Global health promotes equity in health and addresses current and future global health issues in innovative and multidisciplinary ways. The doctoral program in Global Health at McMaster University focuses on the ideas, concepts, and topics that are evolving in the field, with an aim to propel innovative research and solutions to emerging challenges.
Building on the award-winning Master of Science in Global Health (2016 CBIE Panorama Award recipient for Outstanding International Education Program), the doctoral program encourages independent and original thought, and the application of rigorous methods to the creation of new scholarly research. Students have the option to complete a cotutelle, which enables them to work towards a PhD that is jointly awarded by both McMaster University and Maastricht University, our partner institution in The Netherlands.
This program seeks candidates who show high scholarly promise, and who have a strong graduate background in global health or a related field. Students applying to the PhD program in Global Health require a minimum B+ average.
Program applicants are required to have a thesis-based masters’ degree. Applicants with course-based masters’ will be reviewed by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis, where graduates with additional research experience may be considered. Successful applicants must also meet all School of Graduate Studies admissions requirements. For further details of admissions requirements for PhD degree and for a cotutelle PhD degree, please refer to Section 2.1.2 and Section 2.1.5 of the Graduate Calendar.
Applications are made online via the McMaster University Application site. Applicants are required to upload the information below as PDFs to the online application form, by the application deadline of Monday, 15 March 2021:
Applicants must upload electronic transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended along with their application. This includes transcripts from courses taken on exchange, through continuing education, summer courses, etc. Unofficial transcripts should include the applicant’s full name and the name of the issuing institution.
Applicants who attended an institution outside of Canada: In addition to the electronic transcript, applicants must send an original transcript for all education completed outside Canada. All transcripts must arrive to the Global Health office before the application deadline. If a transcript is not in English, the applicant is responsible for providing an official translated version of the transcript. In this case, both the original untranslated transcript and the official translation are required. The only exception to this requirement is where the official translation is done by the institution (university) issuing the transcript.
Mailing address: Global Health Office, Faculty of Health Sciences
Attn: PhD in Global Health Program
1280 Main Street West, MDCL 3500
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1
Applicants are asked to submit a 1000-word Statement of Research Interest outlining your research interest/topic as a PDF to the Upload Documents page in the application.
The statement should:
• Explain link of prior studies/interests to the current area of research interests
• Discuss proposed dissertation research plans in that topic area of interest
• Describe the connection between your research interests to that of current faculty associated with the Global Health Program. See Areas of Research Focus.
Please include full academic CV uploaded as a PDF to the Upload Documents page in the application.
Two confidential academic references to be completed using the electronic reference form. Referees have the option to upload additional documentation (i.e. PDF reference letter) to supplement the e-reference form. Referee forms will be sent once the application had been fully submitted (typically within 24-48 hours).
All applicants are encouraged to submit the application early to allow referees sufficient time to complete the electronic forms, which will be sent via email directly to the referee’s email address inputted in the online application by the applicant. If you need to change your referee at any point, or would like to send a reminder email, this can be done through the application portal (Mosaic) after your application has been submitted.
Applicants who have been out of an academic setting for five years or more (as of September 2021) are permitted to submit one academic and one professional reference (in lieu of the two academic references typically required).
Applicants must submit an academic writing sample in English of up to 25 pages uploaded as a PDF to the Upload Documents page in the application. Preferably this will be a publication in which the applicant was the sole or lead author. A writing sample from course work is acceptable. No particular format is required.
Applicants whose first language is not English or whose previous degree was completed in a language other than English, will be required to upload a language proficiency test result as a PDF to the Upload Documents page in the application. Language requirements as outlined by the School of Graduate Studies are outlined on the School of Graduate Studies website.
Students are expected to conduct original and innovative research as part of a thesis that expands upon existing knowledge and meets the rigorous criteria for peer-reviewed scholarship.
Students are required to complete four courses for a total of 12.0 Units. The following research methods courses – or equivalent advanced research methods course(s) if those below have already been completed – are required:
1. GLOBHTH 713 Research Methods: A Global Health Perspective (3.0 Units), or equivalent level advanced research methods course in the event the course was previously completed.
2. BUSINESS C755 Analytics and Decision Making in Healthcare (3.0 Units)
For students who have taken these courses as part of the MSc in Global Health: The supervisory committee, in consultation with the program, will determine acceptable alternative courses in advanced research methods.
