Biostatistics Graduate Program

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Interdisciplinary Research Rotation

Students must practice communication and consulting skills in order to refine their professional and statistical collaborative skills. During the second year, students will engage in a one-semester interdisciplinary research rotation under the supervision of a faculty member of their choosing. Students will have an opportunity to interact with researchers and devise a statistical plan for analysis, study design, or data collection. The goal of this rotation is to allow the student to experience a biomedical collaboration as a statistical consultant in a supervised setting. Students will attend meetings with Biostatistics faculty and help review and edit reports, analyses, or documents for the research project as directed by the faculty member. This collaborative rotation provides one-to-one mentoring and an opportunity for the student to sharpen their collaborative and communication skills. At the conclusion of the project, the faculty member will notify the DGS that the student has successfully completed the rotation. Specific requirements for completion of the rotation will be detailed by the Curriculum Committee at a later date.

The interdisciplinary research rotation is intended to be an active ‘experience in collaboration’. The idea is for students to shadow PhD statisticians on highly collaborative projects in meetings and conference calls, discuss critical decisions, observed leadership skills, and learn how these groups work. It is not intended as a RA; so cleaning data or doing an analysis would not count toward this requirement, but participating in making leadership decisions would count.  As currently envisioned, this rotation will take 20-40 hours of the student’s time over a single semester. We expect that much of the time will be spent shadowing and working with a faculty statistician. Students may not combine this rotation with a biostatistics research assistantship or a biostatistics thesis or dissertation topic. PhD students from other departments will be encouraged to combine this rotation with an ongoing lab rotation as long as there is a biostatistics faculty member willing to provide oversight and the student is able to act as the statistical consultant.


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