Course: Dissertation Workshop

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Course Description

The Dissertation Training Workshop is organized by the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Departments of Population and Family Health Sciences and International Health and is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The workshop is intended for Doctoral students in the health and social sciences who are at the stage of developing a research proposal. Participants will gain skills in the design of conceptually cogent and methodologically rigorous dissertation proposals. The Workshop has an emphasis on topics that relate to Africa, but can be applied to a broad range of research issues.

Course Objectives

The workshop is shaped by three general goals and premises:

  1. The enhancement of research skills through (i) the identification of compelling research questions in developing country settings; (ii) the formulation of research hypothesis that are likely to contribute to the literature; (iii) the development of rigorous, systematic methodological frameworks from both an analytical and a conceptual perspective; (iv) the overall organization of a research proposal to reflect the cogency, the priority and perhaps urgency of selected issues.
  2. The need to improve the exposure of the academic community to current research, with a focus on Africa, by allowing a variety of doctoral students to hear a distinguished faculty on a number of development related topics. The major areas of exploration include the determinants of, and impacts of, population dynamics in urban and rural areas, health systems delivery and management, population-environment linkages in addition to a look at the socioeconomic determinants of household behavior.
  3. The use of computers and audio and visual presentations using computers. These technologies allow students to learn from experts in research that the students may otherwise never meet personally. The student can repeatedly review the material to learn it, and return to it when necessary for a refresher.


There are no textbooks for this workshop. A list of Readings is available.