Downs Fellowship, Springboard for Hundreds of International Yale Research Projects, Turns 50

Wilbur Downs

Every summer a dozen or so Yale students go abroad to conduct original scientific research as part of the Downs International Health Student Travel Fellowship. They work on challenging health problems in unfamiliar settings and with limited outside support.

They return exhilarated.

“It is an ‘aha’ moment in their lives,” said Leonard Munstermann, chair of the Downs Fellowship Committee. “To a person, there is an enthusiasm derived from the excitement of living abroad and seeing the real world from the human health perspective and having the satisfaction of contributing to solutions for some of its problems. It’s a remarkable experience that is totally positive.”