Biostatisticians play a critical role in health sciences research. Statistical principles are the foundation for the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials and epidemiological studies, for regulatory policy, and for the conception of laboratory experiments, reflecting the importance of biostatisticians in all aspects of biomedical and public health research. Advances in genetics and genomics;the increasing emphasis on evidence based medicine;and the ability to collect, store, and analyze massive amounts of data highlight the need for skilled biostatisticians who can collaborate with health sciences professionals and develop new methodology to meet these challenges. Indeed, the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) initiative will require adequate biostatistical support. Despite the essential role biostatisticians play in the nation's health sciences research enterprise, US Citizens and Permanent Residents are not pursuing the graduate training in biostatistics in the numbers required to address the need. Quantitatively talented undergraduates have a variety of career options competing with biostatistics, and many are unaware of the existence of this field and the opportunities it presents. The six week summer program proposed in this application, to be held in the summers of 2010-12, will enroll up to 25 such participants from across the nation and, through lectures, field trips, and opportunities to analyze data from real health sciences studies using statistical software, introduce them to biostatistics and the myriad opportunities it offers and inspire them to pursue graduate training. The program will draw upon the considerable and complementary resources of North Carolina State University's Department of Statistics and Duke Clinical Research Institute to provide participants with an unparalleled view of the field, including award-winning undergraduate instructors, internationally known methodological and clinical researchers, and a local area rich in opportunities to showcase biostatistical careers. Special efforts will be made to enroll participants from underrepresented groups. Participants will be followed after completion, and the numbers attending graduate school and pursuing biostatistics careers will be documented.
Biostatisticians with advanced training play a critical role in the teams that conduct health sciences research;however, there is a shortage of US citizens going to graduate school in biostatistics. This six week summer program will enroll up to 25 such participants from across the nation in the summers of 2010-12 and expose them to the opportunities presented by careers in biostatistics, inspiring them to seek graduate training.