Department of Public Health

DPH supports health of vulnerable populations, with focuses on four areas, divided in four research groups:

The scientific mission of the department is grounded in the human population.

The expertise of our researchers consists of the epidemiology of tropical and infectious diseases, the evaluation of specific interventions for disease control on the population level, socio-economic and organisational aspects of health care, and general and international health policy.

The scientific task mainly plays out in the communities, health services and relevant organisations in development countries, and in national and international policy organisations.
It aims to lessen the burden of disease, especially tropical and infectious diseases, through specific and general interventions, the optimal organisation of accessible, adequate, integral and efficient health, with special attention for those with poor means and other at-risk groups, and the development of an international health care policy based on universal human rights.

Coordinating Units

Head of Department

To support all the groups in the department, a few scientists are working across and with all the groups. This currently includes the departmental statistician, as well as staff working on cross-cutting outbreak research, including as part of the ITM Outbreak Research Team. Outbreak research activities focus on epidemiological, social science and health systems projects. The team also contributes to education on outbreaks and methodology.



The department hosts the Master in Public Health, part of the postgraduate courses in tropical medicine and a course on Qualitative and Mixed Methods in International Health Research and several other short course. For the coordination of all educational activities, the department has appointed an educational coordinator, course coordinators and an expert in e-learning.



The scientific research, the capacity building programs and the educational activities are supported by administrative staff of the department. The staff is headed by the manager of the department.
Scientific staff can call upon the management unit for a wide range of support functions :

  • Pre- and post-award support for funding proposals : budget preparation, budget follow up, preparation of financial audits
  • General budget follow up for the research groups
  • Contract management
  • HR management
  • Travel management for scientific staff and visitors
  • Organization of workshops and seminars
  • Support for teaching activities from pre-selection of students till the organization of the proclamations
  • Logistic and IT support
  • Communication support

To give optimal support and ensure a good connectivity with the scientists, the support staff is organized in different clusters :

  • 3 general support secretariats on the first and second floor and in Rochus 41.
  • An HR&Fin cluster on the first floor of Rochus 43
  • 2 course secretariats on the ground floor of Rochus 43




05 Feb 2021

PhD defence Kanika Koirala

Epidemiology of persistent febrile illnesses in Eastern Nepal


22 Oct 2020

Online PhD defence Nandini D. P. Sarkar

The challenge of equitable quality Mental, Neurological, Substance-use care and coverage: A local health systems analysis in eastern Uganda

07 Oct 2020

PhD defence Zakaria Belrhiti (online)

Unravelling the role of leadership in motivation of health workers in four Moroccan hospitals : A realist multiple embedded case study