Health Research Fundamentals

By Multi Faculty   |   National Institute of Epidemiology
Learners enrolled: 3575   |  Exam registration: 1059
ICMR - National Institute of Epidemiology 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 streams Graduate 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
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Psychology
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 24 Jul 2023
End Date : 15 Sep 2023
Enrollment Ends : 07 Aug 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 21 Aug 2023
Exam Date : 24 Sep 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

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                   
Publication ethics – Dr. Sirshendu Chaudhuri
Manuscript writing – Dr. Jayashree K                   
Grant proposal writing – Dr. S.A. Rizwan

Books and references

Reading materials will be available for each topic

Instructor bio

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 

Course certificate

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: 
24 September 2023 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

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=12.5/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 37.5/75. 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.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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