Conference Information & Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society?
  • What is the theme of the Global Health & Leadership Conference 2020?
  • Who attends the Global Health & Leadership Conference?
  • What time does the conference begin and end?
  • What should I wear?
  • Do you provide water bottles?
  • What is the difference between a workshop and the other conference sessions?
  • What are the Areas in Global Health sessions?
  • Can I waive the conference fee?
  • I am not from the U.S. How can I obtain a Visa?
  • How do I give a presentation at the conference?
  • Is the registration fee refundable?
  • Can a family member or friend accompany me?
  • Who should I contact if I have other questions?

What is Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society?

Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society is a student organization at Harvard College founded in 2014 by Paul Lewis, Harvard Class of 2018. It is run by Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society.Our mission is to tackle global health issues especially optical needs by raising awareness, alleviating preventable blindness, and educating youth. Founded in 2017 by Harvard alumnus Paul Lewis, the Global Health and Leadership Conference at Harvard promotes student engagement with global health topics by bringing together Harvard faculty, students, and guests to educate and mentor high school students. The conference encourages students to tackle issues in their local community by conducting evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that are impactful, sustainable, and reproducible initiatives. The conference hopes to help students make a difference and grow as civically minded leaders for the future.  

What is the theme of the Global Health & Leadership Conference 2020?

The theme for the 2020 Global Health and Leadership Conference is to be determined. Presentations include:

Who attends the Global Health & Leadership Conference?

  • High School Students
    • Application not open yet for 2020. Feel free to contact
  • College Students
  • Harvard Affiliates
    • Free for Harvard ID holders

What time does the conference begin and end?

The conference is from 9:00am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. On-site conference check-in and registration begins at 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday. There is an optional networking dinner in the square on Sunday at 6pm (for $30 or purchase the gold package). 

What should I wear?

Business casual.

What is the difference between a workshop and the other conference sessions?

There are a variety of workshops during the conference. Due to the interactive nature of workshops, they must be small and have a maximum capacity. Workshops are available for any participant to attend on a first-come, first-served basis.

What are the Areas in Global Health sessions?

The conference includes Areas in Global Health sessions, in which students (Harvard undergraduates) give 30-minute presentations about their student organizations and the work they do.

Can I Waive the Conference Fee?

Yes, there is an option within the application. Waiving the conference fee does not impact your chance of acceptance. 

I am not from the U.S. How can I obtain a Visa?

  • First, determine if you qualify under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of some countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business, for 90 days or less, without obtaining a visa. Such travelers would need to apply for and receive a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel. You may read about the Visa Waiver Program and the qualifying countries.
  • If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and need to obtain a visa, you may learn about visa procedures here, including information about the visitor visa and an associated DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa applciation.
  • Locate your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.
  • Complete the appropriate electronic visa application that you can print and bring to your visa interview.

How do I give a presentation?

Project Presentations are a special opportunity to share your hard work with your peers. You can receive a Harvard student as a project mentor.  

You can check out some of the projects of your peers here: or our booklet Here (digital file is free and flippable from the site)

Students conducting projects will write a report due March 25 that will look similar to the example below:

In preparing to create this report and implement their project, students will have to think about the following items:
  1. Research your global health topic

  2. Design what an intervention looks like in this topic

  3. Plan out exactly how you are going to have this intervention

  4. Submit social media "Project Bio"

  5. Implement the project

  6. Evaluate the successes of the project.

Here are the general guidelines for the presentation:

  • Self introduction
  • Your topic
  • Research behind it (use information from your research form)
  • How you designed it (use information from your design form)
  • What was your plan (use information from your plan form)
  • How did implementation go (use information from your implementation form)
  • What were the outcomes (use information from your evaluation form)
  • Anything else you would like to include such as pictures, a video, or time for questions

Is the registration fee refundable?

The conference registration fee is not refundable or transferable, as per the published policy on the conference application. Before submitting their registration, registrants are required to confirm their understanding that the registration is not refundable or transferable. Submission of the registration fee notifies VISION that the registrant plans to attend the conference, and we plan for the comprehensive details associated with their attendance. Via the transaction, VISION makes an agreement with the attendee to coordinate all of the complex logistics that provide them with the opportunity to attend a well-organized, quality conference, including all of their necessary materials and resources: quality conference venues, organized conference sessions with renowned speakers, an electronic conference pass and conference badge, Conference Program Book, and much more. The preparation and provision of these materials and resources are available only to those who register to attend the conference.

It is also important to note that any conference that allows refunds builds in a significant extra administrative fee into every conference ticket.  Those conferences also include an additional substantial administrative/processing fee for a refund.  The Global Health & Leadership Conference keeps registration rates as low as possible, and the entire Global Health & Leadership Conference registration fee is lower than the refund/cancellation fees of most other conferences. 

Can a family member or friend accompany me?

A conference badge is required to enter all conference venues. If you would like someone to accompany you to any conference sessions, they first need to register and pay the associated registration fee. Family members of the high school student can attend for $15 per person (You can indicate in the application and later when you get your ticket). 

Who should I contact if I have other questions?

You may send an email to

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