A training program in Spirituality and Public Health will be hosted at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, beginning in 2018. More details are explained below.


We are pleased to announce a funding opportunity for U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health doctoral students beginning Fall 2018. Doug Oman (PI) along with other SPH faculty have received funding for a training grant for doctoral students. Beginning in Fall 2018, we can offer two-year supplemental support to three new doctoral students each year. Requirements are modest and outlined below.  This training project grows out of work by an earlier Berkeley-based working group. For questions please contact Doug Oman (


We will partially supports doctoral students whose dissertation work non-trivially addresses spiritual and/or religious factors as health factors. This topic (spiritual/religious factors) is the focus of a large and rapidly expanding research base (3000+ empirical studies, 100+ systematic reviews, 30+ meta-analyses) and its overall and subfield-specific relevance to public health is addressed in a in-press book (expected to appear in early 2018, published by Springer; editor: Oman).


Applications are encouraged from existing or incoming doctoral students in any of Berkeley’s substantively-focused doctoral programs, including the DrPH program as well as PhD programs in Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy, and Infectious Diseases/Immunity. (As documented by reviews in the forthcoming in-press book, the research base demonstrates the relevance of spiritual/religious factors to each of these subfields)


Successful applicants will be expected to address spiritual/religious factors in a nontrivial way in their dissertation work, although such factors need not be the sole or primary focus of their dissertation work. For example, in a three-paper dissertation, one paper might include systematic empirical work on spiritual and/or religious factors and  one or more health variables. Funding recipients will also have the opportunity/expectation to attend a weekly integrative seminar.


We have secured funding to offer two-year support to three students per year at a level of approximately $6000 per student per year. We are grateful to the generous funder who has so graciously made this program possible (link). Over time, we hope to expand these support levels.

Thank you,
Prof. Doug Oman
Prof. Leonard Syme

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