Translating Evidence into Policy

Instruction in the policy process and strategies for collecting and disseminating research findings to inform and influence that process. The course will be taught online over a 10-week period using a set of videos and guided readings. Trainees will be supported in their development of a policy strategy to address a healthcare problem of their own choosing. Participants will give and receive weekly feedback from instructors and peers about their policy strategy. They will also learn about and provide online feedback about the policy strategy that their classmates use to address other health care issues. Participants will emerge from this class with a clearer understanding of the policy process and how they can become information brokers capable of using evidence to inform the policy process.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Determine what problems in health care are "ripe" for a policy solution.
  • Identify policy targets at the local, state, national, and international level.
  • Locate, interpret and influence existing legislative and administrative policy.
  • Map stakeholders around a policy issue and identify strategies to engage supporters or diffuse opponents.
  • Build strategic relationships with stakeholders engaged in a policy issue.
  • Develop strategies for disseminating research through the media to influence the policy process.
  • Organize effective communication strategies with policymakers to influence decision making.
  • Design community based participatory research or recognize how research is used in the policy process.
  • Plan and engage in community organizing and grassroots advocacy activities.
  • Design a logic model to guide implementation and evaluation of a policy campaign.
  • Assess your capacity to sustain your participation in the policy campaign.

Offered: Spring Term


Course Director

Beth Griffiths, MD, MPH, is an internal medicine physician who provides primary care to adults and teaches medical students and residents in primary care clinic.

Course Requirements

You are expected to view the video lectures; complete assigned readings and protocol assignments; constructively critique other students’ protocols via online forums; submit a final completed protocol paper and presentation; and complete course evaluations.

Completing this course will take an estimated 4-6 hours of work per module.