Harvard Department of Society, Human Development and Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Contact Information
Training Site Overview
Institutional Resources
Training Site Expectations

Contact Information

Department of Society, Human Development and Health
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave
Boston MA 02115

Ph: 617 432-0235
Fax: 617 432-3123
E-mail: ikawachi@hsph.harvard.edu
Director: Dr. Ichiro Kawachi

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Director: Ichiro Kawachi, M.D., Ph.D.

Ichiro Kawachi, MD, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Society, Human Development and Health, and Professor of Social Epidemiology, received his medical degree and Ph.D. (in epidemiology) from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has taught at the Harvard School of Public Health since 1992. Kawachi has published over 350 articles on the social and economic determinants of population health. He was the co-editor (with Lisa Berkman) of the first textbook on Social Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press in 2000. His other books include The Health of Nations with Bruce Kennedy, Neighborhoods and Health with Lisa Berkman (Oxford University Press, 2003); Globalization and Health with Sarah Wamala of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Oxford University Press, 2006),; and Social Capital and Health (Springer, 2008) co-edited with S.V. Subramanian and Daniel Kim. Kawachi is the Senior Editor (Social Epidemiology) of the international journal Social Science & Medicine since 2000, as well as an Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology. He has served as a consultant to the Pan-American Health Organization, the World Bank, and most recently, the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. His current research interests include neighborhood and contextual determinants of health, including social capital and income distribution; as well as cross-national comparative research on socio-economic inequalities in health.

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Training Site Overview

The training program for Kellogg Scholars at the Harvard School of Public Health emphasizes the acquisition of theories, analytical skills, and substantive knowledge to equip scholars to undertake independent quantitative research in health disparities. The program is anchored by a close mentoring relationship between each scholar and their faculty preceptors. Each scholar is matched to one or two faculty mentors with the assistance of the Program Director. Faculty mentors are selected from a range of disciplines (e.g. sociology, geography, psychology) from across the University. Scholars meet one-on-one with the Program Director on a monthly basis to review career progress, as well as more frequently with their faculty mentors to advance their research agendas.

Scholars at the Harvard Center for Society and Health are trained in social epidemiology, new statistical research methods such as multilevel modeling, and core competencies in conducting multidisciplinary research, including economics, political science, demography and sociology.

The major themes of research projects at the Department of Society, Human Development and Health are:
  • Investigations of the major social determinants of health — socioeconomic position, race/ethnicity and racial discrimination, gender, neighborhood contexts including residential segregation, social support/social capital, and early life-course influences on health.
  • Causal inference in social epidemiology.
  • Social policy and population health.
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Institutional Resources

Core Faculty and Mentors
The Core Faculty at Harvard include:
  • David Williams, Professor (Research interests: Race/ethnic disparities in health; Measurement of racial discrimination; Social policies to address health inequalities).
  • Maria Glymour, Assistant Professor (Research interests: Social determinants of health in aging; Cognitive change in the elderly; Socioeconomic and geographic determinants of stroke incidence and outcomes; Causal inference in social epidemiology).
  • S. V. Subramanian, Associate Professor (Research interests in multilevel methods and the demonstration of contextual influences on health).
  • Laura Kubzansky, Associate Professor (Research interests: Stress and health; Psycho-physiological experiments on stress and resilience; Life-course influences on stress, emotions, and health).
  • Lisa Berkman, Professor (Research interests: social inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and social isolation).
  • Nancy Krieger, Professor (Research interests in area-based socioeconomic measures; Measuring discrimination of health research; Socioeconomic issues in breast cancer incidence and survival; History and politics of public health).
  • Karestan Koenen, Associate Professor (Research interests: Psychiatric epidemiology, PTSD and health outcomes; Life-course epidemiology).

Mentors at the Harvard training site include not just the Core Faculty affiliated with the program, but also faculty from throughout the University. The Program Director helps scholars to find matches within the University. For example, our recent scholars have been mentored by faculty from not just the School of Public Health, but also faculty members from Harvard Medical School as well as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Department of Sociology, as well as the Department of African American Studies). The process of matching each scholar to a mentor takes place over a period of 4-6 weeks after the scholar arrives at the Harvard training site. During that interval, each scholar is encouraged to meet several potential mentors, and a final selection is made by the scholars in consultation with the Program Director. Scholars are typically matched with one primary mentor (for example, within their own discipline) as well as one or two additional secondary mentors (often from a different discipline). The primary mentor is responsible for supervising the research of the scholar as well as offering career advice. Secondary mentors typically provide additional mentoring in specific areas (such as methodological advice). The Program Director is responsible for monitoring the overall academic progress of each scholar.

Kellogg Health Scholars
2006-2008: Kalahn Taylor-Clark, Ph.D.
2008-2010: Kellee White, Ph.D. and Karen Ertel, Ph.D.
2009-2011: Sze Liu, Ph.D. and Renee Walker

Other Resources
Each scholar at Harvard is provided with their individual offices with access to PCs, internet, and telephone. The Harvard IDs issued to scholars provides them with access to all University facilities such as libraries, free shuttle bus rides between Cambridge and the Longwood Medical Area, as well as access to Harvard sports facilities and cultural resources (e.g. Fogg Art Museum, Peabody Museum).

Opportunities for Interactions with peers
Becoming a Kellogg Scholar at Harvard means you will become a member of a broader community of other talented postdoctoral research fellows, including the Alonzo Yerby postdoctoral fellows, the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars, as well as a cadre of visiting international fellows each year from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Australasia. Several training and social events are shared across programs — our Kellogg Scholars have taken part in the RWJ Health and Society seminar series (alternate Thursdays from 4.00-6.00 pm), the Society, Human Development and Health seminar series (alternate Thursdays, 12.30-1.30 pm), the Yerby seminar series (times and locations posted), and the HSPH Diversity Forum (brown bag and professional development seminars, every Monday 12.30-1.30 pm).

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Training Site Expectations

How many projects are recommended?
Our scholars work on two or more projects simultaneously during a typical year — for example, a scholar might work with their primary mentor on an analysis of a large data-set. At the same time, the scholar might work on a smaller project (e.g. a review paper) with one of their secondary mentors. Our aim is to maximize the training experience and productivity of scholars during their two years at Harvard. Important tips are provided at the beginning of the training experience in Dr. Kawachi's introductory seminar, "Getting the Most out of Your Postdoctoral Experience", which he gives every year to all incoming Kellogg scholars, RWJ scholars, and Yerby Fellows at Harvard.

Policy on teaching and employment
In order to maximize the postdoctoral learning experience, we do not encourage teaching of courses or outside employment by our scholars. Contributing the occasional lecture to someone else's course may be a valuable learning experience, but we do not expect (nor encourage) scholars to offer courses during their training.

Expectations of publications/grant proposals
In line with the expectations of most academic departments in public health, we expect scholars to publish a minimum of 2-3 peer-reviewed articles each year. Using his decades-long experience as the Editor of two public health journals (Social Science & Medicine, and the American Journal of Epidemiology), the Program Director at Harvard provides each scholar with hands-on help in getting their articles submitted and published. Scholars at Harvard are not expected to submit grant proposals during their training — although the Program Director is ready to provide advice and help if a scholar wishes to gain experience in submitting a grant proposal during their two year training.

For more information about the Harvard Department of Society, Human Development and Health visit: here.

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