MSD Fellowship for Global Health

MSD Fellowship for Global Health

Our mission to save and improve lives underpins the idea behind the MSD Fellowship for Global Health.



The MSD Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, field-based corporate pro bono program designed to leverage the skills and talents of our employees worldwide. Selected employees are referred to as Richard T. Clark (RTC) Fellows, in recognition of retired Chairman and CEO Dick Clark. Teams of highly skilled Fellows, who are passionate about our company’s mission to save and improve lives around the world, are assigned to NGO partners to help build their capacity and provide increased access to health products, services and education in the communities they serve. In turn, the RTC Fellows bring back experiences that contribute to our company’s future success and our ability to deliver innovative health solutions to patients and customers around the world.

The program aims to:

  • Strengthen the capacity and reach of NGO partners with technical and human capital support
  • Provide rich professional-development experiences for our selected employees
  • Apply key learning across the company

Between 2012 and 2018, 188 RTC Fellows from 34 countries worked with 33 nonprofit organizations.

The 2018 RTC Fellows gathered for a reintegration workshop and recognition ceremony after completing their three-month assignments working with nonprofit organizations around the world to improve global health.


The MSD Fellowship for Global Health works in collaboration with our Human Resources department to integrate diverse skill sets, experience and points of view into each team to increase the level of creativity and innovation, yielding sustainable results for the NGO partners. The Fellow selection process, preparation activities, manager support and reintegration activities all align with our objectives to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest talent.

“The Fellowship program gave me the opportunity to improve myself and help others through my knowledge and professional experience in a totally different environment. Definitely, it was an inspiring, life-changing experience for me.”

2017 RTC Fellow


“It was fantastic. The Fellowship happened at a time in which we are changing the strategic direction of the organization and the Fellows helped a great deal in getting us to both articulate and document the process and communicate this direction. They helped us in development of systems and tools that will enable us to achieve our mission.”

2017 NGO Partner

Our annual survey of Fellows and nonprofit hosts demonstrated the program’s significant benefits and improvements, as well as measurable benefits for our company’s business and reputation.

  • 100 percent of NGO partners were “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the overall Fellowship experience
  • 93 percent of Fellows will apply learnings to their professional roles at MSD to a “significant” or “extraordinary” degree
  • 90 percent of NGOs agreed that it was “likely” or “extremely likely” that they would implement the solutions delivered by the Fellows

In addition, we’ve made significant progress in aligning the program with the geographic diversity of the company, specifically incorporating a greater proportion of colleagues from outside the U.S.; however, we are still working hard to expand the program’s global reach. In 2017, 51 percent of Fellows came from company locations outside the U.S., an increase of 33 percent since 2013.


MSD Fellowship for Global Health Impact20131 2014 2015 2016 2017
NGO Partners reporting extraordinary or substantial capacity gainsNA 85% 100% 100% 100%
NGO Partners reporting that they are extremely or very likely to implement the Fellows’ recommendations2NA NA NA 100% 90%
Fellows reporting that the experience helped them better connect (or reconnect) with the purpose of their global health work at MSD to a significant or extraordinary degreeNA 81% 96% 96% 100%
Fellows who say they will apply learnings from the program to their role at MSDNA NA NA 93% 93%
Note: This table shows annual survey data from the RTC Fellows and NGO Partners to gauge the success of the program and understand its impact. The survey is sent to each Fellow and NGO Partner at the end of the assignment.
1. 2014 is the first year we conducted a survey to measure program impact.
2. New question introduced in the 2016 impact survey.

RTC Fellows Nadim Akar (United Arab Emirates) and Digna Simone (United States) worked with Population Services International in Uganda to develop business strategies to increase the NGO’s impact, reach and activities.

Twenty-nine Fellows from 14 countries around the world supported 10 nonprofit organizations working in Africa, India, North America, South America and the Caribbean from August through October of 2017. Specific examples of program impact include:

Africa Resource Center (ARC)—Senegal
The NGO Africa Resource Center aims to improve the availability of medicines and health products by supporting ministries of health to build efficient supply chains in Africa. The goal of this team of RTC Fellows was to strengthen the public health supply chains in francophone West Africa through public and private partnership. They supported the NGO in positioning itself as a strong partner and specialist in supply chain management (SCM) topics among key stakeholders; developed a strategic plan for SCM including realistic timelines and a road map; analyzed a public-sector warehouse and introduced improvements; obtained and analyzed consumption and stock data to help the government make informed decisions on stock levels; and created an SCM toolbox for the NGO to use long after the Fellows had returned home.

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH)—Mozambique
BVGH establishes partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit researchers to accelerate the development of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis. BVGH also builds biomedical R&D capacity at research centers in low- and middle-income countries through training opportunities for center scientists at leading academic institutes and pharmaceutical companies. This team of RTC Fellows worked to assess clinical trial capacity and strengthen biomedical research and clinical trials in Africa. They developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for clinical trial activities, created training materials and presentations, provided support and suggestions for studies based on pressure testing of newly created SOP documents, prepared and presented seminars on requested scientific topics, met with researchers to critique manuscripts, grants and other scientific documents, and helped BVGH better understand the overall clinical trials landscape.

Project Hope—Dominican Republic
For three intense months, a team of RTC Fellows from Hungary, Mexico and Spain collaborated with Project Hope in the Dominican Republic. Project Hope provides health education and humanitarian assistance programs in areas of need. The Fellows designed the NGO’s business strategy and marketing plan, as well as print and online promotional materials for an online training platform, targeting Latin American health care professionals, about diabetes prevention and self-management, called IDEEL (International Diabetes Educator E-Learning).


To apply for the 2019 Fellowship for Global Health, please carefully review the documents below and submit application(s) by January 4, 2019.

Current-Year Partners

Africa Resource Center
The Africa Resource Centre (ARC) for supply chain in francophone West Africa, managed by Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT), aims to improve availability of medicines and health products by building more efficient and effective supply chain systems in Africa.

Africare‘s mission is to improve the quality of life of people in Africa. Africare centers its development approach on active community participation and partners with local organizations to ensure institutional strengthening and capacity-building.

BIO Ventures for Global Health
BVGH is a results-oriented nonprofit organization dedicated to solving global health issues by forming connections between people, resources and ideas. BVGH was established to engage biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies in meaningful initiatives to impact and improve the lives of individuals living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Infectious Disease Research Institute
IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) takes a comprehensive approach to combatting infectious diseases, combining the high-quality science of a research organization with the product development capabilities of a biotech company to create new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to eliminate infectious diseases of global health importance.

Jhpiego is an international, nonprofit health organization affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University. Jhpiego empowers frontline health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families.

Population Services International
PSI (Population Services International) makes it easier for people in the developing world to live healthier lives and plan the families they desire by marketing affordable products and services. PSI focuses mainly on family planning, oral rehydration therapy and safe water, as well as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis prevention.

Purdue University
Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy (KSP) is a part of the Good Samaritan Foundation in Northern Tanzania and partners with Purdue University in the U.S. The vision of KSP is to achieve self-production, ownership, responsibility and identity leading to quality health care for all in Africa.

Sightsavers is an international organization working with partners in developing countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.