The proposed training program is an extension of the successful Atlanta Summer Institute for training in BioStatistics (ASIBS), part of a network of eight current SIBS programs. Each year, the program recruits 20 talented undergraduates with quantitative backgrounds and biological training to introduce and motivate the field of biostatistics through classroom instruction, computational exercises, guided team analysis, and hands- on team research projects. The purpose of the program is to motivate and attract the next generation of quantitative scientists to graduate training and employment in the field of biostatistics as it evolves to address growing challenges in the interpretation and understanding of clinically-relevant research data. The proposed continuation focuses on developing biostatistical problem-solving concepts to motivate biostatistical skills, in contrast to many existing degree programs for training health professionals (rather than undergraduate students) in the use of a particular set of biostatistical skills building from a pre-existing set of concepts and experiences in biomedical research. We continue to develop our active-learning curriculum based on data- motivated and concept-based "Why" questions rather than skill-based "How" questions. We do not ignore training in statistical skills, but use concepts to motivate skills and maintain focus on the underlying medical applications. As a result, we use computer software to implement and illustrate the concepts and to derive substantive conclusions from actual data sets (warts and all) thereby training participants to use underlying concepts to drive their search for appropriate skills addressing medical research questions rather than modify an underlying medical question to fit a static set of biostatistical skills.
Specific Aims : Through the proposed summer institute and its associated collection of award-winning introductory statistics instructors and active biostatistical and medical researchers, we aim to: 1. Demonstrate by example that Biostatistics is a challenging and collaborative discipline essential to the proper design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of medical and public health data; 2. Expose participants to key biostatistical concepts, applications, and software; 3. Provide participants with hands-on experience with data analysis, statistical software, collaborative research, scientific writing, and scientific presentation; 4. Introduce participants to NIH-funded biomedical researchers in a variety of fields and settings; 5. Support professional development in team-based research, reporting skills, and preparation of a dossier of accomplishments competitive for admission to graduate programs;and 6. Motivate participants to graduate training (and eventual careers) in biostatistics or related field.
The training program is designed to introduce 20 undergraduate students each year from quantitative and computational fields of study to the field of Biostatistics as a dynamic area of study and a career path through a five-week program of instruction, labs, seminars, projects, and field trips with the ultimate aim of increasing interest and active participation in graduate study and future careers in Biostatistics. (End of Abstract)