More than ever before, today’s health care leaders are faced with complex challenges to translating evidence to practice that require navigating geographical, organizational, economic, cultural, and professional barriers. These challenges are formidable and multifaceted, so the solutions must be robust, comprehensive, and draw on cross-disciplinary knowledge representative of multiple and novel perspectives.  Effective leaders who can close the gap between evidence generation and implementation are needed in every aspect of the health care arena, including research laboratories, clinics, community settings, classrooms, boardrooms, and both government and non-government organizations.

Are you a mentor seeking to educate the next generation of health care professionals? Are you a change agent seeking to make meaningful contributions to widespread implementation of evidence-based care for complex health issues? 

You can translate knowledge to improved health as:

…an Educator

Entry-level health professional education programs are facing a severe shortage of faculty to train future providers to effectively address the complex health needs of the public in a shifting health care landscape. Faculty with a Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences draw on principles of adult learning, technology enhanced active learning, interprofessional education, and translational research to produce tomorrow’s evidence-based practitioners.

…a Health Care Practice Leader

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences synthesize, generate, and apply evidence from clinical research to everyday practice in a range of health care settings. Practice leaders address complex health problems by collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, policymakers, clinicians, scientists, and educators.  The Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences program draws on Implementation Science, which investigates the processes and strategies influencing the distribution of evidence-based health care from the clinical research stage into effective treatment options.

…a Translational Health Sciences Researcher

Conducting research in our challenging health care environment requires a basis in translational research, a crosscutting approach that connects basic biomedical discovery to global population health impact. Key health problems are conceptualized broadly in terms of transitions between basic scientific discovery, clinical insights, implications for practice, implications for population health, and improved global health. Generating knowledge within a translational framework results in a synthesis of information drawn from many disciplines, resulting in broad, practical solutions to health problems.

Who Benefits from the Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences program?

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences will be prepared to create, translate, disseminate and integrate new knowledge across disciplines to improve health care practice, inform future research, and shape policies. Graduates will be uniquely qualified to:

  • Serve in leadership positions in national organizations, government agencies, and health-related industries
  • Conduct health-related research and disseminate innovations in health care as university faculty in medicine, nursing and health-related professions

Why GW?

GW is a premier research institution that builds upon existing educational programs in clinical and translational research. As a leader in team-based and on-demand learning formats, graduates will gain the experience necessary to navigate and manage diverse stakeholder networks. 

Children's National Health System, in partnership with GW, was awarded the prestigious NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award in 2010. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National (CTSI-CN) provides a wide-range of services, educational programming, and funding opportunities to researchers at both Children's and GW. As part of a nationwide consortium, the CTSI-CN allows PhD faculty and students to access a wide-array of resources and expanded networks for collaboration. 

What Will I Learn?

The GW Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences program prepares candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate and lead innovation in health care. Throughout the program, graduate's will enhance their capacity to generate and teach evidence-based innovation in health care, and create empirical, effective, and novel health care processes, procedures and systems.

Graduates of the GW Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences program will:

  • Integrate, apply and disseminate findings from basic science, applied clinical studies, and policy analysis
  • Serve as an intermediary to stakeholder involvement and information exchange - by understanding different interfacing frames of thought and cultures, complex problem solving, and resource management
  • Foster mutual engagement and utilize the goals of translational research among diverse stakeholders
  • Reflect on three interrelated outcomes level - individual, organizational, and systems

Low Residency Education

GW’s Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences program incorporates a low residency format, combining online coursework with on-campus facilitated learning.  Two weekends each semester, students gather at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Virginia to engage in active learning with colleagues, faculty, advisors, mentors, and content experts. Between these weekends, students prepare for, reflect on, and apply learning using a web-based learning system.  The low residency approach results in a dynamic, self-directed, yet facilitated media for self-disciplined students to pursue professional advancement with flexibility and convenience. For more information about online education at GW, visit the Online Education FAQ page.

Cohort Based Program

The GW Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences team-based learning format utilizes a unique advising structure to enhance students' knowledge of translational health sciences. This mentorship will prepare students to understand the needs of future translational health sciences educators and practitioners.