Methods Café Course

Through interdisciplinarity, critical thinking, and implementation science, this course focuses on the design and execution of effective, scalable, and enduring solutions to make urban and community environments smarter, healthier, more liveable, and more resilient.

Course Description:  

This course exposes students to novel research from various fields —from computer science to health and nutrition, sociology, marketing, and ecology— to explore complex challenges that urban environments face with regards to food access, mobility, and overall population health. Drawing from Canadian (including First Nations) and global contexts, students will engage in implementation science; this is, they will learn how to move knowledge into action from early stages of conception to execution, testing, scale up, and evaluation. Students will dive into state-of-the-art implementation science methods that range from effective community engagement to computational science. Overall, the course will encourage students to think critically and integrate knowledge and practice to solve complex societal problems and find ways to make cities healthier, more liveable, and more resilient. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Describe and integrate concepts and perspectives from diverse disciplines that are key to the study of healthy cities and implementation science.
  2. Discuss and reflect on the applicability of various implementation science methods to solving challenges in urban environments.
  3. Propose solutions to a specific healthy cities problem of their choice, justifying the selection of methods and predicting potential outcomes
  4. Showcase leadership and networking skills with peers and instructors.
  5. Demonstrate aptitude for interdisciplinary collaboration and co-learning.

Course Topics and Schedule

Week 1What is ‘Implementation Science’?
Week 2Systems Thinking
Week 3Healthy Cities and Smart Cities
Week 4Convergence by Design
Week 5Sex and Gender Based Analysis (SGBA+)
Week 6Digital Health and Patient Centered Outcomes
Reading Week Tentative
Week 7Socio-spatial Epidemiology
Week 8Introduction to Modelling (Model definitions, concepts, goals, and types)
Week 9Community-based Participatory Research
Week 10Introduction to Data Science and AI, Natural Language Processing, Text processing, Data Availability
Week 11Introduction to Health Economics
Week 12Design Methods


“This course is one of the most interesting I have ever taken as a student. It has a very novel and diverse context that is difficult to find in other courses. During the course, I had many opportunities to connect with peers from different disciplines across the country. Strongly recommended!”

“This course was a great opportunity to meet Canadian graduate students from diverse fields, interested in tackling complex, system-wide problems.”

“I learned a lot in this course and really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other students from different universities all engaged in very different research work. The format of a weekly pre-recorded lecture, group discussion, and follow-up questions with the speaker was an effective way to learn the material.”

How to Apply

The SMART Healthy Cities Training Platform welcomes undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows in the following disciplines:

  • Public Heath, Epidemiology
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Primary Care and Health Policy
  • Food Science and Food Systems
  • Agriculture
  • Indigenous studies
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Math
  • Social Sciences
  • Other related disciplines

For the official and current application process, visit our Join Us page linked below:

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