Training and Mentoring in Nutrition Research Methods

Bangalore Boston Nutrition Collaborative (BBNC)

St. John’s Research Institute, Harvard School of Public Health and Tufts University

The 5th International Course in Nutrition Research Methods, BBNC was held from 20th -31st January 2014.  The short course is being conducted every year since 2010.  It is an interdisciplinary two-week course at SJRI with faculty from St. John’s Research Institute (SJRI), Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Tufts University. The short course this year was the first initiative of the prestigious Obama Singh Knowledge Initiative Award, received in 2013 by SJRI and HSPH.

The main purpose of BBNC is to improve public health in India by training a new generation of Indian scientists and physician researchers in the field of nutrition.  The course is designed to introduce students to public health research topics, through critical evaluation of the scientific literature and exploration of a variety of factors (demographic, epidemiological, biological, social, political, and economic) that affect nutritional status.   Forty two students were trained this year from India, Nepal, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Australia and Tanzania.  The students used e learning platform “TYRO” for all the course material, assessment, evaluations and feedback. 

The BBNC has over 150 alumni students who have been trained from 2010.

Course Objectives:

  • Explore the role of nutritional factors and health outcomes, through critical evaluation of the scientific literature and exploration of demographic, epidemiological, biological, social, political, and economic determinants
  • Gain substantive knowledge in topic areas related to public health nutrition research, including: clinical nutrition, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular nutrition
  • Enhance methodological skills in areas of nutritional, infectious disease, and chronic disease epidemiology, with emphasis on clinical, research, and laboratory areas
  • Discuss the latest findings from epidemiologic studies on the role of nutrition in the prevention, care, and treatment of health outcomes - including interpretation and synthesis of research findings, potential mechanisms, study design limitations, and public health implications - and integrate research findings to inform public health recommendations and program design and implementation, based on current evidence

The Course:

Interactive Didactic lectures and small group practical sessions will be conducted on the following topics:

  • Human Nutrition
  • Nutritional Physiology
  • Molecular Nutrition
  • Nutritional Assessment
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Health Policy and Nutrition
  • Micronutrient Interventions
  • Ethics in Nutrition and Global Health
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Principles of Biostatistics
  • Survey Methods and Data Analysis
  • Epidemiologic Research Methods
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Obesity & Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Scientific Manuscript & Proposal Development
  • Using Internet to Extract Evidence

Who can Apply:

Potential candidates may be currently involved in nutrition, clinical, research, program, policy, or laboratory work, including medical students, physicians and allied health professionals. Junior faculty in medicine, nursing, and public health at academic institutions throughout India are also invited to participate in this training program. Candidates should demonstrate a strong commitment to public health practice and/or research.

Course Fee:

There is no course fee. The candidates will be selected on competitive selection method. The candidates will be provided with the course manual (including background reading material and handouts), and relevant books.


Food and stay arrangements at St. Johns will be made by Bangalore Boston Nutrition Collaborative (BBNC). Travel costs (train) will be reimbursed to the participants.

Application for short course 2015 course:

The call for applications and details of 2015 BBNC short course will be announced in September 2014.