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Margolis Scholars in Health Policy & Management

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the Sanford School of Public Policy invite Master of Public Policy applicants who have demonstrated strong interest in health policy to apply for the next class of Margolis Scholars.

Margolis Scholars is a university-wide program led and supported by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. The program provides students with an interdisciplinary perspective on key health policy and management issues as well as relevant practical and research opportunities to support professional development.

Margolis Scholars are enrolled at the Sanford School of Public Policy. The program aims to select up to two Margolis Scholars from Sanford each year

About the program

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  • Madhu Vulmiri

    Inaugural Scholar

    As part of the inaugural class of Margolis Scholars, Madhu Vulimiri helped craft a Medicaid reform proposal for North Carolina.


    "I was excited to work on Medicaid reform in North Carolina, especially at a time when states have really been at the forefront of innovating in health care. This project has allowed me to speak with executives from Duke University Health System, state legislatures and the folks at the Department of Health and Human Services who run Medicaid. It’s really exciting to take those perspectives and incorporate them into final recommendations." - Madhulika Vulimiri MPP'18 


    Madhu Vulmiri is now a Senior Medicaid Strategist with the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The two-year Duke Sanford Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is consistently ranked in the top 10 of U.S. public policy graduate programs. In addition to the MPP core curriculum, scholars complete a health policy and management concentration and a summer internship.

The Margolis Scholars concentration combines a rigorous academic foundation in the tools of policy analysis, health policy and management.

Margolis Scholars participate in consulting projects, a summer internship, skills training, and have opportunities to interact with policymakers and health policy thought leaders. The robust classroom and hands-on experiences provide outstanding career preparation for leadership roles in the health policy field.

Duke-Margolis’ director Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, is former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


  • A financial award towards a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.
  • Participation in experiential learning opportunities.
  • Guidance on health policy and management courses across Duke and UNC.
  • Guidance on and support for internship and job placement.

Expectations of the Scholars

  • Participate in Margolis Scholars events.
  • Organize at least one Margolis Center event per academic year, in collaboration with other scholars.
  • Serve as a Teaching Assistant for one health policy course in the second year of the program, or as a Research Assistant for one or more semesters.
  • Complete five health policy and management courses.
  • Complete an internship in health policy.
  • Focus Master’s Project on a health policy topic.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Ideal candidates:

  • Are students enrolled in the Duke Sanford MPP program. 
  • Have evidenced an interest in health policy through current research, related internships, work experience, extracurricular activities. 
  • Indicate a strong interest in taking advanced health management and policy courses. 
  • Have demonstrated a clear intention of pursuing a career in health care research, delivery, management, or policy following graduation. 
  • Have achieved high academic performance in current and/or previous studies.

Minahil Shahid

Minahil Shahid earned a degree in Economics and Political Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. Prior to coming to Duke, she worked at the Chief Minister’s Delivery Unit in Punjab, Pakistan, where she closely coordinated with senior officials in government to devise and implement reforms to improve the state of health in the province.

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