Course Syllabus


Dr. Alison Drake, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Departments of Global Health and Epidemiology


This professional development course focuses how to develop and conduct of international research. Topics include proposal writing, quantitative and qualitative study designs, preparation of study instruments and study budget, grants management, research ethics, human subjects review, data management, and the preparation of oral presentations, abstracts, posters, and manuscripts.

The course was developed to satisfy the requirement for National Institute of Health (NIH) trainees to receive formal training in the responsible conduct of research. It was also created to provide students and fellows anticipating a research-oriented career with the tools they need to develop and design a research study, write a successful proposal, and conduct research independently in an international setting.

Although the lectures use examples of HIV research in Kenya, the concepts can be applied to other research and countries.

You can also download the course syllabus.

Target Audience

This course is designed for people working in global or public health. Although previous research experience is not required, this course may be challenging for someone who does not have strong writing skills, is not prepared to start developing independent research ideas, or begin writing grant proposals. Participants completing all assignments are awarded a Certificates of Completion from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe key components of a successful grant proposal and understand the grant application and review process.
  • Discuss ethical dilemmas faced by international and domestic researchers and the importance of scientific integrity in research.
  • Describe major aspects of project implementation, including submission of materials to domestic and foreign IRBs, creation of study instruments, database development, data management, and research budgets.
  • Explain best practices of study design and proposal development.


This is a self-paced, online, modular course divided into 10 weeks. Learning activities include

  • Watching lecture videos
  • Participating in discussion forums
  • Doing assignments and activities
  • Completing readings
  • Taking weekly quizzes

If you are part of a local site, you will also be expected to meet with them.



There are no assigned textbooks.


To be successful in the course you will need to complete all of the learning activities listed above. 

To receive a Certificate of Completion from the University of Washington, USA, you must pass the course, which means getting a final score of 70% or higher on all graded activities. Your final score is calculated as:

  • Quizzes (44%): You will have only one attempt on each weekly quiz. Your score will be averaged across the 10 quizzes.
  • Written assignments (46%): The final exam at the end of the course will include multiple-choice questions randomly selected from each topic area and will have 20 questions.
  • Discussion forum participation (10%)

Late Work Policy

Be sure to pay close attention to deadlines—there will be no make up assignments or quizzes, or late work accepted without a serious and compelling reason and instructor approval.

UW Disability Statement

The Disability Services Office aims to help make the UW community more accessible for all. If you are seeking accommodation for a permanent or temporary disability, contact or for more information and assistance.

Academic Integrity Statement

As a student in this course you are expected to maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the classroom.

University of Washington's Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures

Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of your contract as a student. We expect that you will know and follow the UW's policies on cheating and plagiarism. Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to UW regulations. More information, including definitions and examples, can be found at the UW.


“Plagiarism is defined as the use of the words, ideas, diagrams, etc., of publicly available work without appropriately acknowledging the sources of these materials. This definition constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional and whether it is the work of another or your own, previously published work. Plagiarism is a very serious offense that the University of Washington does not tolerate.”


Corroborated reports of plagiarism, cheating, or other misconduct may result in suspension from the course and ban from participation in future courses.

Enforcement workflow:

  • Course lead or program manager will verify the veracity of the reported misconduct and communicate with faculty instructor and TA.
  • Faculty instructor, TA, or course lead will contact the charged student providing an opportunity to offer an explanation.
  • Course lead/program manager will, in consultation with faculty instructor, assess the severity of the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary action, listed below in order of increasing severity:
  1. Written disciplinary warning indicating that repeated offense will result in a more serious disciplinary action. If the source of plagiarism is another student, the student will be asked to provide a written apology.  The student will receive a “0” on the assignment and the offending submission will be removed.
  2. If after two week, the charged student does not respond to request for explanation, or does not provide a written apology (as appropriate), the student will be notified and suspended from the course.
  3. If there are multiple violations or a single violation is deemed adequately severe, the student may be suspended from the course and banned from future courses and notified by email.



Course Summary:

Date Details Due