Practical Approaches to Global Health Research

Course Description

Taught by Dr. Stephen Luby, this interdisciplinary course is listed as MED 226 / IPS 290. The course introduces graduate students to research methods applicable for conducting studies involving health in low income contexts. Designed around developing a concept note to support a funding proposal addressing a research question of student’s interest. Targeted skills include developing a compelling research question; synthesizing a focused literature review; selecting and adapting appropriate study design, target population, sampling methods, data collection and analysis; addressing human subject issues and developing productive cross-cultural collaboration. Appropriate for graduate students and fellows in social sciences, education, medicine, engineering, earth/environmental sciences. Students work with a team of classmates from different specialties. (Winter quarter 2015, Tuesday/Thursday 3:15-4:45 pm, 4 credits)

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, the student will be able to: 

  1. Consider an issue with implications for global health and develop a tractable research question, that, if answered, would contribute information to help improve the situation.
  2. Draft a concept note for a funding proposal to address a global health research question that includes rationale for the specific study question, appropriate study methods, sample size, cross cultural collaboration, human subjects review and budget.

Target students:
Stanford graduate students in any discipline whose research interest engages global health goals. If an upperclassman undergraduate is interested in enrolling, s/he should e-mail Dr. Luby (, explaining her/his interest in the course, his/her opportunity for research and the specific study question s/he is interested in building the class work around.