Starting in May 2023, WHO Europe is launching a seminar series for graduate and postgraduate students, early career researchers and young professionals in the areas of public health, social and political sciences, medicine, economics and related fields, who are interested in alcohol from a public health perspective.
Participants will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in alcohol epidemiology, prevention and intervention methods, socioeconomic inequalities/inequities and alcohol use, stigma, and mental health. A general introduction to alcohol use disorders and their prevention and management will be provided, but the main focus will be on a public health approach that aims to improve population health and to reduce health inequalities/inequities among population groups, with a specific focus on noncommunicable diseases.
The main purpose of the seminar series is to build capacity among professionals who are at the beginning of their careers, in order to prepare them to work on the topic of alcohol and public health at a national and international level.
This series is organized as part of the WHO-EU Evidence into Action Alcohol Project (EVID-ACTION), funded by the European Commission, to bring scientific evidence to promote and support the implementation of effective alcohol policies for the communities of the EU, Iceland, Norway and Ukraine.
The programme has a total of 8 modules.
It starts on May 14, 2023 and ends on September 12, 2023.
The first and last modules are planned as face-to-face meetings in Tallinn and Barcelona.
The online modules are each 1.5 hours in duration.
In the final meeting in Barcelona in September 2023, participants are expected to present joint or individual projects on the topic of alcohol and (public) health.
Registration and selection criteria
If you are interested in applying for the seminar series, please complete the application form at the link and submit the following documents:
- a short and comprehensive motivation letter, including a description of your motives for attending the seminar series, your expectations regarding the programme, what kind of career you are planning for, and how you plan to use the acquired knowledge to contribute to the improvement of public health in Europe, within the EVID-ACTION project (maximum 350 words);
- a short description of a project idea on which you would like to work during the seminar series and that will contribute to the EVID-ACTION project (maximum 1 page);
- your curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages);
- a publication list including all unpublished manuscripts of dissertations and theses (if publicly available), also indicating the original language of the manuscript.
March 31, 2023
Selected participants will be notified about further course details in April 2023.
Globally, alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and ill health in young people and this unfortunate statistic is particularly relevant for Europe.
Eight out of the 10 countries with the highest alcohol consumption in the world are located in the European Union (EU). For this, EU countries are paying a very high price in the form of alcohol-attributable injuries, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other noncommunicable diseases.
Almost 300,000 people die each year in the EU because of alcohol. Yet many people do not have access to accurate and trustworthy information about alcohol and its impact on the health of individuals, families and communities, as well as that of the planet. Alcohol is seldom on the curricula of any public health education programmes in Europe and is often approached from the clinical perspective of addiction research and treatment provision rather than from the perspective of public health.
Capacity-building plays a significant role in tackling public health issues stemming from alcohol use and the tremendous burden of disease that it causes globally and in Europe in particularly.
In 2022, WHO Europe’s Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Programme launched the EVID-ACTION project. The project will work to increase awareness among the public and policy-makers of the links between alcohol consumption and cancer risks and will support evidence-based alcohol policy measures to reduce these risks, as well as developing and supporting the implementation of related training packages for countries.
Within the scope of EVID-ACTION, WHO Europe is establishing a network of interdisciplinary researchers working on alcohol policy. The project includes specific capacity-building activities for early career researchers to empower them with knowledge, skills and the best evidence to contribute to the aims of EVID-ACTION and become part of the various networks that are being established within the project.
The course will enable participants to:
- gain a general overview of the field of alcohol use and public health and the existing measures to prevent alcohol-related burden of disease with a specific focus on Europe;
- learn about the social, cultural, psychological and biological factors associated with alcohol use and alcohol reduction and cessation;
- learn about the conceptual frameworks used in addressing alcohol and contemporary public health issues;
- understand the methodology used to monitor and estimate trends in alcohol use and the alcohol-attributable burden of disease;
- understand the role of data and evidence in public health policy development and communication with a specific focus on alcohol and cancer;
- critically appraise the various prevention strategies, including general population approaches and individual-based strategies;
- build capacity in the area and learn how to transfer research into policy-related contexts.
The teaching language is English.
A proficient level of English is required to follow the lectures and actively participate in discussions and group work. Since two modules are planned as meetings with physical attendance, participants are expected to travel, to get the required visa for travelling (if needed) and to follow all necessary safety measures while traveling. Due to the online format of the rest of the course, a stable internet connection as well as a well-functioning camera, microphone and speakers are required.
Participants will be expected to apply the knowledge they have gained in the training course in the form of joint or individual projects on the topic of alcohol and (public) health. Participants are free to decide the form in which they wish to implement and present their project work: for example, by preparing and presenting a poster or short report, designing and developing an original study, conducting a review or any other secondary data analysis, or any other format that demonstrates the participant’s acquired knowledge and skills.
Since this programme will have a fixed group of participants, and modules and sessions that build on one another, attendance at all events is mandatory.
Costs for the training course
The course is free of charge for all selected participants. Travel costs, accommodation and daily allowances will be covered for the modules where face-to-face meetings are planned.
- Introductory module: Alcohol and (public) health – main concepts, methods, indicators and evidence at a glance. May 14–15, 2023, Tallinn, Estonia (physical attendance)
- Online module 1: Alcohol and sustainable development: what are other relevant dimensions beyond health? May 2023, online
- Online module 2: Alcohol and inequalities and inequities – evidence and policy options. June 2023, online
- Online module 3: Alcohol and cancer – an overlooked link and decades of evidence. June 2023, online
- Online module 4: Alcohol use disorders – early detection and treatment. July 2023, online
- Online module 5: Alcohol cultures and stigma – overview of key concepts. July 2023, online
- Online module 6: Alcohol no ordinary commodity – regulatory approaches and challenges globally and specifically in Europe. September 2023, online
- Final module: Alcohol and (public) health – project presentation as part of the EVID-ACTION conference. September 11–12, 2023 (to be confirmed), Barcelona, Spain (physical attendance)
Further information on the programme and instructors of the training course is available on demand. Please write to Ms Maria Neufeld (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All participants will receive a digital certificate after successfully completing the course.
Registration and selection criteria
Selection of participants will be based on the motivation letter, project proposal, curriculum vitae and the relevance of outlined contributions within the scope of the EVID-ACTION project. Priority will be given to applicants from countries that are covered under the EVID-ACTION project (i.e. EU countries, Norway, Iceland and Ukraine). However, applicants from other countries will be considered if their motivation letters and project proposals are considered to be within the scope of the project.