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Public Health Research

Course Number
5000 (DLSPH Core courses)
Course Instructor(s)
Xiaolin Wei

Course Description

Course Director:       Xiaolin Wei (

Date and time:           First week:

Monday, August 31, – Friday, October 2, 2020

9:00am – 2:00pm, See separate schedule with the Masters’ class

2:10pm – 3:10 or 3:40pm, See schedule below



Place:                         Online synchronous

The course will have online synchronous held weekly during the day and time indicated in the timetable. Each session will have lecture and discussion or workshops. Students will participate using the Zoom videoconferencing tool posted in Quercus. Lectures will be recorded during synchronous class-time and made available to students for asynchronous review. Workshops, and class discussions will not be recorded.

Target Audience:      All incoming doctoral students

The objective of this course is to provide an introduction to public health sciences and public health research, with an emphasis on cutting-edge research being done by faculty and doctoral students at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Incoming doctoral students across all fields of study in the DLSPH Divisions will have the opportunity to learn about the faculty’s and more senior doctoral students’ current research as well as ongoing projects. Reaching students before and as they focus on the specific skills and knowledge base in their chosen discipline, the course will introduce students to critical thinking within different disciplines as well as aid in developing a common understanding of the diversity of public health issues across approaches. The weekly research seminar also highlights varied research opportunities within DLSPH, as well as key interdisciplinary professional development skills.

Course Objectives

  1. Provide a comprehensive overview of public health history, accomplishments, and practices;
  2. Review different disciplinary perspectives on diverse public health issues embedded in the context of the historical, social, political, etc. causes of disease, disability and wellness;
  3. Facilitate critical thinking and collaborative interdisciplinary problem-solving;
  4. Develop the practical skills required for developing a research proposal;
  5. Offer exposure to the variety of DLSPH faculty and students, programs, research projects, and provide examples of future career possibilities in public health;
  6. Offer students a greater understanding of the scope and interconnections of current Public Health issues.
  7. Create a learning experience that is informative and engaging through the use of interactive technology, student involvement, and the selection of passionate speakers.

Methods of Assessment

This is a credit/no credit course. All assignments must be completed.  

Tri-Council Reserach Ethics Online Certificate 10%
Canadian Common CV 35%
Research Project Summary 45%
Participation 10%