The Quantitative Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (QSURE) Fellowship program of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is a 10-week educational program that enables up to 10 undergraduate students to participate in hands-on research projects in quantitative methods with application in cancer. Students will be mentored by biostatisticians, epidemiologists and health outcomes researchers in MSK's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Mentored research projects will concentrate on various quantitative topics in clinical and population-based studies of cancer including, but not limited to, statistical genetics and genomics, risk modeling, identifying risk factors, analysis of longitudinal and survival data, epidemiologic study designs, comparative effectiveness research, cancer control and cancer screening strategies, and evaluation of disparities in health care delivery and outcomes. In addition to mentored research, students will attend introductory lectures on foundational and contemporary quantitative methods and rigor and reproducibility of scientific research, participate in a broad range of seminars and discussions, learn to engage in critical thinking in quantitative methods to address scientific issues in oncology, and present their work to their peers and other researchers. The overarching goal of QSURE is to reinforce the intent of a diverse group of undergraduate students to pursue higher education and subsequent careers in quantitative sciences with application in cancer. Several strategies will be pursued to enhance recruitment of underrepresented minorities and other disadvantaged students, including partnering with MSK's Office of Diversity Programs and outreach to specialized sections of professional societies.
The specific aims of this application are: (1) to establish and provide an excellent summer research experience in quantitative sciences to a diverse group of up to 10 undergraduate students; (2) to develop a system for evaluating the program and quantitative metrics to assess the growth, progress and quality of the program; and (3) to establish and maintain tracking systems to support the efforts of program alumni to pursue quantitative research with application in cancer. A team of 6 senior researchers in quantitative sciences and oncology will serve as advisors of the QSURE program.
Data, the building blocks of knowledge, are becoming ubiquitous in all areas of health sciences, particularly oncology. The MSK QSURE Fellowship program will help increase the number of qualified individuals who can conduct quantitative data analysis to inform clinical and policy decisions in cancer. This program also provides opportunities for students from underrepresented minority communities and disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in research projects in quantitative sciences within the context of a major comprehensive cancer center.