This proposal seeks to continue a very successful Workshop held annually at the spring meeting of the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society - the Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics (FDB) Workshop - whose overarching goal is to recruit, retain and promote underrepresented minorities in biostatistics. This workshop has been held annually since 1999, with the exception of two years. Prior to 2005, the FDB Workshop had been minimally funded by a mix of sources, until support was secured in by an R13 grant from NIGMS (R13 GM075338). The primary purpose of the funds have been to offset travel related expenses for quantitatively talented undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups, in hopes of increasing the pipeline of such individuals who choose to enroll in advanced degree programs in biostatistics or biometry more broadly. Graduate students who are currently enrolled in advanced degree programs in biostatistics or statistics from traditionally underrepresented minority groups are also invited and can speak directly to questions related to their experiences in graduate school, their motivations for pursuing graduate training, the application process and their career plans upon obtaining their degree. Additionally, the FDB Workshop provides a forum for recruiting students and faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups for both graduate education and professional development opportunities. The FDB Workshop has been well received and is growing in popularity as evidenced by many more pre-registrants than can be accommodated by the FDB Workshop in recent years. Most (50 or 71%) FDB Workshop attendees will be affiliated with undergraduate institutions (e.g., 40 undergraduates and 10 undergraduate faculty mentors/advisors). The remaining attendees (20) will be a mix of graduate faculty and biostatisticians from industry and government who are actively engaged in biomedical research and graduate faculty, some of whom will be representatives of admissions at their home institutions. In addition, where possible, high school students enrolled in advanced mathematics courses and their teachers in the city hosting the annual ENAR meeting will also be invited to attend. For undergraduates and their faculty advisors/mentors, the workshop will be an introduction to biostatistics, providing a viable STEM option for graduate study. The opportunity to ask candid questions of current graduate students, graduate faculty and practicing professionals in the field will be an invaluable experience for these undergraduates. Short term summer programs to introduce students to biostatistics, funding opportunities to support graduate study in biostatistics and where possible, information regarding the admissions process from representatives of graduate admissions committees will be provided. In addition to gaining insight into advising their students, undergraduate faculty members will also have the opportunity to network graduate faculty and professionals from industry and government to form professional collaborative relationships. Current graduate students will be provided a forum to express their views on how current graduate training programs address diversity and suggest ways these programs may improve meeting the needs of students from under-represented groups. Current graduate students will also have an opportunity to network with professionals at the next career levels (e.g., various representatives from both academic and non-academic sectors of the workforce with both Master's and Doctoral degrees) who will provide career advice and opportunities biomedical sciences. Representatives from graduate programs, industry and governmental agencies will have an opportunity to recruit training grant eligible undergraduates (to graduate programs) and graduate students (academia, government and industry). Additionally, the FDB Workshop will also expose these representatives to the salient issues that may be unique to underrepresented minority students considering advance degrees and careers in biostatistics.

Public Health Relevance

The Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics (FDB) Workshop whose overarching goal is to recruit, retain and promote underrepresented minorities in biostatistics. The FDB Workshop is planned as a pre-conference activity to be held annually at the ENAR spring meeting - the largest professional gathering of biostatisticians and biometricians in the United States. Through a series of interactive sessions and panel discussions, quantitatively talented undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups will be introduced to the field of biostatistics, in hopes of increasing the pipeline of such individual who choose to enroll in advanced degree programs in biostatistics to identify the next generation of professional biostatisticians to meet and address the emerging quantitative challenges of designing and analyzing data from all manner of medical and public health research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (TWD)
Program Officer
Sesma, Michael A
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University of Pennsylvania
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Schools of Medicine
United States
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