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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 Tropical Disease Research Program (TDR) 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 TDR could include: economic development, health communications, health care access, social determinants of health, infrastructure, adolescent health and wellness, gender equity, art, and culture.

Limited number of spots available. Prior approval of projects by the Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute (ITDI), and by their program director or main advisor is required. Students are responsible for securing funding for their participation costs. 

Participation Process

Students will work with faculty mentors on developing a research project from the ground up. Students will obtain approval from their committee by defining objectives and methodologies, obtaining Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Protection of Human Subjects in Clinical Trials approval, and planning and budgeting the project with remote interaction with in-country counterparts.

Later, students will lead the project implementation and conduct data collection processes 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 also may have the opportunity to 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 with 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 TDR 2023 are closed.

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities for our programs can be sought here


For further information please email to Dr. Mario Grijalva