Epidemiology in Action

Program description

Epidemiology in Action (EIA) is a limited enrolment course where participants learn, through a variety of lectures, case studies, and hands-on exercises, to apply epidemiologic principles and utilise relevant technical tools for public health investigations.

The course is offered in English and takes place in Ottawa every September. It is delivered by Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) staff current and former field epidemiologists, and other Canadian public health professionals with expertise in applied epidemiology.

The exact content of the course varies from year to year but focuses on core skills needed for the investigation of outbreaks of infectious diseases.

At the end of the training, participants will:

  • be familiar with the steps in an outbreak investigation
  • understand the role of the laboratory in public health investigations
  • identify and use appropriate methodologies, technical tools and software to collect, manage and analyse epidemiologic data
  • interpret results, formulate recommendations and summarise public health issues for diverse audiences in order to inform public health actions


There are no formal prerequisites for the course. However, we typically require that applicants:

  • have a good understanding of epidemiology principles as demonstrated through post-graduate education in epidemiology, public health, or equivalent;
  • have some experience working in public health;
  • use epidemiology methods in the course of their day-to-day work; and
  • have an opportunity to apply what they have learned during Epidemiology in Action in their work at their home organization.

All applications will be reviewed against these criteria but, as space in the course is limited, preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents as well as public servants employed within local/regional/provincial/territorial/federal jurisdictions.

Who should apply?

Public health practitioners, who are motivated to further develop their applied epidemiological skill set, who are enthusiastic about sharing their public health experience with their fellow learners, and who have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learned through this training in their work.


There is no tuition fee for the course; however, participants are responsible for all costs associated with their attendance (i.e., travel, accommodation, and meals). Participants will also need to bring a laptop computer for classroom activities.


Due to current public health events, the Training and Development Unit is cancelling the 2020 offering of EIA. In order to be notified of the application process for 2021 or to sign up for notifications of other courses offered, please sign up for the CFEP listserv, by contacting us at phac.cfep-pcet.aspc@canada.ca.

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