GBHI provides innovative training, networking and support to emerging leaders

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The Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program at GBHI provides innovative training in brain health, leadership, and dementia prevention to a broad array of promising leaders from various professions, including medicine, science, business, law, journalism, social science, and the arts. Through their work, fellows are expected to emphasize local and global health inequities that need to be addressed by practitioners and policymakers, with the goal of transforming local communities around the world.

Atlantic Fellows will join the program for 12 months* and have a base at the University of California, San Francisco or Trinity College Dublin. A core curriculum of weekly courses in economics, epidemiology, law and ethics, leadership, neuroscience, public policy, and statistics constitutes part of the experience. They also have opportunities to work with individuals with cognitive disorders. Fellows engage in projects aimed at advancing brain health through the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders, supported by GBHI, the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Society UK. Through intensive mentoring, fellows are guided in the development of their projects, careers, leadership, policy change, and impact on brain health.

After their training, fellows return to their home communities to implement their projects and newly acquired knowledge. They continue to have access to career-duration mentoring, pilot funds, and an international network of colleagues collaborating to drive a common mission. Fellows should be passionate advocates for older individuals—healthy and impaired, demonstrate the ability to ask questions that cut across disciplines, adapt to different cultural contexts, and lead change throughout their careers. Successful applicants are expected to demonstrate excellence in past activities, the drive to learn about aging and diseases of aging, and have strong regional support that assures smooth transition back into local programs. Up to 40 positions will be filled annually.

The Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program is one of seven interconnected Atlantic Fellows programs, which together create a global community to advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies.

Through the program, all Fellows are provided with:

  • A customizable 12-month* experience with a base at University of California, San Francisco or Trinity College Dublin.

  • One-to-one mentoring.

  • Teaching on health economics, leadership, ethics, policy, brain health, and dementia, among other topics.

  • Observation and participation in clinical cases.

  • Access to competitively awarded funds for pilot projects that could be completed in their home country upon completion of the fellowship.

  • Access to a network of researchers, clinicians, and policy makers for career-length mentoring and communication.

  • A living allowance during the course of their training.

* Please be advised that the standard duration of the Fellowship is a 12-months. If you would like to exceptionally be considered for a 6-month training experience, you will need to provide additional justification in the application.

Our Program Structure

The curated activities of the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program at GBHI aim to build knowledge, enhance skills, reinforce values, and cultivate community that creates transformative leaders in brain health.

Our program structure is informed by our theory of learning, which provides the foundation for strategies and approaches to drive our training program.

The learning environment is fellow-centered, with an emphasis on facilitation rather than direct instruction, as well as active and self-directed learning, discussion, disruptive questioning, discourse, and experimentation. Our approach uses the diverse experiences of fellows to promote peer learning.

Our program is designed to help fellows master the following core competencies

1.   A strong sense of GBHI values of authenticity, fairness, openness, respect, courage and empathy, and a commitment and ability to embody those values in their own practice and inspire them in others.

2.   A strong foundation in the scientific and clinical basis of dementia and neurodegeneration underpinned by an understanding of, and empathy for, the lived experience of people with dementia and a commitment to equity and ethical practice.

3.   An ability to develop, articulate, and communicate a vision for change.

4.   The skills necessary to lead, network, and influence in the pursuit of their goals.

5.   The overarching ability and willingness to be an advocate for evidence-based change in policy and practice.

Program Elements

Our four program elements and associated activities are designed to provide fellows with experiences to build knowledge, enhance skills, reinforce values, and cultivate a community of well-networked global brain health leaders consistent with our Theory of Change.


These core elements are not discrete, but inherently interlinked and self-supporting.

Building Knowledge

Foundational concepts are learned through a variety of methods, including active learning, experiential learning, and reflective thinking. They serve to create a shared fundamental body of knowledge. Familiarity with concepts, terminology, and an appreciation of key areas relevant to brain health strengthen the potential for collaboration across disciplines and protect against the propagation of falsehoods around brain health.


Core knowledge content areas include health policy, leadership development theory, global health equity, dementia and neurodegeneration, neuroscience, and social determinants of health. The core knowledge areas are approached in an integrated manner, where other key concepts are woven into the learning experience. These additional threads include health economics, epidemiology, statistics, ethics and law, among others.

Fellows also learn through “doing,” including participation in clinical experiences to better understand the lived experience of persons with dementia and to help assimilate the knowledge acquired through coursework.

Enhancing Skills

Skills development is a critical component of the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health experience. Through leadership development sessions, skills workshops, and mentorship fellows will gain the skills and tools to become a transformative leader and change agent in your home community.

Reinforcing Values

All program activities are designed to reinforce the values of GBHI: authenticity, fairness, openness, respect, courage, and empathy. These values are modeled at all levels of the program. Activities such as mentoring, experiential learning through clinical experiences, and leadership and skills training are used as opportunities to model or reflect these core values.

