The Future Leaders program is an initiative by the Western Region Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC) to support students conducting applied public health experiences by providing training and funding during the course of their projects. Students must conduct either a field placement or faculty-student collaborative project to participate in the Future Leaders program. These projects will be a central component to the program and participation in the Community of Practice.

  • Field Placement Project: A structured experience that provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in a public health setting (such as with a nonprofit or public health agency or organization) under the guidance of an experienced professional.
  • Faculty-Student Collaborative Project: A research project and/or community intervention led by a faculty advisor where students collaborate with a public health agency to enhance public health services to rural and/or medically underserved communities.

The goal of these projects are to provide students with applied public health experience under the guidance of faculty and field placement preceptors. Both types of projects should have specific target populations that include underserved communities and project goals that center achieving health equity in these communities. The WRPHTC will provide stipends to support students accepted into the Future Leaders program through support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Stipends are subsistence allowances for students to help defray living expenses during their applied public health experience, and are not provided as a condition of employment, or for tuition, fees, health insurance, or other project costs.


  • An applied public health experience (i.e., field placement or faculty-student collaborative project)
  • 3 virtual exchange sessions (via Zoom) & discussion forums with a small cohort of health professions students
  • Poster presentation to summarize your public health project
  • Supplementary self-paced, online trainings on communication skills


  • Students should be undergraduate juniors or seniors, graduate or doctoral students pursuing a degree in a health profession. Students enrolled in community colleges in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands or Tribal Colleges and Universities are also eligible.
  • Students must be enrolled at a school and/or conducting project work in AZ, CA, HI, NV, or the USAPI. Students must be enrolled in their school throughout the course of their project (students that have already graduated from their program will not be considered).
  • Students must plan and conduct at least 180 hours of work related to their project, to be completed within one year.
  • Students must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, from the Pacific Freely Associated States, or foreign nationals with a visa permitting permanent residence in the U.S. Students on temporary or student visas are not eligible to receive these stipends.


  1. Select or arrange a project that meets our criteria (download the student guide below for more details). Contact the organization that you are interested in working with directly or select a project from your school database. Working with your site supervisor and/or faculty mentor, create a project plan that includes your project goal, objectives, activities, and timeline.
  2. Apply using the application below. In addition to student information, your application will include the project plan you created with your site supervisor and/or faculty mentor. Applications will be reviewed at the end of each application window outlined below, in September, January, and June, to select students for the respective cohort (fall, spring, summer) of the Future Leaders program. Submit completed applications to
If your project begins: We recommend applying:
Fall semester (August - December) August 1 - September 15
Spring semester (January - April) November 15 - January 31
Summer semester (May - July) April 15 - June 15
  1. The WRPHTC will review applications and select eligible participants. Selected students will be emailed with a Notice of Award and instructions for program participation, along with documentation needed to receive stipends. Students must return their signed agreement and other necessary documentation within two weeks. Participants will be awarded a $3,500 stipend for their participation and to support them while conducting their public health projects.

Student Guide           Application