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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Data-Driven Prevention Policy in Public Health

Ready for the public health challenges of the future? Do you want to learn the value of observational data for public health policy during hands on research sessions? Interested to learn this from public health experts from three different countries? Then do not hesitate and apply for this unique interdisciplinary two-week summer school in public health in which we cross the national borders!

Health systems around the world are each finding their own way to deal with the public health challenges of the future, which include ageing, and tackling obesity, alcohol- and drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle and health illiteracy. Implementing prevention- and treatment programmes targeting these public health threats – whilst taking into account the sustainability and affordability of the healthcare systems – is arguably the largest public health challenge for society in present times! Remarkably, the systems for prevention, health and chronic care that have been implemented show wide variation in actual services provided as well as cost incurred. These differences might partly explain the differences in burden of disease observed as well as variation in longevity across regions. What is driving the health inequalities across the different demographic levels? How can we evaluate policies targeted at reducing these inequalities?

In this summer school researchers in public health from all over the world will become familiar with the steps of the Data-Driven Prevention Cycle (D2PC). We start in the field to discuss the case studies of the partners involved in the summer school. From there we go through all steps of policy evaluation using observational data. Novel techniques in applied econometrics will be used to not only deliver descriptive results, but also to construct empirical models through which health inference may be attained. As such, we can formulate the important policy indicators for reducing inequalities across the different demographic levels in society.


In addition to defining the policy aim of the case study, selecting the crucial policy indicators and estimating the corresponding parameters in the observational data, we offer the unique possibility for participants to also understand and tackle the last step of the D2PC; bringing the results back to the field! Experts in economic evaluation will guide the participants in this translation phase to the partners.

The summer school is taught by experts from the Aletta Jacobs School in Public Health based in Groningen and the department of Public Health & Center for Healthy Aging of the University of Copenhagen, and combines lectures with active learning modules that bring the learned theory into practice. To this end, we encourage students to present their own work during peer-to-peer review sessions and we provide hands-on research sessions. To understand the differences between three Northern European health systems, a day excursion to the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany is included!

Practical information

Dates & location (tbc), Groningen the Netherlands
Level Graduate
Fees summer 2020
The fee includes school materials, coffee/tea breaks, Sunday evening dinner, closing reception/dinner, and a day excursion to Oldenburg!
€ 350 (excluding housing)
Academic coordinators Prof. dr. Erik Buskens - e.buskens
Roel Freriks, MSc. - r.d.freriks
Contact AJSPHSummer

Graduate students, postgraduate students (PhDs, post-docs) and researchers in the public health domain; all disciplines are welcome!

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English. Furthermore, it is expected that students have basic knowledge on how to work with the statistical package STATA.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  1. Define policy indicators corresponding to a real-life case study.
  2. Set-up empirical models to evaluate policies using observational data.
  3. Use a statistical package (STATA) to obtain descriptive and empirical results.
  4. Understand the added value of cross-border public health policy.
  5. Translate research findings into products for the client.
  6. Adapt products according to end-user perspectives.

Participants who attend all sessions and who present a research proposal or paper on Friday will receive a certificate of participation signed by the coordinators of the summer school. Upon request the certificate can mention the workload of 74 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Prof. dr. Lena Ansmann

Prof. dr. Sandra Brouwer
Prof. dr. Erik Buskens
Roel Freriks, MSc.
Dr. Maria Kristiansen
Prof. dr. Jochen Mierau
Dr. Raun van Ooijen
Dr. Agnieszka Postepska
Dr. Sándor Sóvágó
Dr. Adrie Bouma


You will stay at Upsilon International Students House. This newly built residence is beautifully located between the city centre of Groningen and the University campus. There is a coffee corner at the main entrance and a rooftop where you can enjoy the sunset. You will have a fully furnished private room, with its own bathroom and toilet. The kitchen/living room is shared with approx. 8 other students, and offers you a place to have dinner or to play a (board) game with your fellow summer school students.


The kitchens are fully equipped with electric stoves, ovens, fridges, freezers, etc. and of course pots and pans. Please note that food (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is not included unless otherwise specified by your summer school. You should count on spending approximately €15-20 per day on meals, snacks, coffee/tea and/or other refreshments.


The housing service is optional, please indicate on your online application form if you want to have accommodation arranged for you. If you agree to have housing arranged for you, you will be offered a standard package with the following conditions:

  • Standard rental from Saturday 8 August to Saturday 22 August for € 378 (14nights). This includes cleaning, bed package (duvet, pillow + linen) and basic kitchen utensils.
  • Check-in is on Saturdays between 2 PM and 10 PM or Sundays between 2 PM and 4 PM. The central summer school office will be there to welcome you.
  • Check-out is on Saturday before 10 AM.
  • Cancellation policy: Participants who cancel after 16 July are liable to pay the full amount for their accommodation.

Please note that the international student house is a regular home and not hotel-quality accommodation. If you prefer to stay in other accommodation, please make use of one of the many hotels in Groningen.


The summer school will be held under the flag of the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, which is a joint initiative of the University of Groningen, UMCG and Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

University of Oldenburg, Carl von Ossietzky
University of Oldenburg, Carl von Ossietzky
University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
This summer school is sponsored by:
EIT European Institute of Innovation & Technology. The EIT is a body of the European Union
Last modified:24 March 2021 4.39 p.m.