Applicant Information

Fellows are asked to choose the Track that their proposed project fits under on the application. If your program idea does not directly fit into one of these areas, you may select Open Track on the application. We encourage you to reach out to our Executive Director Dr. Andrea Link with questions you might have about how to categorize your project at Andrea.Link@asfhg.org

If you are interested in continuing a legacy project, or just want to talk to a current fellow, please see the page under the Apply tab, "Current Fellow Projects 2021-22". This information has been updated on 12/3/21.

Tracks

1.

Racism

2.

Mental Health

3.

Homeless Health

4.

Refugee and Immigrant Health

5.

HIV/Sexual Health/Human Trafficking

6.

Oral Health

7.

Vision Health

8.

Nutrition/Healthy Eating/Exercise

9.

LGBTQ Health

10.

Special Needs Health

11.

Aging and Elderly Health

12.

Women's Health

13.

Environmental Health

14.

Children's Health

15.

Individuals with Disabilities

16.

Open Track/Undecided

Overview

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston-Galveston is a one-year interdisciplinary, mentored fellowship program focused on health-related community service and leadership development.

In addition to the four overall goals of the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program®, the Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows Program strengthens Fellows’ resolve to provide health service to underserved populations by facilitating opportunities for students to:

  • Use their skills and knowledge in real-life situations

  • Become culturally sensitive and compassionate caregivers

  • Understand the impact of social and environmental determinants of health

  • Build capacity for and commitment to improving the health status of individuals and communities as well as contributing to social change

  • Work collaboratively and across disciplines in pursuit of a common goal

  • Learn how to exercise leadership skills to work with and influence community-based organizations, community leaders, and academic institutions to embrace holistic, service-oriented approaches to health

Upon successful completion of the initial Fellowship year, Fellows have the opportunity to participate in an alumni network of Fellows for Life – an interdisciplinary pipeline of emerging professionals who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities.

Schweitzer Fellows focus on health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO): a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Rooted in this holistic understanding of health, Schweitzer projects address not only clinical health issues, but also the social determinants of health—defined by the WHO as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and which are mostly responsible for health inequities.

Defining Health

Eligibility

Students enrolled in graduate or professional degree-granting programs from any accredited academic institution in the geographic area may apply. While the applicant’s field of study does not have to be traditionally health-related, his/her proposed service project must focus on health and/or the social determinants of health. Past Fellows have addressed health from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines including, but not limited to, dentistry, education, engineering, law, medicine, music, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, and social work. Applicants must be enrolled throughout the Fellowship year.  Applicants scheduled for a December graduation should contact the Executive Director to determine if they are eligible for a waiver to this requirement.

Applicants should apply to their relevant Fellow levels:

  • Junior Fellows can be any student who is a junior or senior at an accredited local university.

  • Senior Fellows can be any student in any graduate level program at a local university.

  • Physician Fellows can be any medical resident or medical fellow based in the Houston region.

Prospective Fellows should be prepared to partner with a local community agency and design a community service project that seeks to provide direct service to an underserved population.  This project should focus on addressing health and/or the social determinants of health in the population served.

The project should:

  • Provide a direct service that meets a community-defined need and reflects national and local health priorities. Prospective applicants should investigate and reflect on unmet local health-related needs, and think through the ways in which their own energies and talents might contribute, even in small ways, to ameliorating one or more of these problems. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with potential community partners prior to submitting their applications and to be specific in their proposals about their relationships with their community partners.

  • Be of an enduring value to the community/agency served.  The project proposal should include a brief discussion about sustainability of the project at the end of the Fellowship year.

Applicants are encouraged to identify one or more potential academic mentors at their schools and a site mentor at the agencies where they propose to conduct their projects.

Applicants should be creative in developing their proposal. They may choose to develop a totally unique project in keeping with Dr. Schweitzer’s directive that everyone should find their own Lambaréné–their own special place to serve, and way of serving.   Alternatively, applicants may find inspiration by reviewing current and past fellows’ projects (see Current Fellow Projects 2021-22 tab above) and our Partner Agencies database found under the About Us tab. Applicants should keep in mind that they may utilize their unique experience and expertise expand upon or improve a past Schweitzer project, but should not simply duplicate or continue one that has been carried out previously.  Research, fundraising, and policy-based projects are not considered eligible for a Schweitzer Fellowship. Applicants should contact the Executive Director if they would like to request assistance in identifying a project and/or a project site.

