PhD Competencies

Upon completion of a PhD degree in Health Services Research, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and assemble a large body of existent research addressing a specific research agenda;
  • Evaluate and critique the quality of the work represented by that body of published research;
  • Articulate problem specification and theoretical paradigms appropriate to a specific research agenda;
  • Articulate gaps in knowledge with related testable hypotheses, that might further the knowledge base regarding the specific topic;
  • Conceive of a research design that would allow these hypotheses to be tested in a manner that would stand up to peer review, including appropriate hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-testing research;
  • Apply alternative theoretical and conceptual models from a range of relevant disciplines to health services research;
  • Know how to collect primary health and health care data obtained by survey, qualitative, or mixed methods;
  • Select appropriate interventional (experimental and quasi-experimental) or observational (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods) study designs to address specific health services research questions;
  • Organize a team of colleagues necessary to undertake the data gathering and analytical tasks;
  • Use appropriate analytical methods to clarify associations between variables and to delineate causal inferences.;
  • Execute quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques appropriate to the research design and data studied;
  • Draw appropriate conclusions about the research undertaken;
  • Effectively communicate the findings and implications of health services research through multiple modalities to technical and lay audiences.

Students will also participate in appropriate instructional activities, professional organizations and other professional and/or community-linked exercises in order to prepare for their professional careers. The Ph.D. student is expected to embrace and work toward excelling at teaching and/or research responsibilities as they progress through the program.