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The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Home » WORKING GROUP ON DOCTORAL PROGRAMMES AND RESEARCH CAPACITIES

SECRETARIAT UPDATES

6 Jul 2020

ASPHER Secretariat was very pleased with our 2 June Deans’ & Directors’ Virtual Retreat event. We experienced a few small technical issues, but overall it ran very smoothly. We were thrilled to be able to reach so many of you through...
2 Jun 2020
Greetings to all our Members from the ASPHER Secretariat. Welcome to ASPHER's first monthly newsletter and what a busy month it has been! We seem to have filled as much space during the month of June as we’ve brought to you in the past in...
17 Feb 2020
ASPHER congratulates Jeffrey Levett a long standing professor and dean of the Athens School of Public Health, past president, ASPHER and Member of the United Nations family of the European Center for Peace and  Development, who has been designated...

WORKING GROUP ON DOCTORAL PROGRAMMES AND RESEARCH CAPACITIES

Objectives:

To develop common criteria for doctoral programmes in Public Health  
To promote harmonization of doctoral programmes in Public Health in Europe  
To encourage mobility of PhD students and academic staff throughout Europe  
To stimulate quality assurance of doctoral programmes  
To promote cooperation in research and development of joint doctoral programmes  
To promote training and cooperation in research among ASPHER members  
To encourage the development of bi- and multilateral networks in research training

Composition:

Carmen Aceijas, London (c.aceijas@imperial.ac.uk)
Stuart Anderson, London (stuart.anderson@lshtm.ac.uk)
Henrique Barros, Porto (hbarros@med.up.pt)
Jadranka Bozikov, Zagreb (jadranka.bozikov@snz.hr)
Helmut Brand, Maastricht (helmut.brand@inthealth.unimaas.nl)
Charlotte Braun, Basel (c.braun@unibas.ch)
Mary B. Codd, Dublin (mary.codd@ucd.ie)
Carla Lopes, Porto (carlal@med.up.pt)
Jacqueline Müller-Nordhorn, Berlin (jacqueline.mueller-nordhorn@charite.de)
Judith Müller, Paris (Judith.MUELLER@ehesp.fr)
Eva Nemsovska, Trnava (eva.gallova@truni.sk)
Fred Paccaud, Zürich (fred.paccaud@chuv.ch)
Andrzej Pajak, Krakow (sekretariat@izp.cm-uj.krakow.pl)
Martin Rusnak, Trnava (rusnakm@truni.sk)
Olivier Thomas, Rennes (olivier.thomas@ehesp.fr)
Jeanne Pommier, Rennes (Jeanne.pommier@ehesp.fr)
Viera Rusnáková, Trnava (viera.rusnakova@szu.sk)

The group finalized and published the Recommendations for PhD programmes in public health at the ASPHER Deans & Directors meeting in May 2013. The recommendations are based on the work of the group over many years. They integrate most aspects of the ORPHEUS (Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System) report centred on the harmonization of doctoral training in medicine, with specific amendments unique for public health. ASPHER is an official partner of ORPHEUS.

Future plans focuse on improving the quality of supervision of PhD students in public health, for example by organizing workshops of supervisors; this initiative is related to the central role of supervisors in the quality of PhD theses. Developing recommendations for a professional doctorate in Public Health, i.e., the doctoral programmes offered to students seeking a leadership position in public health institutions. Developing a formal process of quality assurance of PhD programmes in Europe, in close collaboration with APHEA (Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation)Developing and implementing structures to encourage exchanges between PhD programmes and between PhD students in public health. One possible form of exchange is to set up “PhD days” as a part of regular professional or research meeting, such as the Young Researchers Forum at the annual European Public Health conference.

Training in research is an integral part of high-quality education in public health. Public health professionals working in research, education and/or in leadership positions have to base their decisions on current state-of-the-art research. They need profound skills in research methods and in the interpretation of research findings. Excellence in research will strengthen the role of schools of public health in Europe and secure funding.

The vision is to create a European network in research training among ASPHER member schools. This network will foster exchange of PhD students throughout Europe. It will also promote research cooperation at the post-doctoral level. Many ASPHER member schools have particular strengths which they may use to support other schools. Mechanisms to promote training in research include research tandems, mentoring programmes, online courses, integration of pre-assessed high-quality massive open online courses, and exchange programmes.