Cultivating Community

The 12-month in-residence approach and intentional program activities are designed to help you build relationships and networks that will continue to thrive after your fellowship period as you become a lifelong Atlantic Senior Fellow. You will bond with other fellows through a shared immersive fellowship experience and learning activities, building trusting relationships and fostering community. Through both structured and informal networking opportunities, you will expand your networks and mutually inspire the community through lifelong engagement.

Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders

All fellows develop a pilot application as part of their learning experience. You will have opportunity to submit this application for funding in a program largely funded by our impact partners. While priority is given to pilot projects that use an evidence-based approach to improve care and outcomes, projects that involve innovative or exploratory elements that are less well tested are also welcome, as long as the rationale is clear. The Pilot Awards Program for Global Brain Health Leaders is a key component of the GBHI learning experience and will empower you to implement small-scale projects to advance skills, knowledge, and activities to delay, prevent, and/or mitigate the impact of dementia. The goal of the award is to support development during the fellowship and post-fellowship periods while also advancing GBHI’s aim to improve outcomes in brain health and dementia. You are supported in developing these applications through mentoring, and involvement of Regional mentors is a key element. Integrated with our skills workshops, the pilot application provides a hands-on opportunity to practice developing a proposal.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Ensuring relevance to the needs of fellows is critical to our program’s success. As such, it is essential we continue to assess the effectiveness of our approaches, the overall framework, the rationale, and assumptions involved. To this end, we employ a robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) structure which informs the continued evidence-based evolution of our program.


Our Modalities of Learning

Through the rich learning environments provided at the founding sites, the GBHI learning experience provides a broad range of aligned activities curated to enhance the knowledge, skills, and values core to the program experience. Each activity is purposely designed to contribute specific content that cumulatively defines the program’s shared learning experience.

Central to our approach is the concept of faculty and staff as facilitators, enabling you to build knowledge and awareness of yourselves and others. Engagement is also crucial to building the learning environment. We embrace diversity, mutual respect, collaboration, core values, and shared responsibility for your learning journey.

The following modalities are intended to create an active learning environment. We use strategies to create a transformative learning experience, including action plans to encourage self-reflection. We use case studies and observational rotations to expose you to real-world scenarios while encouraging a focus on practice and problem solving. Structured and unstructured discussions provide the opportunity to analyze assumptions and assess consequences of action. They also offer an opportunity for a critical discussion of the theoretical aspects of program to build a foundation for knowledge.

GBHI Classes

Facilitated classes with fellow participation focused on core knowledge areas foster active learning. These simulcast classes are held across founding sites weekly for the first six months of the fellowship (see “Building Knowledge” section).

Curated materials (e.g., videos, articles, discussion board) are shared using an online learning management system. Discussion-based class sessions are hosted via video conferencing facilitated by instructors at both founding sites. Fellows also lead sessions related to their own areas of expertise.

Other discussion and presentations are co-facilitated by fellows across founding sites, creating opportunities to share knowledge and for additional small group peer learning. Discussions are developed to address creativity, content, collaboration, culture, and community. In the second half of the year, you will customize your learning experience by choosing from a list of “selective” offerings which provides the opportunities to delve deeper into topics of interest.

Leadership Development

Our leadership development program consists of workshops and leadership retreats. We encourage reflection and collaboration to develop leadership knowledge and skills. The leadership curriculum begins with a week-long retreat in California for all fellows. This gathering emphasizes community-building and cohort bonding while exploring leadership styles and GBHI’s values. We include monthly small group workshops via video conferencing. These are co-facilitated by faculty from UCSF and TCD, modeling cross-site collaboration.

Skills Workshops

As a fellow, you will be offered a series of skills development workshops. One set focuses on oral communication, presentations, and how to effectively convey your message to the general public. Another series will teach you to develop and practice funding proposal skills (e.g., understanding what is known about a topic through a review, writing a statement noting the goals of the proposal, developing a budget). These are offered throughout the fellowship year and fortified by individual mentoring support.

Clinical Rotations/Observations

Clinical rotations create opportunities for you to experience first-hand how clinicians diagnose brain-related conditions, how researchers develop tools to investigate questions surrounding brain function, and how community interventions impact patient and family outcomes. You will have the opportunity to observe in dozens of clinical and research environments. This core experiential learning facilitates problem-based learning approaches while fostering collaboration.

Individualized Mentoring (GBHI-based and community-based)

As a fellow, you will have dedicated mentors both within the program and from your home community to support your ongoing work. GBHI faculty serve as program mentors, using techniques of reflection, experiential learning and role modeling to provide guidance, encouragement, inspiration, and critical feedback in support of your career goals. The regional mentors ground this work while enhancing your connection to your home community. They also support your transition back to your home community after the fellowship and help you to succeed in the pilot activities. We expect the GBHI and regional mentors will meet with you as a mentoring team in order to provide coordinated support.

Read more in the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health Program Handbook.