PhD in Biomedical & Health Informatics

The PQHS faculty team is dedicated to mentoring PhD students in developing a career grounded in research that can be applied across many areas of biomedical, clinical and population health, and bioinformatics. We take time getting to know candidates and in cultivating junior colleagues who can expect that our interdisciplinary approach will offer a solid intellectual grounding for a future career.

The PhD BHI program builds on the BHI Master’s – or Master’s programs from other institutions – and offers a focus on core domain areas:

  • Data analytics
  • Biomedical, clinical and/or population health research
  • Computational and system research design

The PhD program is a full-time, research oriented program, based in Cleveland, that typically takes four years (post-Master's) to complete. PhD candidates take core requirements intended to support capabilities essential to the interdisciplinary research that this program advances. Additionally, there are courses at the 400 level and higher across these domain areas available for a tailored program, based on recommendations from the student’s mentorship/advisory committee and the student’s areas of interest. In total, there are 36 credit requirements plus 18 of dissertation research, all in line with CWRU PhD program requirements.

All first year students in the PhD program are fully funded by the School of Medicine (Stipend, Tuition, and Health Insurance are included). After the conclusion of their first year, students will be supported by grants (research and training) held by their research mentor.

In addition to coursework in their first year, all students will do three research rotations chosen from an approved list of potential mentors. The purpose of a rotation is to provide students with exposure to the laboratory/scientific culture pervasive in that discipline and research group, and to determine if the student-mentor fit is appropriate. Faculty members conduct their independent research, and run their laboratories using a variety of styles. The rotation gives the student and faculty member an opportunity to determine if they have similar work styles, and if the scientific culture and training will lead to successful training of the student. By the end of the first year, all students will choose a mentor and a lab in which to do their dissertation work.

Students will master the rigorous scientific and analytic methods necessary to be at the forefront of efforts to not only describe, but also effectively evaluate and improve health. Exposure to cutting edge research will be facilitated by our department-wide seminar that includes talks by world-leading experts both from off- and on-campus. As part of their training, all students will participate in these seminars, including as speakers. This will help develop the necessary communication skills that are expected of successful researchers.

The PhD in Biomedical Health Informatics welcomes applicants from a diverse field of backgrounds and training experiences. Graduates from accredited universities and colleges will be considered for admission to the department. Applicants may apply straight from baccalaureate training, from advance degree programs (MS, MPH, MD), or from the professional field. All applicants must satisfy both CWRU and department requirements for graduate admission.

All incoming PhD students take a required common core curriculum supplemented by additional coursework as determined by their mentoring or dissertation committees. Specific course requirements and additional possible selections can be found here

PhD students in the BHI program will follow the same guidelines for dissertation proposals as outlined for other PQHS department PhD programs.  For more information, contact the program director.