Students are also expected to design and complete two independent study courses on separate topics based on consultation with their supervisory committee:
3. GLOBHTH 715 Independent Study Course I (3.0 Units)
4. GLOBHTH 716 Independent Study Course II (3.0 Units)
Based on consultation with their supervisory committee, students may elect, or may be required, to take additional courses beyond the four required. Please see the Global Health Program PhD Handbook for a list of pre-approved electives. In addition to coursework, all students will be required to participate in a research and professional development seminar.
The comprehensive evaluation consists of an oral defense of a comprehensive examination portfolio. The elements of the portfolio include:
1. A literature review comprised of an independent study reviewing a body of published literature and critically summarizing the findings.
2. A review of completed courses describing their contribution to developing the student’s interdisciplinary skills and knowledge related to current issues in global health and the thesis research.
3. A description of relevant publications authored by the student during the course and their contribution to the thesis research
4. The dissertation proposal.
The comprehensive evaluation will require students to integrate the major theoretical writings and pertinent substantive research with their selected research focus. Students will demonstrate an in-depth and broad understanding of the current scholarly literature and methodological approaches in their relevant field of study in global health. The evaluation will be assessed by the supervisory committee on a pass/fail basis.
All students will produce an original piece of empirical research, situated in relevant scholarly literature, which will become the reference point for conceptualizing and justifying a central research question and interpreting the significance of the principal findings. The thesis must be defended in a PhD Final Oral Examination as outlined in the School of Graduate Studies regulations for the Doctoral Degree.
Prior to the program start date, students should have an idea for a research topic that aligns with existing faculty for supervision. This information should be submitted as part of the online application and in the Statement of Interest. The principal supervisor will be a full-time faculty member who has approved privileges for supervising doctoral students in this transdisciplinary program. The composition of the supervisory committee will be made during the course of the first year of studies.
Enrolment Fees and Expenses
Enrolment fees are subject to change from year to year. See fees below and refer to the current program fees for Graduate Programs – PhD
ADD EXTRA REG FEE ***
|Canadian/Permanent Residence Status||$2,102.40 per term|
|International Status||$2,102.40 per term|
McMaster University awards a number of competitive entrance scholarships. Global Health doctoral students (Canadian and International) receive guaranteed financial support for their PhD studies. Currently, the standard level offered is $21,000 per year for a total of four years.
Support for graduate students frequently includes stipends from the supervisors’ current research grants. This possibility should be discussed with prospective supervisors. Other sources of support include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and internal or external scholarships. We strongly encourage applicants to apply for external funding, where eligible.
Information about major scholarships and awards can be found at the following websites:
- School of Graduate Studies (SGS) awards and funding
- Harvey E. Longboat Graduate Scholarship for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Students
- Government of Canada Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool: Scholarship Opportunities for Indigenous Students
- Queen Elizabeth Scholarships in Strengthening Health and Social Systems
- Wilson Leadership Scholar award: https://wilsonleader.ca/nominate-apply/
To learn more about what aids and awards like OSAP or other governmental aids:https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/aid-awards/osap-government-aid/.
Additional information on awards, forms and templates available to McMaster University students can be found at:
The following is a list of McMaster faculty who have been approved by the Faculty of Health Science Graduate Studies to supervise and/or sit on the committee of a Ph.D. Global Health candidate. While those approved for a supervisory role may also take up a role as a committee member, those approved only for committee membership may not act as supervisors (see second list below). Should you wish to work with a faculty member that is not on the list below, please contact Sonya de Laat (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any questions pertaining to the research interests listed below should be sent directly to the faculty member. If you have any further questions, please contact Sonya de Laat.
Global Health Ph.D. Supervisors
|Faculty||Department||Contact||Research Interests||Methodologies||GH Research Interests|
|Anand, Sonia||Professor, Medicineemail@example.com||Environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin;
women and cardiovascular disease.
|Cardiovascular health: Birth cohorts; ‘OMICS’; Women’s health: Randomized controlled trials||Indigenous health; Ethnic diversity in cardiovascular disease|
|Baba, Vishwanath||Professor, Human Resources & Managementfirstname.lastname@example.org||
Management theory; Evidence-based management;Comparative management; Organizational behaviour; Mental Health in the workplace
|Primarily quantitative but also supervise qualitative studies||Mental health of nurses in the workplace – studied nurses’ organizational behavior in Argentina, Canada, the Caribbean, China, India, and Turkey|
|Baumann, Andrea||Professor, Nursingemail@example.com||Effect of policy on the employment integration of internationally trained healthcare professionals;
Emerging trends in infectious disease and potential outcomes for health human resources; and the
influence of transdisciplinary collaboration on health education.
