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Merck Richard T. Clark Fellowship for Global Health

This three-month, corporate pro bono program allows our fellows to use their skills and talents to help make a difference in the lives of others and engage in important projects that contribute to our focus on expanding access to health.

We're helping NGOs address some of the world’s most pressing health challenges

Each year, approximately 30 employees from around the world are selected as fellows and placed on teams to support the efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The fellowship focuses on three areas:

  • 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.


Our impact by the numbers

The program has touched thousands of lives in underserved communities around the world by developing and executing creative and sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing health problems. From 2012 to 2023:

315 fellows
41 countries
46 NGO partners

Opportunities for our talent

Whether they’re looking to understand the patient journey more closely, achieve hands-on experience or help address a health challenge that has impacted them personally, each fellow, along with the NGO partners and the company, benefits deeply from their assignment.

merck global health fellow playing with children

Making an impact

The fellowship program works in collaboration with our human resources team to integrate diverse skill sets, experience, points of view and backgrounds into each team. This boosts creativity and innovation, yielding sustainable results for the NGO partners.

group of fellows smiling for photo

Developing top talent

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.

Meet some of our alumni

Learn more about some of the fellows who stepped away from their day jobs to make a difference for people across the globe.

Meet Cristian Martinez Olivares

Cohort 2021 — Argentina

Mmamotsa Makhene
Meet Mmamotsa Makhene

Cohort 2021 — South Africa

Meet Wilson Beltran

Cohort 2022 — Canada

Angele Bell
Meet Angèle Bell

Cohort 2018 — United States

Nan Wang
Meet Nan Wang

Cohort 2019 — China

Meet (Erika) Juliana Soto

Cohort 2017 — Mexico

Meet Kindra Helderle

Cohort 2015 — United States

Our partners

Our partner organizations 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. Our NGO partners vary from year to year.

A spotlight on this year's NGO partners

  • The Carter Center
  • mothers2mothers
  • One Health Trust, formerly Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policies (CDDEP)
  • PanAfricare
  • PANIAMOR Foundation
  • SolidarMed
  • University of Dundee
  • White Ribbon Alliance
  • Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS)
  • YouWeCan

External recognition

The fellowship has been recognized by several external organizations including:

  • Feature in Life Science Leader magazine called “Big Pharma’s Unique Approaches to Leadership Development”
  • Inspiring Practice Award from the International Association for Volunteer Effort
  • Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management Gold Excellence Award for Learning and Development