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Biostatistics Internship Opportunities Available

1 March 2010 6,440 views One Comment

A 2001 ad hoc meeting of biostatistics leaders from academia, industry, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) addressed a national shortage of trained biostatisticians. In response to the recommendation that summer internships “be supported for undergraduate students to expose them to biostatistics and bioinformatics,” the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded three annual summer internship programs, called the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS).

The target participants for these summer institutes are outstanding quantitatively oriented undergraduate students with an interest in the biological sciences, and the primary purpose of the institutes is to interest students in further biostatistics training at either the master’s or PhD level.

Under an NHLBI-issued limited competing renewal, the three programs continued in the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009. As of 2007, 202 participants had completed the program and 164 participants had graduated from college. Additionally, 58% had entered graduate school to study statistics or biostatistics and another 18% had entered graduate school to study a related field.

More recent data from two of the three institute sites indicate that 98 additional trainees completed their programs in 2008 or 2009, including 42 who will have graduated from college by spring of this year. Of these graduates, 27 (64%) have applied for or begun graduate training in biostatistics or statistics, four are employed in biostatistics or statistics, and two are in graduate programs in applied math.

In 2008, the NHLBI and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) solicited applications for up to seven SIBS II programs, to be held in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012. In 2009, eight SIBS II undergraduate training grants were awarded to the three existing SIBS programs and five new programs. Following are program dates and contact information for each program:

Boston University, June 7–July 16
24 trainee positions

Emory University, May 24–July 1
20 trainee positions

University of Iowa, June 7–July 30
16 trainee positions

NC State University – Duke Clinical Research Institute, June 7–July 16
25 trainee positions

University of Pittsburgh, June 20–July 31
20 trainee positions

University of South Florida, May 17–June 25
25 trainee positions

Washington University – St. Louis, June 7–July 16
20 trainee positions

University of Wisconsin, June 7–July 16
20 trainee positions

All SIBS programs are residential summer training programs in biostatistics for undergraduate or beginning graduate students majoring in mathematics, science, or other quantitatively oriented areas of study. Additionally, they maintain the following guidelines:

  • Participation is limited to U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Trainees will meet practicing biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and geneticists and learn the basic principles and applications of biostatistics
  • Trainees will apply statistical methods to biomedical research through coursework and hands-on experience with data collected in major clinical and epidemiological studies
  • Trainees will learn about career and graduate training opportunities in biostatistics
  • Trainees will earn college credit that may transfer to home institutions
  • Trainees will have access to facilities at top universities

Tuition and fees and the cost of housing, meals, and extracurricular activities are covered. In many programs, travel expenses to the program sites also are covered. General program information is available here, though prospective trainees should contact the individual SIBS sites for specific information about their programs and application forms. Students may apply to multiple SIBS programs, but may accept only one offer. Admission decisions are being made on a rolling basis; applications will be accepted until all trainee positions are filled.

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One Comment »

  • chuck said:

    I hope they expand this program to other colleges closer to me, I’m really interested but just can’t take that much time off away from my family responsibilities.