|Meta-analysis; Evidence- based practice; Qualitative; Quantitative||Immigration & employment integration; Infectious disease; Global transdisciplinary collaboration|
|Bhandari, Mohit||Professor, Surgeryfirstname.lastname@example.org||Research to improve the lives of persons with musculoskeletal trauma worldwide, with special interest in
intimate partner violence (female abuse).
|Clinical trials; Meta-analysis; Study methodology; Evidence- based practice; Musculoskeletal trauma||Orthopedic surgery; Injury|
|Carranza, Mirna||Professor, Social Workemail@example.com||Immigrant and refugee families and their process of acculturation as family units; issues of grief, ambiguous losses, war and torture, identity processes, transnational relationships and their impact on parenting practices; successful settlement processes and mental health||Qualitative research; Narrative inquiry; Critical grounded theory; Phenomenology; Feminist methodologies; Community-based participatory; Art-based; Indigenous methodologies||Social justice issues, particularly on forced migration, gender violence, children’s and women’s rights in Central America|
|Cook, Deborah||Professor, Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Risk factors for serious illness; prevention of ICU- acquired complications; life support technology;
and end- of-life decisions for critically ill patients.
|Multicenter randomized trials, minimizing bias in systematic reviews, and incorporation of diverse kinds
of evidence into practice guidelines and clinical recommendations.
|Critical care; Randomized controlled trials|
|Crowther, Mark||Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicineemail@example.com||Exploring ways of improving the way that we use our current anticoagulant drugs, including exploring
established and novel interventions to mitigate bleeding and anticoagulant drugs in high-risk patient
|Developing systematic reviews of key questions in hematology and thrombosis and basing guidelines on
|Capacity building in medical education by supporting learners from such environments to come to Canada
and to take the ability to teach back to their home countries
|Darling, Elizabeth||Associate Professor, Midwiferyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Midwifery services; health disparities; access to care; midwifery scope of practice; health care service
implementation; health policy; perinatal health surveillance/epidemiology.
|Mixed methods; large database cohort studies using administrative health data; perinatal health
surveillance; perinatal epidemiology
|Midwifery services; access to sexual and reproductive health care; health equity|
|de Souza, Russell||Associate Professor, HEIemail@example.com||Nutrition and cardiovascular disease; methodological approaches to randomized controlled trials and
meta- analyses; nutrition and early-life risk factors for chronic disease
|Randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses||Aboriginal communities|
|Dushoff, Jonathan||Professor, Biologyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Infectious disease and mathematical modelling; forecasting in infectious disease.||Infectious disease dynamics; statistical philosophy; computational statistics||Infectious diseases, Water sanitation and hygiene, female circumcision|
|Farrokhyar, Forough||Professor. Surgeryemail@example.com||Design of randomized controlled Trials in general and Surgical trials in particular; Methodological Challenges of NonPharmaceutical Trials; Design of Registries; Analysis of Observational Studies; Critical Appraisal & Evidence-based Practice in Surgery; Analysis of Observational Studies||Randomized controlled trials; Cohort Studies: Case-control studies; Prognostic Studeis; Systematic reviews; Meta-analysis; Statistical; Modelling of large Databases; Diagnostic Accuracy Studies||Children Health; Incidence and Prevalence of Infectious and Noninfectious Disease. Population-based; Studies; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Studies of Vitamin and other Nutrient Deficiencies|
|Gerstein, Hertzel||Professor, Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||The prevention and therapy of diabetes and its many consequences; b) diabetes remission; and c) the link
between dysglycemia and vasculopenia, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and other disorders.
|Mixed methods||Health, diabetes|
|Hunter, Andrea||Professor, Paediatricsemail@example.com||Clinical and research interests include paediatric refugee & immigrant health, social determinants of health and global child health.||Mixed methods||Global child health education programs in Uganda and is co-program director of a paediatric residency program in Guyana.|
|Holbrook, Anne||Professor, Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Evidence-based therapeutics; drug policy; drug interactions; personalization of drug therapies;
medication safety; medication adherence; prescribing competence; informed decision-making;
cost-effectiveness of therapies and therapeutic strategies.
