The Department of Population Health Sciences has designed a PhD program to prepare researchers who can formulate the next important research questions, design studies to answer them, organize resources to carry out relevant studies, and analyze the results to contribute scientific and policy insights.
The inaugural candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Population Health Sciences will begin their studies in the 2021-22 academic year. Applications will be accepted through the Duke Graduate School at the start of the 2020-21 academic year. Both the department and the graduate school will announce when online applications are available.
Successful applicants will find a close fit with potential faculty mentors in the department and their own research interests. The department can assist potential applicants to learn more about faculty research and to find appropriate matches.
The mission of the Population Health Sciences PhD program is to develop critically-thinking, creative, and collaborative scientists and leaders through our coursework, experimental learning, and professional development so that they will enhance population health in diverse setting.
The vision of the Population Health Sciences PhD program is to be a nationally recognized leader in enhancing population health by eliminating inequities and ensuring high quality, accessible, and person-centered care and programs for the benefit of local and global communities.
Core Knowledge, Powerful Tools, Rich Setting
The doctoral program will equip students with the knowledge and tools they will need to drive science through their research and to work alongside health systems, government agencies, non-profits, industry, and others pursuing improved health of populations. The first two years of study involve coursework in core competencies that population health science requires and in a minor area, either health measurement or health services research and implementation science.
The department, the School of Medicine, Duke University, Duke Health, and one of North Carolina’s largest counties offer PhD candidates a unique and rich setting in which to acquire that foundation and then use it complete their dissertation research:
- As a service to researchers across campus, the department created PopHealth DataShare to provide access and consultation around large data sets from federal and state government sources as well as private insurers. The department’s centers and cores – the Center for Health Measurement, the BASE Lab, QualCore, and Implementation Science Core – offer specialized capacity for research in those areas.
- Faculty members are affiliated with renowned institutes and centers across the university including Duke Cancer Institute, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke Global Health Institute, and Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. In addition, the Duke Primary Care Research Consortium and the Duke Cancer Network offer access to research networks in other North Carolina counties and the Southeast.
- Proximity to Duke Health, which provides most of the health care in Durham County, and the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center and ADAPT Center offers availability of electronic health records for primary data collection, opportunities to test potential interventions, and access to clinical partners for dissertation committees.