A closer look: Merck Fellowship for Global Health

The Merck Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, corporate pro bono program designed to leverage the skills and talents of our employees worldwide. Teams of highly skilled Fellows are assigned to non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to help build their capacity and provide increased access to health services and education in the communities they serve. In turn, the Fellows bring back experiences that contribute to our company’s future success and ability to deliver innovative health solutions to patients and customers around the world.

Areas of impact

The Merck Fellowship for Global Health focuses on three areas of impact:

  • Strengthening the capacity and reach of NGO partners with technical and human capital support.
  • Providing rich professional-development experiences for our selected employees.
  • Applying key learnings across the company.

Opportunities for our talent

The Merck Fellowship for Global Health works in collaboration with our Human Resources team to integrate diverse skill sets, experience, points of view and backgrounds (63% of 2019 Fellows are from company locations outside of the U.S.) into each team. This boosts 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.

Through the eyes of a fellow

“I expanded my knowledge of the pharma industry (far past my typical manufacturing expertise) to understand business, government and financial aspects. I was able to interact with professionals in various agencies and chief doctors and pharmacists that I would never normally get to interact with. I had a much closer connection to customers, like doctors, pharmacists and pharma distributors. I was also able to appreciate working in a new country and adapting to the cultural norms.”       –  2019 Fellow

Our partners

Our NGO partners vary from year to year. However, partner organizations must have proven expertise and success in implementing programs that improve access to health, strengthen health systems and/or support the advancement of research and development capabilities. Program guidelines prohibit projects that focus on the research and/or development of specific compounds or biological agents for the treatment and prevention of disease.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for the Fellows, but such a valuable and priceless asset to the NGOs. Having a team of experts to help guide, prioritize and implement activities has been extremely helpful for our organization. Keep up the great work!”        – 2019 NGO partner

Join us

The 2022 application period for NGOs will open in mid-November 2021.  For more information, please send an email to: corporate_responsibility@merck.com.

Long-term insights

In 2019, we created an alumni survey to gain insights into the long-term impact of the program. Results indicated:

  • Alumni have highly positive associations with their Fellowship experience and draw on it to a significant degree in both their professional and personal lives.
  • Respondents were motivated to continue professional development.
  • Respondents were able to apply Fellowship learnings to their roles with the company.

External recognition

The Fellowship has been recognized by several external organizations including: