In this renewal application, we seek to continue our highly successful training program in occupational/environmental epidemiology. We propose to continue our long- standing master's-level training as well as the doctoral-level training program that was added to the program in the past cycle. The training program will provide tuition coverage to three first- year and three second-year MSPH students each year and a stipend to one doctoral student each year. The curriculum provides rigorous training in analytical epidemiology and biostatistics, and a strong foundation in occupational and environmental health, including exposure assessment and industrial hygiene, occupational health policy, injury and toxicology. The program faculty has active research programs providing excellent opportunities for thesis and dissertation research, and an extensive supporting faculty is available for mentoring. Since its inception in 1998, our training program has supported 47 outstanding students, including 21 in the most recent five-year cycle. Graduates of the MSPH program are pursuing productive careers related to occupational/environmental epidemiology or additional doctoral-level training. The new doctoral-level training component is providing even more depth in training and will produce graduates prepared to be leaders in this field.
Epidemiologic methods have emerged as one of the most important tools in the evaluation of health effects of occupational and environmental exposures. For the stated priorities of each of the sector areas in the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), epidemiologic research is an essential tool. This training program that combines training in epidemiologic skills and knowledge of the substantive area of occupational and environmental health will produce masters and doctoral-level graduates well prepared for research and public health practice careers in occupational epidemiology.