|Randomized controlled trials||Included in research interests|
|Ibhawoh, Bonny||Professor, Historyemail@example.com||Human rights; Human rights and justice ethical issues; Politics and history||Qualitative research; Mixed Methods; Oral historical research; Discourse Analysis||Right to health; United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to Human Rights; Health
disparities; Social determinants of health
|Kapiriri, Lydia||Associate Professor, Health, Aging, & Societyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Global health; HIV preventative behaviour; priority setting in health care||Mixed methods||Health care; HIV/AIDS; low income countries; health; poverty; health systems|
|Kimber, Melissa||Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciencesemail@example.com||Epidemiology of violence and mental disorders among children and adolescents; Children’s mental health
concerns and their exposure to violence; Development, implementation, and evaluation of preventative
|Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method research designs||Childhood exposure to violence across low-, middle-, and high-income countries; Health profession
education related to violence and mental disorders among children and adolescents
|Koff, David||Professor, Radiologyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Integration of medical images in the enterprise and EMR; AI related projects including MILAP, an image
library for research we are building with HHS.
|Mixed methods||International radioprotection campaign under the auspices of the International Society of Radiology, WHO
and IAEA; International standards initiatives such as IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise)
|Kurmi, Om||Associate Professor, Medicineemail@example.com||Lifestyles, occupational and environmental determinants of chronic diseases, particularly
cardiorespiratory health in both adults and children, particularly in the low- and middle-income
|Quantitative; mixed method; Systematic- review and meta-analysis of observational studies.||Air pollution epidemiology; Non- communicable diseases, Life-styles factors, Multi- morbidity, Maternal
and Child Health and Occupational health.
|Longo, Chris||Associate Professor, Businessfirstname.lastname@example.org||Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals, the public/private mix in the financing of healthcare, and the
evaluation of factors influencing patients’ financial burden for health care services, particularly in
the area of cancer.
|Clinical research; economic evaluation; comparative analysis||Health care efficiency and equity issues; policy; pharmaceuticals; cancer|
|Leong, Daryl||Associate Professor, Cardiologyemail@example.com||Physical frailty, echocardiography, and cardio-oncology, and multi- morbidity.||Cardiovascular imaging; clinical trials; cohort studies||Evolving patterns of morbidity and cause- specific mortality in global populations|
|Loeb, Mark||Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Influenza, COVID-19, herd immunity, vaccinology, clinical trials, respiratory infection, antimicrobial
|Randomized trials, vaccine efficacy, immune correlates of protection, observational studies||Influenza, respiratory infections, global randomized controlled trials, antibiotic use, dengue|
|MacMillan, Harriet||University Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and of Pediatricsemail@example.com||Epidemiology of violence against children and women; approaches to preventing child maltreatment and
intimate partner violence and associated mental health impairment.
|Cross-sectional surveys, randomized controlled trials, mixed method studies||Family violence including child maltreatment and intimate partner violence in low-, middle- and high-
income countries. I work with the World Health Organization on guideline development groups for
guidelines in this area
|Mbuagbaw, Lawrence||Assistant Professor, HEIfirstname.lastname@example.org||Trial design; mHealth; infectious diseases; HIV; biostatistics; mother and child health; research
|Biostatistics and randomized trials; evidence syntheses, randomized trials, mixed- methods studies and
qualitative studies, meta- epidemiology
|Infectious diseases, mother and child health, mHealth, health systems strengthening and the intersection
of these fields
|Mente, Andrew||Associate Professor, HEIemail@example.com||Nutrition and cardiovascular disease; nutritional biomarkers; role of essential minerals (sodium,
potassium, calcium, magnesium) and dietary fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases in populations around
|Randomized control trials||Urban-rural epidemiology|
|Moffat, Tina||Associate Professor, Anthropologyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Nutrition and food insecurity as it relates to the social, cultural, and physical environment; Child
Health & Nutrition; Immigrant health; International health and development; community health and the
environment; human ecology and adaptability; environmental health
|Mixed methods||Child health & nutrition|
|Newbold, Bruce||Professor, School of Earth, Environment, & Societyemail@example.com||Internal migration in Canada and the United States; Immigration: settlement and adjustment; immigration
and health; aging issues: population mobility, transportation, health, disability
|Mixed methods||Immigration and population health, health services, disability|
|Randall, Glen||Professor, Health Policy & Managementfirstname.lastname@example.org||Impact of health care restructuring on health professionals; Privatization of health care services;
Business-government relations; and Governance and strategic management in the not-for-profit sector.
