General Decription & Aims
The studies of epidemiological methods build the foundation for population-based research both in the context of health promotion and disease prevention. This degree is primarily intended for students likely to pursue careers in academia in these fields of study or in departments related to Population Health, or in research-related positions outside of academia. In addition to nurturing the development of the next generation of population health specialists, the program will provide opportunities for students to build scientific communication, presentation, and teaching skills, and thereby become future educators in their field. With a concentration on epidemiological methods this doctoral program will offer the opportunity to acquire training in relevant fields such as e.g., communicable and non-communicable, chronic and infectious disease epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, social epidemiology, the epidemiology of aging, molecular epidemiology, clinical epidemiology, as well as pharmacoepidemiology. Thesis topics will be embedded in any one of these subspecialties and will offer additional opportunity for in depth training.
The target group for this doctoral program are students with an interest in applied medical sciences, who wish to deepen their methodological understanding of how to design, properly conduct, and analyze complex studies in the above mentioned fields of epidemiological studies. Their future career goals may span from careers in epidemiology both at academic as well as private research institutions including the pharmaceutical industry, to engagement in governmental positions related to health management, for example at the ministry of health, schools, pandemic preparedness institutions, or demography such as at Statistic Austria. A Master’s degree in any field of relevance to the career goals of the candidate is a plus, but other Master’s degrees will also be considered to fulfill the prerequisite for entering the program.
Epidemiology is a central aspect of public health, with a strong methods orientation and close alignment with biostatistics, offering a deepened understanding of design and quantitative aspects related to the development and analysis of complex data sets in the field of health and medicine. Currently, there are no doctoral programs offering training for future epidemiologists in Austria. The new doctoral program N790 with a concentration on “Epidemiology” aims to fill this gap. Lecturers and investigators are primarily based in the Center for Public Health of the Medical University of Vienna; both from the Department of Epidemiology, but also other Departments such as e.g., the Departments of Environmental Health, and Social and Preventive Medicine.
Methodologically, this program will cover all fundamental aspects of traditional and modern epidemiology, with a special emphasis on the subject area specific to the respective thesis of a student. Such methods encompass e.g., methods for confounding control, mediation analyses, assessment, instrumental variable techniques, and counterfactual approaches to causal inference.
Upon completion, the student will have acquired deepened skills in the theory (including both historical as well as current cutting edge perspectives) and applied analysis of epidemiological problems. This deepened understanding and solid grasp of epidemiological methods will offer the student a wide range of job opportunities in a varied range of related fields.