Preceptor FAQs

Irini, Nkem and Omar
Preceptor Irini Albanti, MA, of Dana Farber Cancer Institute with Nkemjika Ugonabo, MPH ’16, and Omar Elmadhoun, MPH ’16, in Egypt. Their project, “New Patient Process Documentation at Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt and Recommendations for Improvement” was awarded the Gareth M. Green Award by the school for exemplary public health practice.

What is required of Preceptors and host organizations?

What kinds of projects do students typically do?


Projects depend on a student’s program (e.g. MPH, DrPH) and/or Field of Study (e.g Health Policy, Health Management, etc.). A listing of MPH host sites and projects, organized by the different Fields of Study, can be found here.

When do students do their field practice projects and what is the time commitment?


MPH-45 students complete 120 hours for their Practicum projects on a part-time basis generally between November and March. MPH-65 students complete a minimum of 200 hours for their Practicum projects  generally during the summer. They also have the option to begin their work in the spring.

When do I need to post field placement opportunities and when do students apply?


For MPH Practicum projects starting in late Fall (MPH-45 students), postings should be online by September 1. For projects starting in the Summer (MPH-65 students), postings should be online by January 31. Please see the Timeline for more details.

Am I qualified to be a Preceptor?


Preceptors should have a MPH or similar training, and at least 5 years of work experience in a public health or health care setting. Preceptors must be able to provide guidance and evaluate student progress in an approved public health Practicum. Please provide a resume, LinkedIn profile, biosketch, or other information to our staff to activate a CareerConnect account.

Can someone help me figure out a suitable student project?


Yes, the Office of Education’s practice team would be happy to help you. Please tell us more about your organization and we will contact you soon.

How do I know whether a MPH student or a DrPH student is better suited to the work I have in mind?


MPH students typically choose projects that develop their competencies in public health, according to their Field of Study. DrPH students are generally seeking placements which offer leadership development opportunities in a variety of public health settings. We recommend that you complete an inquiry form and talk with our staff to identify the best way to get started with students in the different programs.

Can our organization have more than one student?


Yes, you may recruit students for more than one project. Or you may have a more complex project which may be suitable for a team of up to 3 students.

Are students paid by the host organization?


While organizations are encouraged to provide compensation or a stipend to students if funding is available, it is not required. See examples of compensation arrangements here. Some students who are eligible for the Federal Work Study Program may also be interested in talking with you about paying them for their Practicum. We encourage our practice partners to consider supporting these students and offer cost scenarios here. If your organization is an eligible off-campus agency, you would typically be reimbursed 70% of the hourly rate, and would be paying 30% of the hourly rate plus payroll taxes. The Harvard Student Employment Office has full details here. Students and host organizations are responsible for working together with the Harvard Student Employment office to set up this agreement.

What is CareerConnect and can someone help me get started?


More information about CareerConnect can be found here. The Practice staff can assist you in getting started.