PhD Research Opportunities

As an R1 Institution, WVU is a top-tier institution for doctoral research, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In the Public Health Sciences PhD program, our focus on student success is reflected in our research opportunities. In addition to the School’s CDC-funded center and partnerships with national agencies, WVU’s advanced clinical Integrated Data Repository provides unique research opportunities, including linkage of data from electronic medical records to other health databases such as mortality and insurance data.

Through research rotations during their first year of study, students are exposed to different faculty interests and projects. In addition to working with faculty on their research projects, students also submit their own proposals for funding. This collaborative effort and supportive environment often results in students presenting research at national or international conferences and peer-reviewed publications very early in their career.

Potential areas of focus

  • Doctoral students focusing on epidemiological research can study chronic disease, cancer, gene-and-environment interaction, environmental epidemiology, injury and trauma, disaster preparedness, infectious disease, health, disparities, substance use, and behavioral determinants of health.
  • Regional industries are a potential source of occupational and environmental study, including mining, oil and gas extraction and refining, metals production, chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing, paper, plastics, and ceramics.
  • Students studying social and behavioral science may focus on a number of health-related topics, including childhood obesity, physical activity and education, nutrition, disease and injury prevention, and health promotion.