Trainees are required to complete a research project during their preventive medicine training. Examples of recent research projects are included in Table 5. The research project fulfills the requirement for the MPH project and provides trainees with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed through didactic and practicum experiences in the training program. Although the basic requirements for the research project are the same for each trainee, there is flexibility regarding the content and the scope of the project based on the trainee's background in research, level of research skills, and career interests. Trainees are advised to develop projects that will enhance their potential to become leaders in preventive medicine and public health.
Trainees typically consider several possible research projects during the first six months of training. Faculty advisors work with individual trainees to assist in the development of the project. Research site, faculty supervisor(s) and resources are identified by the end of the first year of training. The project is conducted during Year Two of the training program. Careful attention is paid to the career implications of the research project. For instance, a trainee interested in working in communicable diseases in a state health department would be encouraged to consider an epidemiology project at the State DPH; a trainee wishing to work at a federally qualified urban community health center might complete a project on access to preventive services among the urban poor; a trainee considering a career with the CDC could develop a research project based on a summer internship in Atlanta; and, a trainee hoping to have a career in academic medicine would be encouraged to explore pilot studies that would lead to grant funding and/or fellowship funding.