FRM9640 – NFIF - Pharmacoepidemiology Study Design and Manuscript Writing

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will provide a continuously supervised research experience that teaches students the major steps to the preparation and presentation of a hypothesis-based pharmacoepidemiology research study. Students will choose a research question that can be evaluated, using epidemiologic methods, from a dataset that has already been assembled. Through a combination of workshops, written assignments, oral presentations, and peer critiques, students will learn the skills needed to develop the research question into a testable hypothesis, to test the hypothesis through secondary data analysis, and to write the results in the form of a publishable article for a scientific journal.

Learning outcome

After completing the course:

  • you will be able to conceptualize and conduct a descriptive drug-utilization pharmacoepidemiology study, including identifying gaps in the literature, formulating a research question, developing an analytic plan, analyzing data, and presenting and interpreting the results.
  • you will be able to structure and write a scientific manuscript in the IMRAD style.
  • you will be able to orally present scientific results to peers.
  • you will be able to effectively critique research from peers, and incorporate peer critique into your own work.
  • you will be able to prepare a manuscript to a scientific journal.


This is a small seminar course optimized for 8-12 students.

There will be a total of 12 places available which are usually split as follows:

  • 8 places are reserved for FRM5640
  • 4 places are reserved for FRM9640

If there is space available then others may also apply to take the course as long as their academic background is adequate. For more information on the procedure contact the study administration.

Applicants are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. PhD candidates at the MN faculty who have the course as part of the approved curriculum, and NFIF students.
  2. Other PhD candidates and visiting PhD candidates.

If more than 4 PhD candidates apply, priority will be given to those farther along in their program of study.

All PhD candidates should apply for classes and register for examinations through an online form.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within 1st of August.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

FRM4110 – Applied statistics for pharmacists and MF9580 – Epidemiological methods, beyond the basics or equivalent courses.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FRM5640 – Pharmacoepidemiology Study Design and Manuscript Writing


This course will begin with an intensive week-long session designed to orient students to the data and develop solid plans for analysis and presentation of results. After, 5 online lectures and one in-person mini-symposium will take place, and students will be responsible for regular meetings with critique partners.

Time in class will be spent on a combination of:

  • lectures (20 hours) 
  • workshops (8 hours) 
  • student presentations (15-20 hours, depending on enrollment)
  • peer critiques (10-12 hours, depending on enrollment)

Students should expect to spend between 4 and 8 hours per week outside of class to complete reading, writing, and data analysis assignments:

  • homework assignments (written assignments, oral presentations)
  • manuscript developed throughout the course (3000 - 4000 words, plus tables, figures, appendices, and required data analysis). In addition, students must format their manuscript in the style of their chosen journal.

Students must complete all written assignments and peer critiques, and attend 80% of class meetings, including online sessions. All students will participate in FRM9640 using e-learning platforms. Students will be expected to present via videoconference and participate in class discussions.

Access to teaching

Assignments are valid for one year.


  • final examination; completed manuscript developet throughout the course (3000 - 4000 words, plus tables, figures, appendices, and required data analysis), counts 50 % of final grade.
  • completion of homework assignments, counts 20 % of final grade
  • completion of peer critiques, counts 20 % of final grade
  • participation in class discussion, counts 10 % of final grade

In addition students must format their manuscript in the style of their chosen journal.

For access to exam you must have:

  • completed all written assignments and peer critiques
  • attended 80% of class meetings

Examination support material

Students may use any aids they require.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who have a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

Cancelled autumn 2020.


Every autumn

Cancelled autumn 2020.

Teaching language