A student from Italy who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international development co-operation studies is the recipient of CHEPA’s Doctoral Fellowship for 2011-2012.
Francesca Brundisini, who was born in the United States but has lived most of her life in Italy, will be among seven students joining McMaster’s Health Policy PhD program in September, the fourth cohort for the program since its launch in 2008.
Brundisini earned both her bachelor and master’s degrees in the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Bologna. Her master’s thesis focused on the legal status of internal Chinese migrant workers, specifically the issues and implications they face related to their social, political and legal status. This work sparked her interest in health policy issues, particularly the importance of health care as a basic right among all populations, and the close links and implications between health and the economy.
Brundisini hopes to use her education in development studies to expand her research in the health policy field, with an emphasis on health technology assessment (HTA), and its use and impact in low- and middle-income countries. She plans to explore the value and implications of HTA as it relates to chronic deficiencies in health care systems, and its role in more acute situations, such as humanitarian emergencies.
In addition to her education, Brundisini has expanded her experience in international development through volunteer work with NGOs, including helping children in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and teaching Italian to those from other countries.
In addition to the CHEPA Fellowship, Brundisini has also been granted a School of Graduate Studies International Excellence Award from McMaster University. She will be supervised by CHEPA faculty member Mita Giacomini.
McMaster’s Health Policy PhD program, which is unique in Canada, provides an interdisciplinary curriculum covering theory and empirical methods for framing, investigating and answering crucial questions about health policy. Students receive general training across three fields, and specialize in one of health economics, political studies or social organization.