Public Health and Epidemiology - PhD Graduate Programme

The Graduate programme in Public Health and Epidemiology (PHE) covers a comprehensive area consisting of population-based epidemiology, clinical epidemiology, social medicine, environmental medicine, industrial medicine, research in prevention and health promotion, and health services research.

The areas carry a great deal of overlap and are central to our understanding of the occurrence and causes of diseases (both the surrounding environment and the individual factors), understanding of patient courses, the health services’ organisation and the effect of different strategies of prevention and health promotion.

The many disciplines within the PHE programme have a common methodological basis in epidemiology and in biostatistics. PHE also attracts researchers from several clinical and theoretical institutes, as the research may comprise patient cohorts, genes, biomarkers and physiological processes in the search of causes for development of especially chronic diseases.

Public health research makes up a substantial part of the translational research.
PHE performs series of PhD courses within epidemiology and public health and often works together with the Graduate programme in 
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.
The courses do not only apply to members of PHE, but also to a large number of other PhD students.

PHE is anchored in the Department of Public Health at University of Copenhagen.

PHE is part of the national network of Graduate programmes in public health (GRASPH) comprising Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark and University of Copenhagen. The main purpose of the network is to organize a summer school.




Each student that apply for a PhD must be associated with a specific graduate program (GP). You choose this particular programme by checking it in the application form when applying for enrolment. 


















Welcome meeting

You will be invited to a welcome meeting within approx. the first quarter following your enrolment. The next meeting will be on April 22, 2024 at CSS.

Here we will inform about the structure of the graduate programme and what it has to offer.  One of the PhD coordinators at the Department of Public Health will come and introduce themselves and a PhD student from the programme will share their advices and experiences. This is also an opportunity for you to meet other newly enrolled PhD students.

Lectures and Seminars

Apart from focusing on your own area of research, being a PhD student also provide you with an important opportunity to familiarize yourself with public health research in general. A broader understanding of methods and theory within public health may prove an important inspiration for developing your own research in an innovative way. We offer financial support for lectures/seminars/workshops arranged by PhD students. You can apply for support by mailing Lisbeth Lyng Hansen ( Any such activities will be announced on our home page: Here you can also keep you updated on upcoming epidemiological seminars hosted by Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health. Upcoming events will likewise be distributed by e-mail.

PhD courses

We have no mandatory courses in the programme. We are continuously working on securing more relevant courses within public health and epidemiology. Please feel free to contact Katrine Strandberg-Larsen directly, if you have suggestions for relevant courses that are lacking from our curriculum.

GRASPH Summer School

The graduate programme in Public Health & Epidemiology is part of a national network for research training in public health, GRASPH. The main activity of GRASPH is to organize an annual Summer School, The Summer School lasts for two days and is usually held in May. Both PhD students and their supervisors are invited to attend the Summer School and the program alternates between plenary lectures and presentations in parallel sessions of the student’s own projects. The annual GRASPH Summer School is an important event in the graduate programme and our aim is to share some inspiring days centered on scientific discussions and social activities. GRASPH finances the course and the Summer School counts for approximately 1 ECTS point.

Winter School

The Winter School is an annual overnight seminar offered to PhD students enrolled in the Public health & Epidemiology programme. This over-lunch to over-lunch seminar will take place at the beautiful venue Hornbæk Hus (Hornbækhus | Badehotel i Nordsjælland tæt på hav og skov ( and the program is planned to include a fun and exiciting combination of social activities, and talks given by invited speakers on topics relevant for the life as a PhD student. The next Winter School will be November 23-24. Invitations will be sent out around the Summer.


Internationalization and financial support for staying abroad

Staying abroad can help you build up an international network and open your eyes to new venues of research. From personal experience, I know that the professional and personal advantages are plentiful. Benefitting from your supervisors’ international contacts may open new doors for your next research stay abroad.  The Graduate School at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences will provide financial support to research stays abroad. You can apply directly through the PhD School:

In addition, the Public Health and Epidemiology PhD Programme offers the following funding for courses and writing retreats.

Financial support for costs involved in attending NorDoc courses

We offer up to 10,000 DKK/year to cover costs for travel and accommodation involved when attending courses in the NorDoc Consortium. The course database is available at:
You apply for support by mailing Christina (, enclosing confirmation for course registration.

Financial support for writing retreats

We offer a number of writing retreats of up to 5 days, preferably at the end of the PhD.  Please send a short motivated application to Christina ( if interested.


Section of Epidemiology at Department of Public Health offers a series of epidemiological seminars.

To view the event series, follow this link.











  • Katrine Strandberg-Larsen, associate professor and head of the graduate program, Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health
  • Mads Kamper-Jørgensen, associate professor and director of studies, Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health
  • Wietse Tol, professor, Section of Global Health, Department of Public Health
  • Helene Charlotte Wiese Rytgaard, Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health
  • Jan Wohlfahrt, Chief epidemiologist, Danish Cancer Society
  • Merete Osler, clinical professor, Department of Public Health
  • Berit Heitmann, clinical professor, Section of General Practice, Department of Public Health
  • Jennifer Baker, senior researcher, Center for Clinical Research and Prevention, Capital Region
  • Reiner Rugulies, professor, National Research Centre for the Working Environment
  • Carsten Hjorthøj, senior researcher, Capital Region, Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri, Psykiatrisk Center København
  • Nana Follmann Hempler, Director of unit for Research and analysis, Scleroseforeningen 
  • Neil Alexandre Scheidwasser, PhD student, Section of Epidemiology, Dept. of Public Health
  • Dorra Bouazzi, PhD student, Region Zealand
  • Hans Kristian Råket Pedersen, PhD student, Bispebjerg Hospital
  • Silvia Pavan, PhD student, University of Copenhagen and Deakin University
  • Christina Frost-Hartwig, Acting PhD coordinator, Dept. of Public Health

The steering group meets twice a year.

Academic secretary for the steering group: Christina Frost-Hartwig, 









Head of Programme
Katrine Strandberg-Larsen, associate professor, promotion programme, Dept. of Public Health 
Phone: 35 32 60 78

Christina Frost-Hartwig, PhD School graduate coordinator 
Phone: 35 32 77 88

Mailing address:
Department of Public Health
Øster Farimagsgade 5, P.O. 2099
DK-1014 Copenhagen K

Visiting address: 
CSS, Building 24 (entrance Q), room 24.1.12,
DK-1123 Copenhagen K