Resources for Researchers

Public Health Law Academy legal epidemiology training resources

Researchers nationwide are engaged in empirical and applied legal epidemiology studies. They serve as partners and resources to state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) health departments; collaborate with national programs on comparative law studies; and conduct rigorous evaluations on the effectiveness and impacts of laws and policies. These important endeavors contribute to engagement on and improvement of legal and policy solutions to public health problems every day.

The resources listed here are intended to supplement our free online Public Health Law Academy training series, Legal Epidemiology. They support public health and legal academic institutions in developing skills in surveilling and evaluating laws and policies.

Foundational materials

  • The transdisciplinary approach to public health law. A framework for public health law research and practice that highlights core needs and gaps in the field
  • Wagenaar, A., & Burris, S. (Eds.). (2013). Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Burris, S., Mays, G. P., Scutchfield, D. F., & Ibrahim, J. K. (2012). Moving from intersection to integration: public health law research and public health systems and services research. Milbank Q, 90(2), 375-408. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2012.00667.x.
  • Burris, S., Wagenaar, A. C., Swanson, J., Ibrahim, J. K., Wood, J., & Mello, M. M. (2010). Making the case for laws that improve health: a framework for public health law research. Milbank Q, 88(2), 169-210.


  • Training modules on policy surveillance methods. A learning library with detailed instructions, slides, and resources on policy surveillance

Guides, competencies, and resources

  • Policy surveillance resources, with the following highlights:
    • technical guide for policy surveillance.This resource describes the standards and methods for conducting policy surveillance. It provides guidance for scoping, coding, publishing, updating, and validating legal data.
    • Standards for policy surveillance. This article captures the results of a Delphi study that reached consensus on a set of core standards for collecting, analyzing, publishing, and maintaining legal datasets that monitor important public health initiatives.
    • Core competencies for teaching and managing policy surveillance projects. A set of basic required policy surveillance skills that were developed by experts, using a Delphi process to achieve consensus
    • A complete scan of policies related to public health initiatives. Legal and policy initiatives on topics of public health interest identified by federal agencies and partners, with specific strategies recommended and dates of recommendations
  • The Legal Epidemiology Competency Model. Guidelines for minimum competencies in legal epidemiology (including research and translation knowledge and skills) required of public health practitioners, lawyers, and policy experts working in state, tribal, local, or territorial health departments