and reproductive health, and environmental sciences led to major advances in reducing risks to human health, treatment, and care across the globe. . Current research strengths for the school are identified below highlighting those where Gillings has global expertise.  These priorities leverage our existing strengths and take into account where the field of global health is moving in the future.
Data science, design and implementation
  • Implementation and improvement science, evaluation and practice
  • Innovative analytical and intervention methods

Using research and policy to improve public health across NC and around the world

  • Lifecycle and families
  • Health equity
  • Emergent humanitarian crises

Preventing and reducing cancer, infectious and chronic diseases

  • Infectious and emerging infectious diseases
  • Cancer discovery, prevention, detection, and survivorship

 Improving health from molecules and behaviors to communities and environment

  • Opioids, substance abuse, and mental health
  • Nutrition, behavior, and the environment
  • Drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene

Professor of Health Behavior

Vivian Go, PhD

“To me, global-local means that global can be right at your doorstep; that the exchange of ideas and research experiences can flow in all directions from local to international, international to local, local to local and international to international. It’s not a division of local versus global but rather a holistic approach.”

Our Global Research By The Numbers
Global Health Faculty Members
Million secured by faculty for funding for research with global components
Countries Where We Conduct Research

Gillings Around The Globe

Click a pin to see a project!


Global Health Team

135 Dauer Drive
104 Rosenau Hall, CB #7415
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7415
(919) 843-3945