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The Postgraduate Program in Public Health of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) was created in 1993. Over these 23 years, the Program has trained professionals in the development of public health-related research projects and programs supported by state-of-the-art scientific knowledge. The works defended in the Program attest to its quality, diversity, social commitment and the increasing scientific production in the area of public health. The lines of research of the program have exchanged ideas and developed concepts and advanced analytical techniques related to associated areas such as demography, clinic, health surveillance, statistics, and economy, among others.

The balance of its 23 years of existence points a sizeable production expressed in national and international publications, whose thematic pillars enabled the creation and development of study and research centers supported by national and international funding agencies. On the whole, the Program has a proven capacity to train professionals at different levels, with ramifications to services, universities and research centers that integrate our alumni.

In 2010, the Postgraduate Program in Public Health scored 6 (out of 7) in the assessment by CAPES – the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education. CAPES is a Brazilian research funding agency that operates in the expansion and consolidation of stricto sensu graduate programs (Master’s and PhD) in all states of the country.

Articulating themes of research, social demands, methodological challenges and support from funding institutions is the backbone of the Public Health Graduate Program and its research groups. The development of lines of research and the establishment of associated projects is supported by research groups that have raised funds for important projects along with the main national and local institutions and funding agencies, such as FINEP, CNPq, CAPES, FAPEMIG, the Ministry of Health, the Minas Gerais State Department and the Belo Horizonte City Council, among others. Other supporting institutions include the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).

Several partnerships with national and international institutions have been developed, providing students with experience in international shared production: Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), 2nd University College London (England), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Columbia University (United States), University of Michigan (United States), University of Queensland (Australia), Université Laval (Canada), Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), Drexel University, International Institute for Global Health at University of United Nations, among others.

Projects comprising a rich combination of designs and theoretical and methodological approaches, around the subjects of chronic degenerative diseases, infectious diseases, health economics, aging, occupational health, mental health, urban health, violence etc., produce solid scientific evidence that is relevant to the organization, as well as improvement and evaluation of health systems and services in the country, which are also addressed in our researches. The Program offers to students the possibility to participate in conceptual, political and methodological discussions and controversies, and prompt them to deepen and contribute to the advancement of knowledge on the topics abovementioned.

Such dynamic favors the integration of undergraduate students of medicine, economics, nursing, statistics, pharmacy, speech therapy etc., in addition to the development of specific research objects. The production and analysis of empirical data generate evidence to assist the decision-making process within the context of health services and policies. Such contributions are recorded in specific brochures published in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, the Ministry of Planning, Budget and management, the Belo Horizonte City Government, etc.

The developed proposal and projects have a multidisciplinary nature, which is clearly reflected in the expansion of partnerships and collaborations with professors, researchers and three Programs from different areas of health. This investment can be attested by a co-authorship of guidelines, researches, articles, participation in conferences in various areas related to public health, including Adult and Children’s Health Sciences, Demographics, Education, Pharmacy and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Multidisciplinarity has been made possible by concessions originated inside UFMG (encouraged by its graduation policy). In this aspect, it is important to highlight the allocation of professors and researchers working in the Department of Statistics and Demography, who have contributed to the methodological improvement of epidemiological studies. Similarly, qualitative approaches have benefitted from the contribution of disciplines offered by the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences and Humanities

Program graduates have been absorbed by research centers, state and local health department, as well as by the Ministry of Health. It is worth highlighting their incorporation into various newly created public universities in the country, through the policy for decentralization and expansion of universities, as well as into UFMG. The integration of these graduates in these universities have contributed to the development of new graduate programs in the area of Public Health. At UFMG, many graduates integrate the permanent academic in graduate programs in the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Nursing, Speech therapy, as well as in our own Program. The contact with the alumni is an active and fruitful policy of the Program. They are invited to participate in qualification and thesis defense committees, co-advising students, selection boards for admission to Postgraduate Program in Public Health of UFMG and seminars promoted by the Program.