The CSIBS (Columbia Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics) will provide advanced undergraduates and recent college graduates with the training, skills and exposure to the biostatistical sciences so that they understand the importance of biostatistics to biomedical research, with a view to ultimately attracting them to careers in the field and increasing the supply of much-needed biostatistical scientists in health research. Students will learn to analyze data from research studies in heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders. In a 6-week training module, we will take 20 well qualified students through: (1) an entertaining yet rigorous walk through the fundamentals of probability and statistical inference;(2) the development of an analytic "tool box", including exposure to state-of-the-art design and analytic methods and training in the use of statistical software;(3) the synthesis and application of these tools via immersion in a mentored data analysis project using NHLBI datasets;(4) exposure to public health case studies illustrating the power and influence of biostatistics in biomedical research;(5) Biostatistics In Action field trips to labs throughout the campus to understand the breadth of the impact biostatistics has on HBLS research activities;(5) seminars on advanced methods and current challenges in biostatistics and HBLS research;(6) project preparation and presentation;(7) preparation for graduate school including GRE training (Kaplan), application and resume writing training, and interview skill development;and (8) training in the responsible conduct of research. We are launching CSIBS as a "companion" program to our existing summer program for diverse undergraduates: the BEST (Biostatistics Enrichment Summer Training) Diversity Program, which also targets undergraduates for recruitment to the field. The 2 programs will complement and strengthen one another, and allow us to expand eligibility criteria and reach greater numbers of highly qualified students, further enhancing our ability to promote careers in biostatistics to a broader cohort. To facilitate group work, build camaraderie, and capitalize on the shared experience, participants will be housed in the same location, and will have the opportunity to join the group on several social outings. Summer stipends will be provided so as to remove financial barriers from participation. As part of our effort, we will develop and implement methods for tracking and evaluation to monitor program effectiveness. Given Columbia's reputation as a major research hub, its extensive portfolio in NHLBI-related research, its expert faculty and mentors, and its location in ethnically diverse, culturally rich Nw York City, we are poised to contribute substantially to NHLBI's goal of expanding the pool of well-trained biostatisticians.
Biostatistical scientists, especially those with training in genomics and bioinformatics, are essential to the biomedical research enterprise nation-wide. Currently biostatisticians are in short supply, and unless we find ways to attract more talented students to the field, progress in biomedical research will inevitably be slowed. To avoid this crisis, we need to find ways of recruiting greater numbers of highly qualified students to biostatistics careers;summer programs for college undergraduates are a novel and effective way of attracting new students to the field, demonstrating the many paths to a successful career in biostatistics, and contributing to NIH's goal of expanding the pool of well-trained biostatisticians. (End of Abstract)