Boston University (BU) proposes an intensive six-week program entitled the `Boston University Summer Institute for Research Education in Biostatistics (BU SIREB) based on a comprehensive curriculum that includes biostatistical analysis, epidemiological analysis, design and analysis of clinical trials, statistical genetics/genomics, and statistical computing. The curriculum is rigorous and interspersed with current examples that highlight the relevance of biostatistics with particular emphasis on recent trends including biomedical big data and high performance computing, and it is designed to interest undergraduates, recent graduates and early graduate students from across the US in the many exciting opportunities in the field of biostatistics. Our faculty is enthusiastic and committed to the program, as are our panel of outside speakers who are practicing biostatisticians and epidemiologists from academia and industry, and physician researchers working on important highly-publicized studies such as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study and Jackson Heart Study. Strong institutional support from BU provides an infrastructure to support all aspects of student life during the program. The typical daily schedule will include a morning lecture followed by hands-on instruction in the SAS and R programming language in a computer classroom. After lunch at the BU dining facilities participants will return to the computer classroom to either complete short assignments relevant to the lecture content or to work in small groups on a research project. The research project will span the entire program and will deeply engage students with a research mentor as the students choose of one several provided data sets, determine a research question, develop an analysis plan, conduct the analysis, and synthesize and present results. The daily schedule will also be interspersed with guest lectures (who typically eat lunch with the students to provide additional opportunity for informal communication) and site visits (e.g. to the Framingham Heart Study). BU has run a six-week intensive Summer Institute for training in Biostatistics (SIBS) funded by NHLBI since 2003 (T15 HL075881; T15 HL097791). As of the date of this proposal, 11 sessions have been completed during the months of June and July of 2004 through 2014 and the 12th session is scheduled for June 8-July 17, 2015. Our track record is very strong. We successfully maintain steady contact with over 90% of our prior BU SIBS (2004-2014) students and over 70% of our BU SIBS alumni have either entered into graduate programs in biostatistics or taken jobs in the field. Our experience in planning and implementing our successful BU SIBS programs will enable us to rapidly implement the new BU SIREB program, maintaining many proven aspects of our past program while introducing new elements such as the emphasis on biomedical big data and a more in depth research experience.
The Boston University Summer Institute for Research Education in Biostatistics is designed to build skills and to interest undergraduates, recent graduates and early graduate students in the many exciting opportunities in the field. The trainees' future role in public health will be enhanced due to their early exposure to the foundations of biostatistical analysis, epidemiological analysis, design and analysis of clinical trials and statistical genetics analysis with an emphasis on the impact of biomedical big data in each of these areas.