Groningen, Netherlands

Planetary Health - Epidemiology Meets Technology

blended course
when 10 July 2023 - 22 July 2023
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3.5 EC
fee EUR 400

This summer school is jointly organized by the faculties of Medical Sciences and Public Health of the University of Antioquia, and by Campus Fryslan, UMCG and the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health in Groningen.

Planetary Health is a relatively new transdisciplinary field that recognizes that human health and the health of our planet are inextricably linked. According to the Planetary Health Alliance - a consortium including more than three hundred universities - it focuses on "analyzing and addressing the impacts of human disruptions to Earth's natural systems on human health and all life on Earth."

Within that context, the purpose of the Groningen-UdeA Summer School is to collectively reflect on the complexity of the world we live in, and in particular, the complexity of the relationship between environment, health, and societal inequalities. These questions will be addressed with a particular focus on how technologies and eHealth can be used as a tool to overcome the growing gap in inequalities.

Among other things, students will learn about:

- An introduction to Planetary health
- Exposure assessment and molecular epidemiology
- Experiences from around the world
- Cultural acceptability and between/within comparisons
- eHealth & citizen science

The summer school is 2 weeks long and will run in parallel in Groningen (the Netherlands) and Medellin (Colombia)

Week 1:
The first week is hybrid and can be joined either from Groningen, or from Medellin, or online. It will introduce the students to the complexity and the concept of Planetary Health with a specific focus of the application of technology. The program includes 4 hours of lectures per day in a shared virtual room. Collective hybrid reflection sessions of 2 hours per day will be held in each location.

Week 2:
The second week is in person only and can be joined either from Groningen, or from Medellin. Students will be split into interdisciplinary groups depending on their background and their preferences expressed during the application process and will engage into a mini-local research activity.

Course leader

Valentina Gallo. M.D, Ph.D.
Ysabel Polanco López de Mesa. M.D, Ph.D.

Target group

This summer school is designed for advanced bachelor students and/or graduate students in a field of interest for planetary health with some knowledge and experience of quantitative and /or qualitative research methods used in epidemiology and medical science and willing to work in an interdisciplinary way with colleagues from different backgrounds.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

- Describe the main concepts underlying Planetary Health, the main drivers of human pollutions, and the main human health consequences of climate change

- Discuss the role of molecular epidemiology and measurement of the exposome in Planetary Health

- Appreciate the importance of cultural norms in driving exposures and acceptability of assessment

- Explore the potential for new technologies in Planetary health, from exposure assessment, to remote connection & telemedicine

- Work interdisciplinary with a group of peers on a research task relevant to Planetary Health

- Liaise with the local community and local stakeholders to have a sense of cultural norms, socio-economic drivers and political stand of the country you are in, in relation to Planetary Health

Credits info

3.5 EC
The workload accumulated consists of:
Independent work: 20 hours
Lectures: 30 hours
Group activities: 30 hours
Field trips: 20 hours

Fee info

EUR 400: Fee for the first week of the course equals to 2% of the GDP according to the country of origin of the student. Fees will be capped at €400 to avoid unrealistic values.
EUR 500: For the second week of the course, the fee varies based on which institution the student comes from and their country of origin. The following fees apply:
* a fee of €300 for students from RUG, UdeA, partners of the RUG -including ENLIGHT- and students from other universities, who come from low-middle income countries.
* a fee of €500 for students from other universities, who come from high income countries. A list of high income countries from the World Bank can be seen here.


There is a possibility to apply for a scholarship for this summer school. Please check the requirements on this web page:

Register for this course
on course website