Program Profile

SUNY Upstate Medical University

Bridging Cultures to Defeat COVID-19

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Young Adult

SUNY Upstate Medical University's Bridging Cultures to Defeat COVID-19 is a virtual health sciences education program that brings together American, Middle Eastern, and North African clinical and scientific trainees for collaborative scientific and medical education and for unique professional development and cultural exchange opportunities.

Participants take part in seminars and workshops to learn the most current research and best-practices in COVID-19 medicine. They also engage with their international colleagues in networking, professional development, and cultural competence-building exercises. This virtual exchange trains a globally-aware and culturally-competent next generation of clinicians and scientists who are best prepared to tackle current and future global health problems.


The program is open to any pre- and post-degree health science trainees with an interest in COVID-19 science and medicine. The curriculum includes both traditional academic and scientific conference activities along with activities intended to foster international and intercultural awareness, dialogue, and collaboration toward tackling global health problems. Trainee participants attend, and some may deliver, real-time or pre-recorded seminars and poster sessions on various topics of COVID-19 science and medicine. International teams engage and work together in virtual journal club activities, preparing posters or presentations, offering constructive feedback, and guided cultural competence building exercises and workshops. Highly engaged participants who complete all required program activities may be eligible to apply for a competitive career development award toward a relevant research or community health project in their home country (contingent upon satisfying all award eligibility prerequisites and approvals).

Program Details
  • Number of Participants: 500
  • Participant Age Group: Undergraduate; Graduate; Young Adult
  • Partners in the United States: District of Columbia – National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations (NCUSLR); New York – State University of New York (SUNY)
  • Partners in the Middle East and North Africa: United Arab Emirates – RAK College of Medical Sciences; Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP); University of Sharjah
  • Project Duration: April 2021June 2022

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