The faculty members of the Harvard School of Public Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency are engaged in one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of research of any faculty in the nation. Much of this research is supported by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and/or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A number of long-running and on-going research projects—such as the 24-cities air pollution study of particles and mortality, or the Harvard-Mexico Lead and Reproduction study—have yielded findings that have been instrumental in setting our nation’s policies for environmental or occupational exposures. Some have taken advantage of molecular tools or other novel techniques developed by HSPH faculty to make advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of environmental/occupational disease. Many international projects exist, such as investigations in China, Taiwan, Russia, India, Bangladesh and Mexico.
HSPH OEM Residents are expected to conduct an independent hypothesis-driven research project that addresses an important occupational/environmental health issue, tests at least one specific hypothesis using quantitative methods, and that results in a manuscript of publication-quality. The opportunity is provided to develop research projects with any faculty member in the University. Although it is usually recommended that projects be conducted with one of the Residency’s primary faculty, it is also possible to conduct research with any faculty in the University, provided that a primary faculty member remain the principal research advisor, ensuring that the research meets the requirements and timetable of the Resident’s research obligation.
A time-honored route for Residents is to add his or her own specific independent add-on project to a faculty member’s on-going project that will allow the Resident to test a new hypothesis. This has the advantage of leveraging the on-going project’s established nature, current subject population, and archived data and samples. Alternatively, a Resident can design, propose, and conduct an entirely new investigation of his or her own under the supervision of HSPH OEMR faculty.
For a description of on-going research, access the website for faculty in the Department of Environmental Health and click on any faculty member’s personal webpage.