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School of Public Health
block W logo University of Washington
PhD Program in Health Services

Research Environment

Research at UW

One of the nation's leading research institutions, the University of Washington is ranked first among public institutions in the nation in receipt of federal research funding.

The Department of Health Services is a leader in health services research. Our faculty have a strong history of funded research, which is used to support and mentor graduate students. We have been successful in obtaining research grants and contracts from the state and federal governments and from private foundations. Multi-disciplinary research opportunities abound within the University and with numerous local industries and government agencies.

Opportunities for Research

The Department of Health Services has a number of affiliated research centers that would support dissertation work and has strong collaborative research programs with health organizations in Washington State.

Affiliate Research Programs

Interdepartmental collaboration:

Because Health Services Research involves knowledge and understanding of a number of different disciplines, it is important that students have the opportunity to pursue their interests in other academic disciplines.

At the University of Washington, the spirit of cooperation is evident in interdepartmental collaboration in teaching and research.

Faculty and students collaborate in the classroom and on research projects with the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Information Technology, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Affairs, and Social Work. The Department of Health Services also enjoys strong collaboration with the departments of Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Economics, Occupational and Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Global Health.

Thus, students in the UW program in Health Services Research emerge from the program prepared to investigate real-world issues that require collaboration with others and knowledge of diverse fields.

Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to pursue independent studies under faculty supervision or to conduct collaborative research by working as research assistants on faculty projects. These collaborations provide a base of experience from which the doctoral student can form a research question and conduct dissertation research. A student may choose to conduct a dissertation that is an offshoot of a faculty member's research project. Or a student may choose a dissertation topic unrelated to currently funded research, but supervised by faculty interested in the area. In either case, the dissertation is an independent research study conceived and implemented by the student.

Funding for the dissertation is procured from dissertation grants from private foundations or federal agencies. If the topic is closely linked to a faculty member's currently funded research, the dissertation could be supported by that grant. Or if the research takes place in a health care organization, that organization may pay for it.