Health Research Fundamentals

By Multi Faculty   |   National Institute of Epidemiology
National Institute of Epidemiology [NIE], Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR] is offering online programmes on conduct of human bio-medical research. The programme will be offered as NIE-ICMR e-Certificate – NIeCer - Courses. The first in this series, NIeCer 101:Health Research Fundamentals, is a basic level course in health research methods. It will explain the fundamental concepts in epidemiology and bio-statistics related to research methods. This course will provide an overview of steps and principles for designing bio-medical and health research studies among human participants. We expect this course to be useful for individuals interested in pursuing health research in the roles of study investigators, clinical/public health researchers (physicians, counselors, research associates, social scientists, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, data and quality managers etc.), scientists, ethics committee members and project managers.

INTENDED AUDIENCE  :  Any current or potential health researcher
 PRE-REQUISITES  :  Undergraduate students in medical/dental/nursing/AYUSH streamsGraduate in any discipline
INSTITUTIONS SUPPORT : Government/ private sector, public health service institutions/ agencies, Post graduate institutions in biomedical and allied sciences, Medical colleges/ Universities, NGOs engaged in health research, Clinical research organizations, Pharma companies and marketing research organizations

Learners enrolled: 5288


Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 14 Sep 2020
End Date : 06 Nov 2020
Exam Date : 18 Dec 2020
Enrollment Ends : 25 Sep 2020
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Level : Undergraduate
    This is an AICTE approved FDP course


    Week 1: Conceptualizing a research study
    Introduction to health research – Dr. Sanjay Mehendale
    Formulating research question, hypothesis and objectives – Dr. P Manickam
    Literature review – Dr. P Ganeshkumar
    Week 2: Epidemiological considerations in designing a research study (1/2)
    Measures of disease frequency - Dr. R Ramakrishnan
    Descriptive study designs - Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur 
    Analytical study designs - Dr. Manoj Murhekar
    Week 3: Epidemiological considerations in designing a research study (2/2)
    Experimental study designs: Clinical trials - Dr. Sanjay Mehendale 
    Validity of epidemiological studies - Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar 
    Qualitative research methods: An overview - Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar
    Week 4: Bio-statistical considerations in designing a research study 
    Measurement of study variables – Dr. R Ramakrishnan
    Sampling methods – Dr. R Ramakrishnan
    Calculating sample size and power – Dr. R Ramakrishnan
    Week 5: Planning a research study (1/2)
    Selection of study population – Dr. P Ganeshkumar
    Study plan and project management – Dr. Sanjay Mehendale
    Designing data collection tools – Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar
    Week 6: Planning a research study (2/2)
    Principles of data collection – Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur
    Data management – Dr. P Manickam
    Overview of data analysis - Dr. P Manickam
    Week 7: Conducting a research study
    Ethical framework for health research – Dr. Sanjay Mehendale
    Conducting clinical trials - Dr. Sanjay Mehendale
    Week 8: Writing a research protocol
    Preparing a concept paper for research projects – Dr. P Manickam
    Elements of a protocol for research studies – Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar


    Reading materials will be available for each topic


    Multi Faculty

    National Institute of Epidemiology
    Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, MD, MPH, FAMS, FIMSA, FACE
    Ex - Additional Director General, ICMR

    Dr. Manoj Murhekar, MD
    Scientist 'G' & Director, ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    Dr. R Ramakrishnan, MAE, PhD
    Formerly Scientist 'G', ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur, MAE, DNB
    Scientist 'E', ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar, MD, PhD
    Scientist 'E', ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    Dr. P. Manickam, BSMS, M.Sc., PhD
    Scientist 'E', ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    Dr. P. GaneshKumar, MD
    Scientist 'C', ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology

    All the instructors are faculty members for the two-year Master of Public Health [MPH] programme at the ICMR School of Public Health of the NIE, Chennai, India. The School is offering MSc (Biostatistics) from this July. Besides the Master's level programmes, the faculty members have been conducting PG diploma and various short-term training programmes in public health/epidemiology and biostatistics. Besides teaching, the faculty members have been conducting epidemiological/public health research. For more details please visit 


    The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
    The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
    Date and Time of Exams: 18 December 2020 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
    Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
    The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
    Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


    Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
    Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

    Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

    • If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 50/100.
    • Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.
    • Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

    - NPTEL team