The DrPH program is an innovative program designed to prepare individuals for research careers in community health education at universities, private research institutions, or public health agencies. For interested students there are opportunities to work jointly with community partners on research projects. Students and graduates of the program will take a strategic role in addressing the public health research-public health practice divide through (1) the translation of practice-based problems to relevant research questions, and (2) the translation of research into practice. More specifically, the proposed doctoral program has the following underlying attributes:
An emphasis on preparing doctoral students for careers in academia, where they will have the capability to train new generations of professionals and conduct original research;
An emphasis on understanding, through research, the behaviors and contextual factors that contribute to healthy populations, including; strategies to reduce health disparities, changes in health policies, and innovative individual and community-level interventions.
The use of a socio-ecological perspective for understanding the health of populations and broad determinants of health;
A commitment by faculty to work in partnership with professionals, agencies, and community members to address the priorities emerging out of public health practice and the experiences of communities.
This approach to research and teaching/learning in this doctoral program should accelerate the translation of new knowledge into practice in other ways as well. For example, findings generated by research teams (students, faculty, community partners) will have immediate implications for improving the undergraduate and master's curricula that prepare practitioners. In addition, selected B.S. and MPH students will be encouraged to participate on research teams, with the intention of strengthening both their research skills and their appreciation of research driven by practice.