A Measurable Difference in the World:
The Post-bachelor Fellowship at IHME

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is dedicated to understanding — and helping solve — major global health problems. And to educating future researchers and advocates. Marielle Gagnier, pictured above, is finishing up a fellowship with IHME.

With three bachelor’s degrees — one in mathematics, one in genomics and molecular genetics, and one in human biology — Marielle Gagnier’s love of quantitative research is evident. Translating this skill into something useful and tangible was what attracted her to the post-bachelor fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. That, says Gagnier, and “the intensity, the rigor, and the vast opportunity for growth academically and professionally.”

Recent college graduates with strong quantitative skills can apply for a post-bachelor fellowship at IHME. They take classes while pursuing high-level independent research around core questions: where are the world’s major health problems? How well is society addressing these problems? How do we best dedicate resources to improve population health?

Gagnier is addressing these questions by participating in the Salud Mesoamérica 2015 Initiative, designed to close health inequity gaps. Gagnier is involved at every level of the project: from design, to analysis, to dissemination of the data. “We have a high level of responsibility,” she says. Classroom time is also important.

“We spend a lot of time doing statistics and working in the nitty-gritty details of this data,” Gagnier says. “But our course work is usually broad — more health behavior theory and understanding trends in international health and development. That’s been a really good way to refocus and to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing — and how we can use it.”

Generally two years long, post-bachelor fellowships can extend into a third year if fellows elect to complete a master’s degree. As Gagnier wraps up her third year, she has accepted a research position with IHME, continuing her path in quantitative global health research.

“I’ve come to really love the field,” she says.

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