Cross-disciplinary Health Research Field course in Sri Lanka

Course content

Overall program format

For 3 weeks the course participants will be hosted by and receive inputs from several experienced Sri Lankan research institutions.

The course includes:

  • Introduction to the health system and public health institutions in Sri Lanka (lectures and field visits)
  • ​Introduction to selected current health challenges and selected health topics (lectures and field visits and group work)
  • Introduction to selected health research trends in Sri Lanka (lectures and discussions)

  • Introduction to the Ayurvedic health system (traditional health system)

There is emphasis on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural group work throughout the course. Students will be divided to groups of 5-7 members. Each group focus on one specific self-selected health topic (5-7 topics will be announced). Students will pursue insights into this area of health research through field visits, field work, group discussions and debates with staff. Each group will be guided and supervised by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, in cooperation with Sri Lankan students, as co-researchers and assistants.

The course will end with a research symposium with mandatory group presentations and peer discussions.

Learning outcome

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and competences to understand global health research and challenges in a middle-income setting – as Sri Lanka. Upon completion of the course the student will:

Knowledge

  • Have gained a good understand of the challenges of urban, rural, private and government health systems and health research challenges in a middle-income and rapidly changing socio-economic setting of Sri Lanka.

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of a specific global health problem and research priorities as it presents itself in the Sri Lankan context.

Skills

  • Have a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international research actors including clinical and epidemiological research, bio sampling, GIS mapping, community surveys and qualitative/humanistic health research.

  • Be able to reflect on the selection of research methods to study contemporary health care challenges in the context of Sri Lanka.

Competences

Have basic competences in conducting field work in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural student groups, and thus gaining crucial future research abilities.

The course is an interdisciplinary course applying many different learning activities including lectures, field visits, group work, report writing, verbal presentations, and self-reflections. We aim to present as many different research approaches and activities as possible during the course.

The group work is central for the course, where students independently pursue insights, through field visits into a selected health topic, guided by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, and in corporation with Sri Lankan post graduate students as co-researchers and interpreters.

Topics which can be explored during group work includes (but are not limited to):

- Environmental Health, Agriculture, Climate change, Disaster management
- Maternal/Reproductive, Child health, and nutrition
- NCDs, including kidney disease, tobacco/alcohol, cancers, mental health, injuries, traffic
- Health promotion, health education, and Health Communication
- Alternative medical systems/local healing practices (Ayurvedic medicine and Bhuddism)

Prior to the course, each student goups will receive a reading list developed by the course leader and the local supervisors, with mandatory and suggested readings.

Prior to the course, all participants are expected to finalise an online pre departure training course (watch a number of videos and do some exercises), as well as establish the student groups and organise the first group exercises (online work).

This course is aimed at master level students with interest in all aspects of health, including academic background and/or have experience with veterinary medicine, environmental health/geography, humanistic aspects of health, epidemiology, medicine, anthropology, public health etc.

- Basic level of knowledge in research methodology at bachelor's level.
- Proficient communication skills (written/oral) in English, as the entire course will be conducted in English

Teaching, supervision and other academic activities during the course are covered by the University of Copenhagen.

Students must cover costs concerning travel, travel insurance (mandatory for the entire course period), visa, vaccinations, food, and accommodation (organized by the course administration at a low rate in mid-range hotels, shared rooms).

Students must ensure proper vaccinations and visa before travelling. With minimum daily expenses, student costs can be expected to amount to 9.000 DKK.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Students will be divided into groups and hand in a group report at the end of the course.

The report should contain:

- Introduction and background on a selected health topic (its scale, current knowledge and evidence, and implementation challenges)
- Knowledge gaps and arguments for future research priorities for the selected health topic
- Propose a research idea or study for the selected health topic (a mini research proposal)
- Self-reflections on the course (thoughts about being exposed to a foreign research environment and working in cross-cultural and cross disciplinary groups)
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Upon completion of the course the student will:

Knowledge

  • Have gained a good understand of the challenges of urban, rural, private and government health systems and health research challenges in a middle-income and rapidly changing socio-economic setting of Sri Lanka.

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of a specific global health problem and research priorities as it presents itself in the Sri Lankan context.

     

    Skills

  • Have a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international research actors including clinical and epidemiological research, bio sampling, GIS mapping, community surveys and qualitative/humanistic health research.

  • Be able to reflect on the selection of research methods to study contemporary health care challenges in the context of Sri Lanka.

     

    Competences

  • Have basic competences in conducting field work in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural student groups, and thus gaining crucial future research abilities.

Short courses / Copenhagen Summer University

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Field Work
  • 100
  • Preparation
  • 81,25
  • English
  • 206,25