About

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 PhD 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 Translational Health Sciences Researcher

Graduates of the PhD in Translational Health Sciences synthesize and generate knowledge about the myriad processes shaping how knowledge is translated. Translational activities are developed and impleented in specific social, political, and organizational contexts that shape their outcomes. The PhD 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 Health Care Practice Leader

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 PhD in Translational Health Sciences program?

Graduates of the PhD 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 initially 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 PhD in Translational Health Sciences program prepares candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to study, facilitate, and lead innovation in health care. Throughout the program, graduate's will enhance their capacity to disseminate evidence-based innovation in health care, and empirically contribute to effective and novel health care processes, procedures, and systems.

Graduates of the GW PhD 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
  • Study implementation processes and outcomes on several interrelated levels, including individual, organizational, and systems

Low Residency Education

GW’s PhD 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 PhD in Translational Health Sciences team-based learning format utilizes a cohort structure to enhance students' knowledge of translational health sciences. Studies in higher education have shown the benefits of engaging in a cohort learning community. Cohort programs are more likely to be student centered, build strong group bonds, and enhance professional networks.