|Mixed methods and qualitative research (primarily surveys and interviews)||Health systems and health policy|
|Rosenthal, Kenneth||Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicineemail@example.com||Aids research in South Africa, secondary database analysis||Mixed methods||Infection; Immunology; Virology; Innate and adaptive mucosal immune responses in chronic viral infections, including HIV-1 and HSV-2|
|Samaan, Constantine||Associate Professor, Pediatricsfirstname.lastname@example.org||Childhood diabetes & obesity, pediatric cancer endocrine aftereffects, scoliosis.||Knowledge synthesis, systematic reviews and Meta-analyses, clinical epidemiology, cohort studies,
cross-sectional studies, trials
|International mentorships (Saudi Arabia); Childhood diabetes & obesity|
|Schwartz, Lisa||Professor, HEIemail@example.com||Humanitarian health care ethics; global health ethics; the teaching of ethics in health care education;
patient advocacy; research ethics; bioethics; privacy and confidentiality
|Mixed methods||Healthcare ethics; Global health ethics|
|Solomon, Patty||Professor, Rehabilitation Sciencesfirstname.lastname@example.org||HIV; disability and rehabilitation; and educational innovation as relates to problem-based learning and
|Qualitative research; Knowledge translation||HIV and disability|
|Thabane, Lehana||Professor, HEIemail@example.com||Health outcomes research; health services research;||Clinical trial methodology in various health research areas; meta-analysis and evidence synthesis
methods; Bayesian and non-Bayesian analysis;
|Research methodology and epidemiology|
|Vanstone, Meredith||Associate Professor, Family Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Patient and clinician experiences of socially and ethically complex areas of health care, particularly as related to health policy and health professional education and often focused in reproductive health or end-of life care given their social and ethical complexity||Qualitative research, particularly interpretive methodologies; mixed methods; critical analysis; systematic reviews and syntheses of qualitative and mixed methods research||Comparative policy analysis, syntheses of patient experience across national borders|
|Wright, Gerry||Professor, Biochemistryemail@example.com||Biochemistry of infectious disease, antibiotic resistance, drug discovery||Mixed methods||Infectious diseases|
|Xing, Zhou||Professor, Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Mucosal Immunology; Vaccine Immunology; Tuberculosis and COVID-19 Vaccines||Mixed methods||Infectious diseases|
Global Health Ph.D. Committee Members
|Faculty||Department||Appointment||Research Interests||Methodologies||GH Research Interests|
|Gombay, Christy||Assistant Professor, Nursingemail@example.com||eHealth in developing countries; human resources for health; and health systems reform in developing countries||Participatory Action Research; Qualitative||Sexual & reproductive health & rights among migrant populations;
Latin American health policies;
|DiLiberto, Deborah||Assistant Professor, Medicinefirstname.lastname@example.org||Complex interventions and health service delivery in Africa and other low-resource contexts;||Mixed methods; qualitative; quantitative; intersections of medical anthropology, clinical trials and medical statistics||Interdisciplinary global health research competencies; social science perspectives on malaria; adolescent sexual &
reproductive health & rights
|Drossos, Alexander||Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscienceemail@example.com|
|Joseph, Amiel||Associate Professor, School of Social Workfirstname.lastname@example.org||Racism; Coloniality; Mental health; Immigration; Disability; Criminal justice||Critical race theory; MAD studies; Critical disability studies; Postcolonial theory; Critical discourse analysis; Qualitative inquiry||Racism; Coloniality; Mental health; Immigration; Disability; Criminal justice|
|Mattison, Cristina||Assistant Professor, HEIemail@example.com||Health systems and health; policy; Politics of health systems; Midwifery||Quantitative; Qualitative; Mixed methods||Sexual and reproductive health and rights; Civil systems strengthening; Role of midwifery in health systems|
External Emeritus Committee Members
Please note that external and/or Professor Emeritus committee members are approved by the School of Graduate Studies on a case-by-case basis for each unique doctoral committee. Below are examples of external and Professor Emeritus committee members approved to sit on past committees. Should a student wish to include an external committee member on their committee, they should first consult with their supervisor and the Global Health program.
Professor Emeritus, Information Systems
|McMaster University (Canada)||E-health Applications in Low-Resource Countries|
Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (HPME)
|University of Toronto||Health Politics and Policy, Canadian Public Policy|
|Lawford, Karen||Assistant Professor, Department of Gender Studies||Queen’s University||
Indigenous health and wellness, maternity care, midwifery services, federal health care, health care policy and systems, and Indigenous women and Two Spirit leadership.
|Poto, Marguerita Paolo||
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea
|University of Tromsø (Norway)||International Law; Environmental Law|