Sri Lanka/Copenhagen, Denmark

Field course in Sri Lanka on Cross-disciplinary Health Research

when 19 July 2020 - 7 August 2020
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee DKK 6000

The University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health offers a three-week field course in global health and research methods. The course is a close collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge on health research through fieldwork experiences, working in cross-disciplinary groups and with local university faculty members, this is the course for you.

The course aims at providing you with an understanding of health research methods, possibilities and challenges in a middle-income setting as Sri Lanka. You will be introduced to and gain a good understanding of significant health challenges in contextual urban, rural, private and government health systems settings.

Furthermore, you will gain a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international researchers including clinical and epidemiological research, biological fields-sampling, GIS-mapping, community surveys and qualitative health research.

Through lectures, field and institutional visits, group work and discussions, and the development of a research proposal the course includes:

Introduction to research methods in a middle-income setting
Introduction to the health system and public health institutions in Sri Lanka​
Introduction to selected current health challenges and selected health topics
Introduction to selected health research trends in Sri Lanka
Introduction to the traditional Ayurvedic health system
There is emphasis on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural group work throughout the course.

Topics which can be explored during group work where you will develop a research proposal include (but are not limited to):

Mental health (may include topics of self-harm and suicide prevention, child and youth mental health, maternal suicide prevention)
Environmental health including vector-borne diseases, disease control and interventions (may include dengue and leptospirosis)
Obesity and cardiovascular diseases
Non-western medical systems/local healing practices (e.g. Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhism)
(Topic areas are subject to change depending on availability of resource persons)

Course leader

Course responsible: Jane Brandt Sørensen

Course administration: Emil Mølgaard Morell

Target group

This course is aimed at postgraduate/master level students with an interest in some aspects of human health. This includes relevant academic background, in e.g. veterinary medicine, environmental health/geography, humanistic aspects of health, epidemiology, medicine, anthropology, public health, engineering and biology (note limited to these).

You must have a basic knowledge of research methodology and be able to read and write English at a scientific level.

If you have not completed your bachelor degree on date of application, please upload relevant documentation on how far you have reached in your studies (credit wise etc.) as well as an account (signed by a Study Secretary or other authority) of how far it is anticipated you will have reached by summer, proving this is equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

Selection process

After the application deadline the admissions committee will go through all the applications and select the course participants, based on an assessment of who qualifies and who will profit the most from the course.

We strongly encourage all applicants to put energy and care into the statement of motivation-section of the online application, as this is the main selection criteria.

Course aim

The course is inter-disciplinary, applying different learning activities including lectures, field visits, independent group work, report writing, group presentations and self-reflection.

You will be divided into groups of 5-7 members. Each group focuses on one specific health topic and will pursue insights into this area of health research through lectures, field visits, small scale data collection, group work, oral presentations, debates with health professionals, group discussions, report writing, and self- and group-reflection.

One month before the course starts, supervisors will contact the groups and propose possible research topics. The groups will do a mini-review of the literature, decide on a focus within the broader topic and develop objectives and a rough plan for how the group will approach the topic during the field work in Sri Lanka. This has to be sent to Sri Lankan supervisors two weeks prior to the start of the course.

When the course starts, the groups and supervisors will decide on the final plan (few intended field visits might have to be agreed on and planned prior to course start).

The course ends with a research symposium with group presentations. This will also be attended by interested supervisors, student assistants and faculty staff.


You will be hosted by and receive input from several experienced Sri Lankan researchers. You independently pursue insights, through field visits into a specified health topic while guided by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, in corporation with Sri Lankan students as co-researchers and interpreters.

Professor Flemming Konradsen, Post Doc Jane Brandt Sørensen, a course coordinator, and possibly other staff from the University of Copenhagen will be present in Sri Lanka during the course programme.

Faculty at the University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health has had academic collaborations with several educational institutions in Sri Lanka since 1994.

For more details, please read the course description in UCPH's course database.

Fee info

DKK 6000: EU/EEA citizens
DKK 9375: Non-EU/EEA citizens


Unfortunately, the University of Copenhagen does not offer any scholarships or tuition fee reductions.