The purpose of this program is to prepare rigorously trained, doctorally-prepared academicians and researchers who will provide leadership in reducing the burden of occupational injury through teaching, research, and translation of research-to-practice.
The Public Health Model is fundamental to the comprehensive OIPRTP, providing a framework for research training, in concert with the epidemiological model. First, the problem must be defined through well-designed data collection and surveillance efforts. Next, the challenge is to identify causes of injury through the conduct of methodologically rigorous analytic efforts — for example, through case-control designs that enable identification of risk factors pertinent to a specific injury problem. This information is integral to the development of appropriate interventions that must, then, be evaluated for efficacy prior to launching full-scale endeavors into practice.
The OIPRTP faculty has been funded for numerous research efforts that provide research training opportunities for students. These have included opportunities that address NIOSH NORA Sector priorities in the areas of agriculture, construction, health care and social assistance, services, and transportation, among others. Surveillance and population-based efforts include attention to various vulnerable populations. In particular, this program is among the few in the country that has developed an extremely strong focus on methodological aspects of studying occupational injuries and incorporation of relevant analytical techniques.
Within the OIPRTP, our weekly research seminars and informal meetings and social events, involving all OIPRTP students, as well as those from other disciplines in the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety and Division of Environmental Health Sciences, are essential to the establishment and maintenance of camaraderie needed to ensure successful student progress and retention.