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Officials announced on December 19 that the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, and the Washington-based One Health Trust have agreed to establish a PhD programme in Data Sciences for Global Health. The programme will educate graduates and postgraduates on current global health issues as well as cutting-edge research methodology, including rigorous fieldwork and data analysis. Future students will benefit from the unique full-time interdisciplinary degree, which will provide advanced education in global health as well as expertise in statistical, quantitative, and qualitative skills.
The One Health Trust (OHT), formerly known as the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy (CDDEP), is a public health research organisation based in Washington, D.C. According to G Sundar, Senior Professor and Director of BITS Pilani's Hyderabad Campus, "The rigorous research and data analysis expertise of OHT will serve to greatly strengthen data driven public health policy making in the country, and thus raise the levels of overall well-being".
The application period for the doctoral programme is open until March 31, 2023. The first cohort will start classes in July 2023. Students will take courses and conduct research at both BITS Pilani in Hyderabad and the Karnataka's Nimai Valley Center of the One Health Trust, which is set to open in January 2024.
He further said, "This program is ideal for students who are seeking new roles as public health data scientists in government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations in the public health and biomedical fields and working professionals already employed in such organizations who would like to use data more effectively to advance their missions."
According to the Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder and president of the One Health Trust, "The future of the health of our planet and its inhabitants depends on a better understanding of the underlying processes that connect us using data sciences. The PhD programme will emphasise cutting edge skills in data sciences, and generate tomorrow's leaders in solving the major challenges of global health by working with communities in India who are most affected by them."
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