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Getting started in public health research

Te tīmata ki te rangahau hauora tūmatanui

Monday 17 February 2020

Getting started in public health research will provide an informative, interactive and practical overview of the research process for those contemplating a research project as part of a thesis or those who are new researchers. No previous research experience is required.

This course is offered at the reduced rate of $150 ($200 after 19 December 2019) thanks to generous sponsorship by the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington. There is also a further 50% discount available to students and to University of Otago staff.

Topics covered

  • What is public health research?
  • The research process: planning a pathway
  • How to decide on your research title, or from a great idea to a researchable question
  • The challenge of supervision
  • Achieving a balance between the all consuming thesis and other aspects of life
  • Getting ethical approval
  • Mastering current knowledge in your area and producing a literature review
  • Useful software for word processing, managing your references, staying organised and other things
  • Life as a postgraduate student - A student’s story
  • Improving your writing skills: getting published
  • Thesis supervision - A supervisor's view
  • Illustrations of Public Health research that made a difference

Style of course

Small group - i.e. teaching and discussion in a group of up to 25 people.

Who should attend?  

The course is intended for those wanting to conduct a research project as part of higher degree study, those new to a research role, or anybody who is interested in finding out what it takes to conduct a research project.

Draft timetable

Time Content Presenter(s)
9:00am Introductions and what do people want from the day? Ruth Cunningham
9:15am How to be a researcher and still have fun!
  • Overview of the research process: from whoa to go!
  • What is public health research - With illustrations of public health research at University of Otago, Wellington
Ruth Cunningham
10:00am Choosing a research method: Qualitative and quantitative designs Moira Smith and Ruth Cunningham
10:30am Morning break
11:00am Accessing, searching and using databases.
How to organise your references in Endnote and other E-based resources.
C13 computer suite.
Donna Tjetjens
Wellington Medical & Health Sciences Library
11:30am Creating your literature review
Managing information and critical writing skills
Ruth Toum’ua
Student Learning Advisor
12:15pm Help-seeking as postgraduate student Donna Tjetjens, Ruth Toumu’a, Ruth Cunningham
12:30pm Lunch break
1:15pm Critical approaches research and considering ethnicity tbc
2:00pm Ethical research and ethical review processes Ruth Cunningham
2:30pm PH research Case study 1 tbc
3:00pm Afternoon break
3:30pm PH research Case study 2 tbc
4:00pm Getting to the finishing post – Publishing and presenting your study. Supervisors and examiners? - A most important audience? Dr Ruth Cunningham
4:30pm Round up and evaluation

Teaching staff  

  • Dr Ruth Cunningham, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago Wellington. Ruth completed her PhD in 2016 and works in the area of mental health and physical comorbidity.
  • Donna Tjetjens, Head of Reference Services, Wellington Medical & Health Sciences Library
  • Dr Ruth Toumu’a, Student Learning advisor, University of Otago Wellington
  • Dr Moira Smith, Postgraduate convenor and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago Wellington

Course cost and registration

$150 early bird, $200 after 19 December 2019.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now