Prior to Applying

Required Program Activities

Orientation Retreat: Fellows must attend a full day ASFHG orientation retreat which will take place on a Saturday in May 2022 as well as a one hour online National ASF orientation with their fellow Fellows around the country. 

Service Project: Working in collaboration with a local community agency, each Fellow must design and carry out a service project of at least 200 hours (100 hours for Junior Fellows and Physician Fellows) that addresses an unmet community health need. Each Fellow will work under the supervision of a Site Mentor from the participating agency and an Academic Mentor of the student’s choice from the student’s current academic institution  The Executive Director and Fellowship staff are available to provide support and guidance throughout the Fellowship year.  Monthly meetings and other Fellowship programming/reports are not part of the required 200 hours. At least 100 of the 200 hours must be spent in direct, face-to-face contact with the population being served. These direct service hours do not include administrative duties or research. In designing a project, applicants should carefully consider the issues of evaluation and sustainability and include their ideas for addressing these aspects of the project.

 

Reports: Fellows are required to submit monthly reports about their activities and a comprehensive written final report to their Executive Director, Academic Mentor, and Site Mentor. All Fellows will also be asked to create a poster which they will present at the Evening of Difference in April of their Fellowship year.

 

Evaluation of the Fellowship: Fellows are required to complete a pre- and post- survey for the Fellowship as well as additional program evaluations that will occur throughout the year to gauge satisfaction with all Fellowship programming. 

Communication: All Fellows receive an email every Monday called the Round Up.  These emails contain all the information Fellows need for that week including upcoming deadlines, information about monthly meetings, news from the Fellowship, and continuing educational opportunities.  Fellows are expected to read this and take any action steps that are needed.  It is the expectation that Fellows return all emails that are related to the Fellowship within 48 hours. This includes emails to mentors, ED or other staff or stakeholders of the Fellowship.  Fellows are also asked to give 24 hour notice if they will miss any monthly meeting or schedule group activity or special event. 

 

Monthly Meetings: Fellows are required to attend all monthly meetings. Monthly meetings provide the Fellows with leadership development, skills-based workshops, interdisciplinary discussions, time for reflection on community service, and an opportunity to network with like-minded students from diverse fields as well as professionals in areas of interest to them.  As long as COVID conditions allow, all Houston-based Fellows are expected to attend these in-person on the UTHealth campus. Fellows based in College Station, Prairie View and Galveston are asked to attend at least three monthly meetings in person and the remainder at a location on their campus where they can zoom in together.  

 

Outreach: There are three components of outreach.

  1. Fellows will take part in a group service activity in January to celebrate Albert Schweitzer's birthday.

  2. All Fellows will also make a 30 second video about what they have achieved in their project in the winter of their Fellowship year which will be uploaded to the ASFHG website.

  3. Fellows will be asked to volunteer at a fellow Fellow's project at least once during the year.

 

Recruitment: In the fall of each year, Fellows work with the Executive Director to organize information sessions about the Schweitzer Fellows Program and present information at their schools about their Fellowship experiences.

 

Evening of Difference and Celebration of Service: Fellows are required to attend the Evening of Difference in the spring of the fellowship year to celebrate the end of the year of service, and they are invited to attend our annual fundraiser, the Celebration of Service Luncheon, where we award our Humanitarian of the Year and our Servant Leader of the Year.

Special Opportunities: The Executive Director may call on Fellows to accompany her to important stakeholder meetings and media appearances.   These are incredible opportunities to meet with funders, leadership of agencies and professional schools, or other key stakeholders.  In the past, Fellows have met with university presidents, appeared on Great Day Houston, been interviewed for articles in print journalism, and had their projects filmed for promotional videos. 

Information Sessions, Stipend, and Deadline

Stipend: Fellows receive a monetary stipend to fund planned project activities.

Information Sessions and Application Workshops: Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session AND an application workshop before completing an application. Please see the homepage for a list of virtual information sessions and application workshops.  

Deadline: The application deadline is 11:59 PM on February 15th, 2022.