Global Clinic: Information for Sponsors

We welcome sponsors who have sophisticated science, engineering, and mathematics problems with a global context that would benefit from the fresh perspective of some of the brightest undergraduates in the U.S.

Please contact the Global Clinic director, Prof. Susan Martonosi, at martonosi@g.hmc.edu if you are interested in sponsoring a Global Clinic project.

Benefits of Global Clinic Sponsorship

Like our renowned departmental Clinic programs, our Global Clinic program offers many benefits to project Sponsors.

  • Global Clinic gives Sponsor fresh ideas on an important problem.
  • Sponsor has access to a team of sharp, motivated and creative students working for a whole academic year.
  • Sponsor retains all intellectual property:
    • Sponsor receives all hardware, software, prototypes, equipment, and documentation.
    • Many projects lead to patents and implementable results.
  • Global Clinic provides excellent recruiting opportunities on our campus.
  • Global Clinic is an opportunity to participate in student education and shape the STEM leaders of tomorrow to be globally minded and culturally adept.

Program Structure and Timeline

The projects run from September through May, following our academic calendar. Teams of 4 or 5 students are supervised by an HMC faculty advisor and a liaison from the sponsoring organization. In many cases, an international partner university also provides a team of students to collaborate with the HMC team.Each student spends around 10 hours per week on the project, amounting to approximately 1,200-1,500 person-hours per project.

We begin recruiting projects 6-12 months in advance.

  • Fall, Winter, Spring: Contact potential sponsors, gather project ideas
  • March to June: Prepare brief project statement, execute business agreement
  • July: Project statement and business agreement due
  • August: Post project statement for students
  • 1st Week of Class (late August/early September): Projects start
  • 1st Tuesday in May: Projects Day concludes the project

Sponsor Obligations

The success of our program is largely due to our outstanding and engaged Sponsors. The obligations of the Sponsor are to:

  • Provide project description: The Global Clinic director works with the Sponsor to scope the project appropriately for our students’ interests, skills, and timeframe.
  • Provide liaisons: Each project should have at least one, but ideally two or more, liaisons from the Sponsor. The role of the liaison(s) is to provide the domain expertise and context required for the team to achieve the Sponsor’s objectives. The liaison(s) should be willing to commit approximately 2 hours per week to the project, of which one is on a weekly teleconference with the team, and one is spent responding to emailed questions or reviewing documents. The best liaisons are those who are invested in the outcome of the project.
  • Provide fee:  We charge a tiered flat fee for Global Clinic sponsorship. The fee covers all of HMC’s expenses, including faculty support, student travel for one international site visit, equipment, and supplies.The fee tier charged depends on several factors:
    • Inclusion of a university partner: When a university partner participates on the project, the fee increases to support the larger team size and a site visit for the partner team to work on HMC’s campus once during the academic year.
    • The Sponsor’s non-profit status: When internal funding is available, we occasionally pursue projects with non-profit organizations on a pro bono basis.
  • Sign the Business Agreement (~3 pages)
  • Provide feedback at end of project

Identifying a Problem

The Global Clinic program has run projects spanning biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Many of our projects are multidisciplinary. Visit Global Clinic Projects by Year and Projects Day and Spring Presentations to learn about our past projects. We often describe our projects as having the scale of a one-year Masters thesis.

When thinking about a problem statement, we encourage potential Sponsors to identify projects that are meaningful and valuable to your organization, but not on your critical path. Clinic can be a cost-effective way to pursue speculative projects or projects that have been on your back-burner due to lack of staffing.