Finding a research topic in Global Health (M. Schmitt)

Maggie SchmittAnswer provided by Maggie Schmitt, Program Assistant, Northwestern University International Program Development/Global Health Studies

Finding a research topic in Global Health can seem overwhelming initially.  It is important to start off by just exploring all the latest Global Health news and advancements before narrowing down your topic. Take some time to do some research on the most up-to-date news occurring in the field of Global Health. Here are a few recommendations on how to start this process:

1. Global Health Blogs - There are several fantastic Global Health blogs which discuss many of the newest and most innovative Global Health advancements, debates, and projects.  Read over a few of them to get a few leads of possible topics of interest. Once you have a few  ideas of interesting topics you'd like to learn more about, then start looking for academic-based supporting research (including use of the library & journals). A few of my favorite global health blogs include:

2. Stay up-to-date on the news - Several news sources are constantly feeding the most recent Global Health news stories. A few of my favorite Global Health news resources include:

3. Explore Northwestern Library Resources- Northwestern has remarkable resources in terms of the Global Health related journals and textbooks. Utilize these resources. A few ideas for Global Health related journals located at the Northwestern Library include:

  • Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy, and Practice
  • The American Journal Of Public Health
  • The New England Journal Of Medicine (Global Health Section)
  • The Global Health Magazine (Global Health Council)
** The Global Health Council offers an extensive list of Global Health journal resources at:

4. Faculty Research - Northwestern has a large amount of a faculty participating in Global Health or Public Health related research year-round.  It is important to familiarize yourself with all the latest faculty research on-going at Northwestern. Why is this importa

Aside from Global Health journals, several resources

Important things to think about when creating a Global Health research proposal:

1. Working or building on exisiting Global Health research projects

    - There are many talented faculty, graduate, and even undergraduate students who are currently or have previously been working on Global Health Research

4. Global Experience - Many of you (especially Global Health minors) have had the opportunity to study Global Health at an international capacity.  While you studying abroad, you are creating contacts and learning hands on at your global site. A great way to create a project is to use these experiences and contacts you have created to build a project.  The benefits to using these established contacts is that you do not have to start from scratch but can build on