Improving health and reducing inequities worldwide


Sandwich Certificate Training Program

Dates of Sandwich Program: 2006–2009

The Global Health Sciences Sandwich Certificate Training Program is a unique educational paradigm that assists developing nations in building their science and technology capacity by providing knowledge relevant to global health research, service, and training. It is designed for Masters and PhD level global health professionals who desire to make a contribution in their home country. The program uses a “sandwich” model of training in which students complete the initial part of their training in their home university, attend UCSF for advanced training in education and research, and return home to complete a thesis on a topic appropriate to their country’s health needs. The final degree is granted by the home university.

The benefit of this structure is that it encourages young investigators to remain in-country since they stay vested and actively engaged in studies within their home institution and must return home to receive their degree. This differs from other training programs based entirely overseas, which often lead to “brain drain” when many students decide not to return to their home country. The integrated nature of the training program, such as dual enrollment, completion of requirements at both institutions and faculty mentors at both schools, ensures true institutional partnership. The sandwich program ranges from three months to one year, depending upon academic goals and program development. However, a UCSF certificate is granted only to the year-long pathway scholars.

Aims and Objectives of the Sandwich Certificate Program

  • Provide unique, cross-disciplinary training in global health sciences to students accepted to a joint program with international academic partner institutions
  • Develop research skills among the participants, focusing on appropriate technologies and methods in underserved cultures and communities
  • Develop a culturally competent, scientifically grounded, and ethically committed global health science workforce at UCSF partner institutions


Applicants will be recruited by partner institutions in the home country jointly with UCSF faculty sponsors who supervise the grant that supports the training at UCSF. Sandwich program applicants must be recommended by the Principal Investigator and Training Advisory Group of the funded training program. Students must be enrolled in a formal graduate training program in their home institution.

Please note that at this time the certificate program is available only to students at existing partner institutions. For information on other global health courses at UCSF, see the main education page. For details on partnering with GHS to establish a sandwich program at your institution, contact GHS Education Programs.

Partner Institutions by Country