Munich Medical Research School

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Program Structure

1. Components of the main course

PPCR follows an interactive and blended learning strategy that emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, and group collaboration. For this purpose, the following learning tools are used:

  • Video-conference lectures with Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Executive and Continuing Professional Education: This is a distance-learning program; however, participants have to attend to weekly 3-hour interactive video-conference sessions with participants from the same location (for instance, participants from Munich, Germany meet at at the library of the Chirurgische Klinik und Poliklinik Innenstadt for the live connection with Harvard). The video conference sessions are broadcasted from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Executive and Continuing Professional Education to 32 centres across the world (individual participants can also participate via web-conference). The program consists of 25 weekly lectures, each encompassing:
    • a 60-minute interactive module led by the program director to discuss the online poll and case study which is written specifically for the program,
    • a 60-minute teaching/lecture module, and
    • a 60-minute live question/answer discussion module in which participants interact directly with faculty
  • Discussion forum: Each weekly lecture content is discussed by the participants in a required online forum. It helps participants learn and grow through interaction in an international group of about 25 PPCR participants coming from various scientific backgrounds.
  • Online poll: Participants take part in weekly polls addressing the subsequent lecture.
  • Assignments: Participants are required to submit practical assignments related to weekly lectures, including statistics assignments as part of the statistical training component of the program. Students have one week to complete the assignment - the submission period closes at 16.00 Boston time (22.00 Munich time) every Thursday.
  • Ask questions: Participants have intensive interaction with faculty and staff via office hours chats, TA blogs and the "live/post lecture question" section.
  • Group Project: Participants are required to partake in a group project in which they work together - in an international group of about 25 participants coming from mixed backgrounds - to write a grant application. The project is created using the online interactive Wiki tool - the same tool used in Wikipedia. Most participants choose to submit their final project after review with faculty members to our online peer-reviewed journal for publication in this international journal (
  • Exams: Participants will participate in five exams, which accounts for roughly 21% of their grade (please refer to grading scheme described in the next section). All exams will be open-book and multiple choice. They will take place after the completion of each module and will build up on the contents of the previous modules.
  • Long-term Vision for Participants: Participants are strongly encouraged to continue their interaction through our Alumni community ( created to maintain interaction between participants and the discussion of clinical research topics

Attendance and Grading (as of the 2017 academic cycle):

  • Participants are required to complete the following to earn a grade:
  • Participation in forums: 350 points
  • Exams (five short exams over the 9-months): 210 points
  • Group project: 210 points
  • 5-Day Immersion Course grade – Development and Faculty Presentation or Individual Project: 60 points*
  • Project assessment: 150 points
  • Homework assignments: 100 points
  • Faculty and TA grade: 50 points
  • Lecture participation: 50 points**
  • Pre- and post-program assignment: 30 points (15 for each assignment)
  • Total points possible: 1000 points

Pass-fail grading will be based on the final grade. A satisfactory grade is considered to be above 70% (700 points). At the end of the program, a certification letter will be given only to participants with satisfactory attendance and grade. Note that during the program, extra activities will be given to recover points.

*Participants who cannot attend the 5-Day Immersion Course can earn the 50 points through an individual project proposal.

**Participants need to achieve 75% attendance, allowing them to have only seven absences, in order to pass the course.

Additionally, participation in this program will contribute to 10 ECTS points for PhD students of MMRS.

Other Courses and Workshops:

At the end of the 9-month program, there will be a recommended 5-day Immersion Course (payed for within the fee of the main course component) to practice the concepts learned within PPCR. The immersion course includes in-depth lectures conducted by Harvard Faculty and other experts, group rounds with Harvard Faculty and other experts in which the group projects are extensively discussed, and the presentation of group projects to all participants. This event is typically held in Brazil and it presents the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in person, thereby allowing for international professional networking. Moreover, PPCR offers optional workshops on Advanced Statistics and Research Proposal Writing.

Participants would also have the option to partake in the Master’s degree in Clinical Research offered by Dresden International University with exemptions. Dresden University offers credit points for completing PPCR, which can be translated into ECTS-credits. Participants who wish to continue with the MSc program will receive a PPCR course certificate of participation and the academic title Master of Science from Dresden International University upon graduation from the MSc program.

2. Who is involved

PPCR was inaugurated at Harvard Medical School by Prof. Felipe Fregni in 2007. It currently belongs to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Executive and Continuing Professional Education. Weekly lectures are taught by distinguished faculty from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University. For further assistance with course content and assignments, participants can turn to their assigned TA whom they could contact through office hours, group discussions, and email. Weekly lectures are broadcasted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Executive and Continuing Professional Education, Boston to 32 centers (listed below) worldwide. Hence, Boston plays the role of the distribution hub and main site center of the PPCR program.

Basel, Switzerland Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Berlin, Germany Brasilia, Brazil
Cali, Colombia Cuenca, Ecuador
Doha, Qatar Dresden, Germany
Huelva, Spain Lima, Peru
Mexico City, Mexico Montevideo, Uruguay
Munich, Germany Porto Alegre, Brazil
Ribeirao, Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Fiocruz)
Salvador, Brazil Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Dominican Republic Santos, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (A.C. Camargo Cancer Center) Sao Paulo, Brazil (ABC Region)
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Hospital Sirio-Libanes) Sao Paulo, Brazil (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Tokyo, Japan

PPCR has been offered in Munich since 2014. It has been part of the Munich Medical Research School (MMRS) of the LMU as of 2017. The Munich site center is directed by Dr. Minou Djannatian and co-directed by Ms. Iris Frasheri. They are responsible for the direct coordination with Harvard, management of Munich site center, and student recruitment. In addition, site monitors, Ms. Hanla Park and Ms. Anushiya Vanajan, are available on site or via e-mail to answer any questions on content, administration of the program, and/or technical issues.