Center for Global Health seeks applicants for faculty mentorship travel grants

Adam Wise
January 29, 2024

The MUSC Center for Global Health is seeking applications from faculty members interested in funding to support travel for global health projects in low- and middle-income countries, with groups of MUSC students.

The center’s Faculty Mentor Travel Grants provide up to $2,000 to faculty members to support opportunities for mentorship of students via global health research or training projects. Faculty members have until Friday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. to apply for the funding.

Puja Sukhwani Elias, M.D., a professor in the College of Medicine with a focus on gastroenterology and hepatology, heard about the travel grant opportunity last year, and it immediately sparked her interest.

“I came across this grant application as our group was looking for ways to help fund our service work in Guatemala,” she said.

In 2022, Elias paired with the Central America Outreach & Endoscopy, an organization established to provide otherwise inaccessible GI care to residents of remote areas within Guatemala. She traveled to the country with providers from the universities of Virginia and North Carolina.

Seeing an opportunity to take her own team of trainees in 2023, she sought a faculty mentor travel grant from the MUSC Center for Global Health to support her trip. Last July, she and the group traveled to the mountainous region of Atitlan, which is about five hours from Guatemala City, to provide free endoscopic and clinical care to the rural population.

In her original application for the funding, Elias said such global health projects can create lasting impacts on the lives of the students and trainees who experience the delivery of care in such remote areas of the world.

“The ability to bring trainees with us and show them the ways in which state-of-the-art medicine can be shared globally is an eye-opening experience and one that I hope furthers their interest in continuing this work in their own practice,” she stated.

Elias, who said she is interested in seeking funding again for another upcoming trip, implored her fellow faculty members to join her in seeking the grant dollars for similar projects.“

Other colleagues should consider it because it helps the mission of global health,” she said. “It’s also a relatively simple application and can help create a positive relationship between MUSC and the global health community.”

To learn more about the faculty mentor travel grant program, please visit