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PhD Public Health Sciences

PhD Public Health Sciences


The Department of Public Health Sciences has broadened its PhD program to include all areas of research expertise represented in our faculty including, but not limited to, epidemiology, biostatistics, qualitative, mixed- and community-based methods, the use of health and public-health services, program evaluation, clinical epidemiology, health equity, global health, indigenous health, and health economics.

Our programs place an emphasis on close faculty-student relations and a philosophy that puts the student first. Through coursework, thesis opportunities, and involvement in the academic life of our department, our students graduate with an in-depth understanding of public health research. Our graduates are able to function as independent investigators in academic, health-research institutes and health-research government agencies, or as emerging public-health leaders in government or the private sector.

In the coming year, our PhD program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University has a number of exciting opportunities for qualified applicants. The following members of our department have each expressed an interest in supervising a new PhD student: 

Dr. Susan Bartels is a Clinician-Scientist in the Department of Emergency Medicine with a cross appointment to Public Health Sciences. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of women and children affected by humanitarian crises around the globe. Dr. Bartels is interested in the social determinants of health and uses innovative research methods to provide evidence intended to inform policy and programming that will improve health outcomes and mitigate the risks of natural disasters, armed conflict and forced displacement.  

Dr. Susan Brogly is an epidemiologist with research interests in the area of perinatal epidemiology, surgical outcomes, and advanced epidemiologic methods. Dr. Brogly used both population-based administrative health care data (ICES, Medicaid) and primary data collection in her studies. 

Dr. Steven Brooks is a Clinician-Scientist and Emergency Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine who conducts research in the areas of cardiac arrest and resuscitation. Dr. Brooks may have availability for a PhD student willing to work with the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network. This is a developing registry funded by CIHR and the Ontario government, tracking patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 who attend one of 50 EDs in the country.

Dr. Bingshu Chen is a biostatistician with an interest in survival analysis and generalized linear models. He has developed biomarker threshold models to predict treatment benefit in cancer clinical trials. His other research interests include analysis of health economic data, statistics computing and missing data problems. 

Dr. Anne Duffy is a Clinician-Scientist. She has longitudinal data spanning two decades in high-risk offspring of bipolar parents and has up to two years of psychosocial, clinical and familial data from a representative cohort of undergraduate university students to understand mental health and academic outcomes. These databases provide several opportunities that would make for an interesting thesis including using joint modelling, multi-state and survival analysis. Further information on Dr. Duffy’s research can be found at:

Dr. Jennifer Flemming is a Clinician-Scientist who studies the link between cirrhosis and biliary tract cancer and the burden of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in Ontario. She uses large population-based databases housed at ICES. Her goal is to improve management strategies for Canadians with liver disease.

Dr. Ana Johnson is a health economist who conducts economic evaluations of health care programs, cost-effectiveness analyses, assessments of resource allocations and use of health technologies.

Dr. Will King is a molecular epidemiologist whose research program seeks to identify modifiable risk factors for cancer. Dr. King studies intermediate markers of cancer risk and genetic susceptibility to better understand environment-cancer relationships.

Dr. Diane Lougheed is a Clinician-Scientist with a research interest in asthma and the development of better information technologies to improve the care of patients with asthma. Dr. Lougheed conducts health services and outcomes research and guideline implementation research in asthma and often uses the ICES data holdings to conduct her work.

Dr. Zihang Lu is a Biostatistician. His research focuses on developing and applying statistical and machine learning methods to answer clinical and epidemiological research questions. His current research interests are in longitudinal data, survival data and high-dimensional data modeling. He is also interested in Bayesian statistics, causal inference and data fusion.

Dr. Maria Ospina is an associate professor with the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University, and a clinical epidemiologist, and population-health researcher in the areas of perinatal and early childhood health. Her research program (DMETRE) uses a life-course approach and a variety of epidemiological methods (observational studies, systematic reviews, GIS analysis, mixed-methods designs), to assess the developmental origins of health inequalities, and how critical periods of human development such as pregnancy and the first 1,000 days of life influence future health.

Dr. Paul Peng is a is a biostatistician with research interests in survival analysis with a focus on cure models, longitudinal and panel data modeling, statistical computation methods for big data, biostatistical methods for epidemiological and clinical trial research.

Dr. William Pickett is in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University, and an Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a trained epidemiologist whose research interests include: injury and violence prevention; injury and illness in rural and farm populations; and health and its social determinants in adolescent populations, with a primary focus on pediatric violence and injury. Using public health surveillance, analytical and experimental epidemiology, and mixed methods approaches, this work has provided critical insight for policy/health promotion initiatives in Canada, the US and Europe.

Dr. Amrita Roy is a family physician and MD-PhD clinician-scientist in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Queen’s. A settler ally with a research focus in Indigenous health, Dr. Roy works in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples in community-engaged research centred on the principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP). Apart from Indigenous health, Dr. Roy’s other areas of research interest include immigrant and refugee health, women’s health, youth health, and global health. Methodologically, Dr. Roy has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, mixed- and multiple-methods approaches to health research, in addition to community-based and participatory research approaches. Fall 2023 PhD opportunity with Dr. Roy:  Opportunity for a PhD student starting fall 2023 in a CIHR-funded Indigenous health research project on sleep and mental health, in partnership with Akwesasne Mohawk Nation.

Dr. Sahar Saeed is an epidemiologist and health-services researcher. Dr. Saeed primarily investigates retention and access to health care among populations including persons living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and chronic liver disease. She uses primary data collection, population-based administrative health-care data and novel surveillance tools (GPS) to answer her research questions. For more information on her research interest, visit her website at Epidemiologist | Sahar Saeed.  Fall 2023 PhD opportunity with Dr. Saeed and Dr. Stoner

Dr. Bradley Stoner is Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Sciences and Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University. An infectious disease physician and medical anthropologist, Dr. Stoner’s research focuses on the epidemiology, clinical care, control and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV. Fall 2023 PhD opportunity with Dr. Saeed and Dr. Stoner

Dr. Wei Tu is a biostatistician with research interests in data science and its application in health care. His research focuses on translating different sources of high-dimensional data into informed clinical decision-making. The topics he is working on include personalized medicine, data privacy and causal inference.  

Dr. Maria Velez is a Clinician-Scientist with research interests in reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. Her current research program focuses on infertility and pregnancy outcomes, and the reproductive health of young women with cancer. She uses population-based cohort studies including databases housed at ICES. 

Dr. Paul Villeneuve is an environmental and occupational epidemiologist. His research program is focused on quantifying the health effects from exposure to outdoor air pollution, noise, low levels of radiation, as well as the benefits of urban greenness and walkability.  In addition to carrying out spatiotemporal exposure studies in Canada and Grenada (West Indies), he also uses large population-based databases housed in Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centers, and ICES.

If you have a demonstrable interest in the work of one or more of these professors we encourage you to reach out to them to discuss the possibility of supervision.

Our PhD students are guaranteed minimum funding of $20K per year for four years with further income possibilities coming from Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, or Research Fellowships. Many of our students receive national or provincial scholarships.

For further information about our PhD Program, you can contact the Program Director, Dr. Ian Janssen at  or the Program Assistant, Ms. Sue Preston at epid@queensu.caNote that all applicants must meet the entry requirements to the program: 

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