​Doctoral Seminar, Collaborative Program in Global Health

Course Number
5700 (Global Health)

Course Description

  • In keeping with the CSGH’s programmatic objectives, the biweekly seminar is designed to educate students about interdisciplinary approaches to global health dilemmas and challenges, provide career training in various aspects of global health research, and enable students to advance their research and academic skills. Accordingly, the course will combine substantive faculty-led seminars, professional development workshops, student presentations, on-line collaboration and attendance at CSGH events outside the regular course hours. In addition to interdisciplinary education regarding diverse global health issues, the substantive presentations will enable networking and informal mentoring between students and visiting faculty. The professional development workshops will target areas such as grant applications, building global research partnerships, knowledge translation and global research ethics procedures. Their aim is to provide students with relevant practical training for global health career. Student presentations of research-in-progress will allow for constructive feedback on research, as well as ensure practical training in academic presentation skills. On-line collaboration should both provide a tool for CSGH faculty and students to dialogue and share resources outside the physical presence of the class sessions and serve as a model for global health research and policy work. Attendance at CCSGH events outside of the seminar schedule will enable students to participate in relevant interdisciplinary global health events, and engage in additional global health related networking.
  • The course will be presented as a set of seminars, workshops, on-line collaboration, and CSGH events with in-person sessions formatted to suit session objectives, resources and focus.  Chairs of the sessions will be chosen among the students and faculty present, depending on the topic, role in preparation of each participant, etc.


  • a) Master classes (approx 1-2/term):  We will invite resource people (CSGH participating faculty members, visiting global health researchers) to provide relevant resources (electronic pdfs, internet sites, podcasts) which describe their field of interest/research and give short substantive presentations on their research and/or other professional involvement in global health as it relates to CSGH objectives. Resource people will be encouraged to identify specific challenges (e.g. ethical, methodological, cross-cultural or political) involved in their work and emphasize interdisciplinary contributions (including written resources) and approaches employed.  A student will be paired with each resource person to co-develop such seminars, aiming for substantial interchange among participating students and faculty.
  • b) Professional development sessions (1-2/term):  These sessions will enhance student skills or competencies relevant to careers in global health and in keeping with CSGH objectives.  These include: applying for project and training grants; building and maintaining effective and equitable global research partnerships; collecting and managing distributed data sets; brokering authorship across different cultures of contributorship; and ensuring knowledge translation and policy influence.  A variety of formats including scenario analysis, role-playing, and on-line discussions will be employed. Organization of such sessions will primarily be the responsibility of CSGH participating faculty members, supplemented by outside resources e.g. staff at the Uof T office of International Relations, members of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research.
  • c) Student presentations, feedback and discussion (2/session, 1- 2 sessions/term): Students will be expected to provide relevant electronic resources (preferably from different disciplinary backgrounds) and to present their doctoral research-in-progress using presentation software. Student presentations should address their prospective or ongoing doctoral research, including their research question, methodology, theoretical frameworks and/or other challenges. This presentation is intended to assist students in formulating and clarifying doctoral research areas or questions, and therefore can be effectively utilized by students to organize and advance their thinking at whatever stage of their doctoral studies they may be.
    • These presentations will enable students to advance their doctoral research and develop presentation skills, including through receiving expert and peer feedback.
    • Students will present for approximately 20 minutes, emphasizing the current challenges they are facing at the scoping, design, implementation, analysis, writing up or dissemination stages of their dissertation.
    • Students presenting will submit an abstract of the talk and their personal bio to the program coordinator two weeks prior to the seminar, and will submit their presentation to two discussants of different disciplines or backgrounds one week prior to the seminar.
    • Jointly the discussants will decide how to constructively critique the student’s material, to provide feedback to the student on specific substantive or methodological aspects of the presentation they would like to explore, and to generate discussion among the students and faculty present at the session.  Discussants should expect to present their initial feedback as an approximately ten minute oral presentation without presentation software.  (Virtual Formatd)
  • On-line Collaboration: As part of an effort to promote a community of practice (Wenger, 1998; short definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_practice ), we will start a CPGH wiki in conjunction with Jim Slotta, a colleague from the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department of OISE and Andrea Cortinois from the Centre for e-Health Innovation.  We would like to share what we think global health research is, how to best learn or find out what we need to, how to effectively collaborate virtually, how to best support each other among affiliated students, faculty and partners, and how to evaluate the learning in which we are jointly engaged.  The wiki will also provide an essential tool for documenting activities and changes relevant to the objectives of the CSGH.

Course Objectives

As part of the broader Collaborative Program, this seminar course seeks to enable students to:

  • Know about diverse global health issues in a substantive way;
  • Engage in a dynamic process of intellectual interchange, skills-building and networking;
  • Understand alternative disciplinary approaches to defining, researching and analyzing a research problem; and
  • Develop academic and professional skills necessary for a career in global health research, policy and practice, in particular virtual communication and collaboration skills.

General Requirements

  • This is a required course for the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health (CPGH) and enrolment is restricted to doctoral students in the program.