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TDR2023-oppportunities graduate students
Opportunities for Graduate Students
An opportunity to plan, conduct research, and implement your graduate capstone project

Opportunities for Graduate Students


The Summer Training on Applied Research and Service-Learning program (STARS) aims to provide graduate students with the following opportunities.

  • To plan and implement their capstone, thesis, or professional projects.
  • To conduct multidisciplinary research in underserved communities of Ecuador.
  • Participate in service-learning activities that benefit the communities.

Research Opportunities

Research topics for STARS could include economic development, health communications, healthcare access, social determinants of health, infrastructure, adolescent health and wellness, gender equity, art, and culture.

Limited spots are available. Projects must be approved by the Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute (ITDI) and the student's program director or main advisor. Students are responsible for securing funding for their participation costs. 

Participation Process

Students work with faculty mentors to design a research project. Through remote interaction with international peers, students will outline project objectives and methodologies, seek Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Protection of Human Subjects in Clinical Trials approval, and and create budgets and research strategies.

Students will lead the project implementation and conduct data collection in Loja Province, Ecuador.

To fulfill their graduation requirements, students will proceed in data analysis, writing, and presenting their capstone project, thesis, or professional project. Students might also submit their projects to a peer-reviewed publication and participate in local, national, or international conferences.

Cross-cultural Communication

  • Get to know local institutions relevant to national health administration/research.
  • Explore alternative health concepts (Andean/rural/Ecuadorian perspective) / one-day workshop.
  • Create original audiovisual content to show how research and service-learning merge in the field.
  • Spanish crash course.

Service Learning Activities

Multiple service learning developed in consultation with the communities. These may include:

  • Educational talks related to nutrition and disease prevention.
  • Work with locals in organic gardening production.
  • Work in activities to empower groups of teens and youth adults to improve health conditions.
  • Assist in Anti-Chagas home improvement activities.
  • Help to produce a theater play by school children and teens.

Course information

The number of semester credits available will vary with length of participation and will match the student's academic program needs. A non-credit option is available for non-OHIO students.

Below is a selection of courses that students can enroll in (additional courses may be arranged upon request).

Graduate student's courses
    Course name Credits
BIOS 6820 Advanced Topics: International Health 1-4
BIOS 6950 Masters Research & thesis 1-15
BIOS 8950 Doctoral Dissertation 1-15
INST 6930 Independent Study: Development, Communications, & LA Culture 1-5
INST 6940 Practicum in Community Outreach: Health Issues in Ecuador 2

* Multiple sections may be taken to reach the minimum number of credit hours.

Non-credit available for students not attending Ohio University.

Key dates

  • Applications for STARS 2024: TBD

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities for our programs can be sought here

For further information please email to Dr. Mario Grijalva