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Improving Global Health through Leadership Development programme

The Improving Global Health (IGH) programme is a unique and innovative scheme run by Health Education England (HEE).


We recruit volunteers from the NHS who are awarded a Fellowship and are known as IGH Fellows. Each IGH Fellow completes a placement for six months - working with an overseas partner in a resource-poor setting.

Drawn from all staff groups, the IGH programme enables volunteers to develop leadership skills through project work using system-strengthening methods. The projects, based in a number of overseas locations, contribute to improving healthcare in the local area in a sustainable way. Applicants are usually early- to mid-career.


The Improving Global Health programme


- To support the delivery of sustainable improvements in health and healthcare, in collaboration with the IGH programme's overseas partners in their community in resource-poor settings

- To provide an unparalleled personal and leadership development experience for participants who are recruited as volunteers (IGH Fellows) on the IGH programme

- To create a cadre of leaders with system-strengthening skills who are able to make a real difference to the NHS on their return to the UK.

- NHS employees working across England

- Satisfactory completion of Foundation Year 2 if a doctor or dentist

- Experience of working in a Band 6 role in the Agenda for Change scheme for others

Fellows undertake a six-month placement. The scheme is split into four phases:

1. Recruitment

2. Pre-placement preparation (four days)

3. Placement (six months)

4. Post-placement debrief and support (attendance at IGH evening meeting to present project work and additional debrief with mentor).

Those appointed to the IGH programme attend a four-day induction prior to placement. Included across the four days is a general induction covering administration; public health; presentations on Overseas Partner sites; project planning, implementation and evaluation; system-strengthening methods and education; leadership development. 

Managing a project as agreed with the IGH programme's Overseas Partner, IGH Fellows work in partnership with local health teams towards delivering the Sustainable Development Goals for Health. Project work is varied and mainly focused on education and system development. Projects may not be known or allocated until the start of a placement, in addition, IGH Fellows do not provide direct clinical care.

Find out about our work across the world.

The IGH programme has been part funded by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) as part of the Health Partnership Scheme between 2013 and 2017.

Come along to a presentation evening where returning IGH  Fellows present their experiences while on placement. These are usually held four times a year. The next event is on the evening of Thursday 16 May 2019. Email ImprovingGlobalHealth@hee.nhs.uk if you would like to attend.

The IGH programme recruits approximately twice a year. Dates are advertised on this page.

In the meantime, we can add you to our 'interested' list which will ensure you are notified by email when the next recruitment round is to take place. Please email your details including job title and place of work to ImprovingGlobalHealth@hee.nhs.uk.

Please note, acceptance onto the IGH programme does not necessarily guarantee a placement overseas.