Skip to main content
School of Public Health
block W logo University of Washington
PhD Program in Health Services

Health Services Research (HSR) Training Competencies

School of Public Health Doctoral Program Competencies:

The program's mission and goals translate into a series of competencies designed to assure and measure achievement in specific Health Services Research competencies and skills. By focusing on active demonstration of particular competencies and skills, the program aims to build capacity for sustainable lifelong learning and growth.

Competencies and Assessment

  1. Display comprehensive understanding of the U.S. health care system, and the determinants, trends & major issues confronting U.S. health care/policy & their effects on individual & population health.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses. Predoctoral trainees pass the preliminary examination.
  2. Develop in-depth substantive/disciplinary knowledge and method skills in a discipline-based theory and area of emphasis and apply to health services problems.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in area of emphasis and pass the written general examination.
  3. Critically appraise journal articles, evaluate the evidence, synthesize findings, and draw inferences; critically appraise grants, understand the grant writing and review process, and write proposals & manuscripts.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or above in core courses and grant writing course; pass the preliminary examination; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals; and successfully defend final proposal at oral general examination; complete dissertation manuscripts.
  4. Pose important research questions; formulate solutions to health problems, practice and policy.
    Assessment: Complete research projects in core courses; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals.
  5. Use or develop conceptual models to specify study constructs for a research question.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses that require development of a conceptual model; satisfactory conceptual model in final dissertation proposal.
  6. Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of study designs for answering research questions.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses with research projects; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals; successfully defend final proposal at oral general examination; complete dissertation; up-to-date IRB training certification; attend all sessions of the UW Responsible Conduct of Research Series.
  7. Identify and develop variables that are reliable and valid measures of constructs; sample and collect primary health and health care data and/or assemble and manage existing data to answer a research question.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses with research projects; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals; successfully defend final proposal at oral general examination; complete dissertation; up-to-date IRB training certification; attend all sessions of the UW Responsible Conduct of Research Series.
  8. Execute and document methods to ensure reproducibility, the responsible use of resources, and the ethical treatment of research subjects.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses with research projects; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals; successfully defend final proposal at oral general examination; complete dissertation; up-to-date IRB training certification; attend all sessions of the UW Responsible Conduct of Research Series.
  9. Demonstrate proficiency in the application of appropriate analytic techniques to answer research questions.
    Assessment: Grades of 3.0 or higher in core courses with research projects; complete preliminary and final dissertation proposals; successfully defend final proposal at oral general examination; complete dissertation; up-to-date IRB training certification; attend all sessions of the UW Responsible Conduct of Research Series.
  10. Work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, within disciplines, and/or with stakeholders.
    Assessment: Trainees lead their dissertation committees & have good or better rating of collaboration skills; trainees work with multidisciplinary teams on independent studies and as research assistants.
  11. Effectively communicate study questions, methods, findings, and implications through multiple modalities to appropriate professional, scientific, policy, and lay audiences.
    Assessment: Trainees submit at least two articles to peer-reviewed journals. Trainees present health services studies to national, regional or local audiences, including university faculty, policy makers, and field-of-practice professionals.
  12. Translation of research findings to policy and/or practice.
  13. Gain skills in teaching while in the program for students pursuing teaching careers.
    Assessment:Teaching evaluated by faculty and students.