The University of Maryland School of Public Policy will offer a for-credit international graduate course on understanding and synthesizing evidence-based research in Summer 2018. (This course will also be offered in Summer 2019.)
Classes will be held in Paris, France from June 4-15, 2018, with some assignments being due before and after the two weeks in Paris.
With the assistance of the Economics Department at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this study abroad course is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students studying public policy, public administration, and related subjects such as education, governance, international development, political science, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning.
This course is designed to help students understand and synthesize policy-oriented, evidence-based research in a real-world setting. The course will cover project planning; conducting the literature review (such as the development and implementation of the search strategy and the use of EndNote Web to manage references); interpreting evidence (and evaluating causal claims); synthesizing the available research; drawing conclusions (based on the research and theory); and communicating those conclusions to policy makers, advocates, and the public.
Students will prepare either a structured literature review, research synthesis, or policy analysis for the OECD or a similar agency or organization located in or near Paris. The students will work with their clients while in Paris, but they will plan their projects with their clients beforehand and complete their project after leaving Paris.
The research topics will be initially identified by the client and the UMD faculty, with the final details to be worked out between the client and the student. Possible policy areas include aging and pensions, child welfare, criminal justice, education, employment and the labor market, families and children, health, housing, migration, social welfare, and, perhaps, the environment.
Prior to arriving in Paris, students will be matched to clients and will work with them to create an initial project description, which will include a delineation of the policy question to be addressed and the scope of research to be conducted. While in Paris, besides attending classes, students will prepare and present project plans to their clients (and others) and make site visits to international organizations that conduct similar policy-oriented research. After leaving Paris, students will complete their projects, interacting with their clients as needed. Final projects will be due about two months after leaving Paris.
A preliminary syllabus will be available on the course web page.
(Classes will be in English.)
Course Schedule and Facilities
Prior to their arrival in Paris, students will be matched to clients and there will be a preliminary online meeting to discuss the course syllabus. In Paris, the course will meet daily (tentatively 9:30-13:00) Monday–Friday for two weeks from June 4 through June 15, 2018 on the campus of the Economics Department at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, which is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter. As mentioned above, final projects will be due about two months after students leave Paris.