Global Health – Career Development Path

The objective of this path is to prepare MS, PhD, and MD-PhD BME graduate students for careers in global health. This encompasses many positions in hospitals, government and international nongovernmental organizations (WHO, USAID, CDC, etc.), academia, contract research organizations (Global Good, PATH, Partners in Health, etc.), for-profit companies, and student’s own entrepreneurial endeavors. Students in this path will learn about the wide variety of possible career paths, useful skills, networking opportunities, and placement resources available through the Weldon School.

Career Development (understanding career options, self-reflections, making use of Individual Development Plans (IDP), networking and job search skills

  • Participate in Interactive information sessions with current and former global health pacesetters will help illustrate these possibilities to graduate students.
    Possible positions include: Technical advisor/officer, project manager and program officer for US and international based projects, Peace Corps volunteer, medical device engineer, entrepreneur, research associate, supply chain manager, principle investigator, research scientist, medical device specialist, medical technology assessment, chief technology officers.
  • Discover career progression. Global health professionals often find themselves focused on specific areas of the world through connections made during formative research internships abroad. Fortunately, a number of opportunities exist to obtain such experience including Fulbright-Fogarty Awards in Public Health and NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide awards.
  • Complete an initial individual strengths and interests assessment
  • Establish an Individual Development Plan (IDP) – based on strengths, skills, and interest assessments

Professional Development Skills (teambuilding, time management, oral and written communication, networking, leadership training, and cognitive assessment of leadership, conflict and negotiation skills)

  • Firsthand knowledge of resource-limited settings. Affordable, robust medical device design are crucial for students interested in this career path. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the following topics: healthcare delivery, innovation, regulation, clinical needs, and the variety of settings and resource access available. 
  • Participate in hands-on medical device design for low-resource settings.
  • Explore the economic, social, and environmental causes of health disparities to better understand the constraints of their technology users.
  • International internships will further facilitate skills development.

Experiential Learning (brief intensive experiences with partners either inside or outside of the University.  Seminar Series, Entrepreneurial workshops)

  • Working with Weldon alumni and collaborators both within Purdue (e.g. Innovations in International Development [I2D] Lab, Center for Poverty and Health Disparities) and internationally (e.g. APMATH and UPRM faculty), graduate students will have the opportunity to learn from leaders in international aid, researcher institutions, international clinical sites, entrepreneurs, and industry representatives.
  • Attend seminars, alumni events, and professional development trips to resource-limited settings both within the US and abroad (e.g. rural hospitals and clinics in Indiana & Kenya).



  • Meet with multiple faculty members (in BME and related departments) and discuss skills and career interests to help identify potential mentors in each of the three areas above
  • Find ways to mentor others either in your lab, K-12 Outreach or other programs
  • Identify collaborators in resource limited settings

Placement Assistance

  • Consult with faculty mentors to identify top-level research labs for potential post-doc or full-time positions
  • Consult with faculty mentors and the Graduate Programs Office for review of CV
  • Utilize the placement services of national societies through their conferences and online searching

Career Resources