The interdisciplinary PhD training program in Occupational Injury Epidemiology and Prevention is designed to enable graduate trainees to contribute significantly to research on worker injury, epidemiology, prevention programs and policy, and to the formulation and evaluation of measures to reduce the burden of occupational injury and disability. The goal of our four-year training program is to create independent investigators trained in a broad range of disciplines relevant to occupational safety and injury prevention, including epidemiology, occupational health, ergonomics, and health policy as well as knowledge specific to occupational injury and its control. Training addresses the following components: the size and nature of the problem of occupational injury and related-injury sequelae and disability;the causes, mechanisms and population distribution of injuries related to workplace exposures and conditions;the environmental, behavioral and industrial processes that produce potentially hazardous agents and conditions;measuring the physical, mental and economic effects of occupational injury and disability on individuals and employers;designing programs and evaluating their costs and effectiveness, including evaluation of legal and regulatory approaches;developing and implementing a research base for occupational policy initiatives pertinent to injury;the design of workplace environments;and an understanding of motivations and behavioral patterns of individuals and employers with regard to injury risk. Our graduates have successfully obtained employment in universities, public agencies, and private organizations, and have made significant contributions to the field of occupational injury epidemiology and prevention. Advisors to the trainees are nationally recognized faculty members who have made major contributions relevant to occupational injury, injury prevention and control, and disability research. The proposed training program includes: required coursework and electives tailored to the individual trainee's needs and interests;graduate seminars addressing relevant and timely issues;mentoring by faculty members with similar interests;opportunities for interdisciplinary research;and guided supervision of dissertations and applications for external research funding.
As identified by the Institute of Medicine report. Safe Work in the 21st Century, the most urgent need in occupational safety is for doctoral graduates in occupational injury prevention who are prepared to provide the leadership and research skills necessary to advance the field. This proposed program, the only one in NIOSH Region III, will produce PhD-trained professionals equipped to reduce the burden of workplace injury.
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