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Building a South Asian Public Health Network: A Collaboration of Columbia University's Global Center, Mumbai, India and the Mailman School of Public Health

The proposed project seeks to build on the existing network of Columbia University’s Global Health Center (CUGC) in Mumbai in order to cultivate partnerships between faculty at the Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH) and local public health partners, and develop student field practica in India. The one year planning grant will provide support for Mailman faculty to collaborate with Columbia’s Global Center to achieve the following objectives:

  • Promote collaboration between MSPH faculty with GUCG faculty in Mumbai, India in order to build on and strengthen its network of academic institutions, government agencies, and NGO partners addressing existing and emerging critical public health challenges;
  • Identify practicum opportunities for MSPH graduate students to collaborate with established Indian researchers and service providers within the proposed network. Areas of potential engagement could include child and adolescent development, aging and chronic diseases, epidemiology research methods, and implementation science; and
  • Facilitate linkages between MPSH and CUGC’s public health network with the goal of exchanging technical information; promoting joint research; and exploring innovative educational technologies in developing the next generation of global public health leaders.

Once the network and practica opportunities are established, efforts will be made to collaborate with faculty and clinical students from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and the College of Dentistry in the development of field practica and related joint research activities. The expected outputs of the proposed one year planning grant include:

  • A joint MSPH-CUGC review of existing relevant Columbia University projects and partnerships to identify challenges and opportunities for further faculty and student collaboration;
  • Identification of promising new locally-based partners—including local Universities and academic institutions, national and international NGOs, regional and national public health agencies—who are committed to research, service, and education of public health leaders and could join the CUGC-MSPH network;
  • Delivery of workshops for network partners during each of the two planned visits. Workshop One will provide an overview of MSPH’s curriculum and the role of field practica in student education. Workshop Two will address the role of network partners in mentoring students and strategies for encouraging and sustaining faculty partnerships; and
  • Development of 5-10 student practicum opportunities (2-6 months each) for MSPH students which will be launched in June 2016. A process for, and a set of tools to review student applications, monitor field activities, and evaluate performance will also be established.
  • Development of 1-2 new collaborations between MSPH and local researchers. Collaborations will include identification of joint research agenda and a relevant funding opportunity.
South Asia


Assistant Professor of Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center
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