Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Click here to download a pdf of the DESRE FAQs


Do you accept both undergraduate and graduate students?

Yes, both undergraduate and graduate students are accepted into the program.


Do you accept students who have already graduated or who will graduate before the summer program starts?

Due to the nature of the program, we only accept students who will still be active students following the summer internship program. This means that participants must either: 1) be graduating no earlier than December 2016; or 2) have proof of acceptance into a graduate program for the Fall, 2016 semester.


Do you accept students at any level of their college or graduate training?

The purpose of DESRE is to encourage students to choose a career path that helps people in rural settings. Therefore, although we will review all applications, we prioritize students who have completed either their 2nd or 3rd year of an undergraduate degree, those who have been accepted into graduate school, and students who have at least one additional year remaining in their graduate program.


Which majors would be relevant to DESRE?

Any major that could lead to a career helping those in rural settings or focused on the elimination of health disparities would be appropriate. Past participants have had majors such as psychology, public health, nursing, biology, anthropology, and pre-med, but any major that could be applied to issues relevant to rural health or health disparities will be considered.


Do I have to have results from a standardized test to apply?

Yes, all applicants must be able to forward unofficial (e.g., screenshot) results from the SAT, ACT, GRE, or similar standardized test. If you have questions regarding this requirement, please contact us at

What expenses does the program cover?

The Disparities Elimination Summer Research Experience will pay for housing costs, campus parking (excluding parking citations), and round-trip transportation to Georgia Southern University. Participants also receive compensation on a pre-planned pay schedule (described below).


What other costs am I responsible for paying?

Participants are responsible for the cost of meals, all personal items during the course of the program, and tuition and fees (see below).


What are the course hours, tuition, and fees?

The DESRE program involves a required 3 credit hour course, and an estimate of tuition and fees can be found at In-state costs apply to everyone, even those who are from outside of Georgia.


Am I responsible for paying tuition and fees?

Yes, those accepted into the DESRE program are responsible for paying tuition and fees for 3 credit hours (the lower “in-state” tuition rates apply regardless of state of residence). For the most recent Georgia Southern Tuition & Fee Rates, please visit the website listed in the previous question. Please note that there are different fee structures for undergraduate and graduate students. Participants will receive their first paycheck prior to the tuition due date.


Can I mail my DESRE application rather than use an email attachment?

We prefer to receive all information digitally. Even letter writers can simply email their letters of support via email attachment.


What is the daily schedule for the program?

Although the classes and topics covered will vary from day to day, participants should be prepared to engage in program activities from 8:00am-5:00pm. Each day will involve coursework of some type, and most days will involve research activities. Participants will also take part in a weekly community-immersion experience that facilitates engagement and interaction with rural communities; however, the majority of your time is spent in a classroom or research lab setting. Occasionally, there will also be team-building activities in the evening that are intended to give participants an opportunity to bond with faculty/staff and strengthen relationships within the cohort. There will also be at least one activity during the weekend to provide more engagement with rural communities.


Do I have to make my own housing arrangements?

Housing is arranged by the program. Although we make every effort to ensure that you are comfortable during your stay by providing a linen package (sheets and pillowcases) and kitchenware, we do not provide comforter sets, televisions, lamps, paper products, bathroom products, etc.


What type of attire should we bring for the duration of the program?

Casual (reasonably conservative) attire is allowed for classes; however, you will also attend community presentations/meetings that require business casual attire. Keep in mind, summer temperatures in Georgia are often in the 90s. Outdoor community immersion experiences are sometimes scheduled.


As an Intern, will I receive compensation?

DESRE interns will receive compensation in the amount of $3,500 for undergraduate-level and $4,000 for graduate-level participants. Interns will receive a pay schedule prior to the start of the program. Direct deposit is optional. Although tuition cannot be directly deducted from the stipend automatically, the first paycheck will be received prior to the tuition due date.


Will taxes be deducted from my pay?

The compensation earned is considered taxable income, but taxes typically are not withheld directly from your paycheck. We anticipate that you will receive a 1099 form at the end of the year so that you can handle obligations to the IRS. Please note that this is subject to change as tax withholding laws, guidelines, and policies that influence this process are subject to change.


What is the minimum GPA (and other requirements) for DESRE?

The DESRE program has no minimum requirements for GPA, etc. as we consider each applicant in her or his totality. We will choose the strongest candidates from those who apply.


Where do I have letters of support sent?

Please ask those who write your letters of support to email them as an attachment directly to the DESRE Program using


When can I expect to hear whether or not I have been selected for the program?

You can expect to hear from the program within six weeks of the application deadline.


How will I know if my file is complete?

Please feel free to contact with any questions or concerns.


May I drive my own car to the program, and do I need a parking decal?

Yes, you can drive your personal vehicle to the program. Reimbursement for mileage to and from the program is available (subject to a cap). Parking passes are covered by the program, and drivers will receive a parking decal during the check-in process. For information on parking regulations and maps of campus parking areas, please visit


If you have any questions, please contact


Last updated: 11/5/2015

Rural Health Research Institute • P.O. Box 8028 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-7254 •