The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »


The final cohort for The University of Wisconsin completed the Program in August of 2016

The Health & Society Scholars program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has four overall goals:

• To provide scholars with an understanding of population health that is broad and integrative

• To insure that scholars are well equipped to translate new population health knowledge into policy and practice

• To provide scholars with the knowledge and skills necessary for them to become leaders in the field of population health

• To contribute to the understanding of population health concepts at the university, state, and national levels

We engage in scholarly inquiry in population health in terms of the distribution of health outcomes, such as life years and health-related quality of life, as well as population disparities in such outcomes. We acknowledge the importance of all categories of determinants -- biological, medical, behavioral, social, economic and environmental -- and their important interactions over the life course, as well as the relative cost-effectiveness of the multiple determinants.

The University’s departments and centers are nationally and internationally recognized and ranked at the top of their fields. Our program interacts regularly with faculty from departments in social sciences, clinical sciences, humanities, and others. The University has a strong history of interdisciplinary academic activity. Major centers -- such as the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Collaborative Center for Health Equity, the Institute on Aging, the Center for Demography and Ecology, the Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies -- contribute to recognition as a world leader in the social and biologic sciences and in their translation into social, economic, and clinical policy.

We are dedicated to tailoring our program to the goals of each scholar using the wealth of resources available in Wisconsin. Well over 100 faculty members across the campus have made a commitment to serve as academic advisors and mentors to the scholars, or in other capacities. Moreover, many external partners are enthusiastic about hosting scholars in their practice or policy settings. We have designed a flexible scholar research program enriched by seminars, national and international visiting professors, mentoring, and individual assistance with career development. Scholars have dedicated office space, staff and administrative assistance, a specialized library, and funds for individual research.

The Health & Society Scholars program is housed within the Department of Population Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and Public Health. The Department administers interdisciplinary M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Population Health and in Epidemiology, focusing on core courses in epidemiology, health services research, health economics, and biostatistics. The department also administers an M.P.H. program. These programs bring together faculty from across campus, providing rich opportunities for students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows to interact through courses and research, and through formal and informal mentoring and collaborative activities.

The program co-directors are David Kindig, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of Population Health Sciences and an expert in health policy, John Mullahy, Ph.D., professor of Population Health Sciences and a health economist, and Stephanie Robert, Ph.D., professor of Social Work and a medical sociologist. Along with the program's other core faculty members, these individuals have close working relationships and strong links to other individuals and organizations across the campus and the state. They are committed to producing the highest quality academic and personal experience for the scholars at Wisconsin.