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Biometrics Section Annual Meeting Notes

1 October 2016 No Comment

The Biometrics Section held its annual business committee meeting at JSM 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Complete minutes of the meeting will be available on the section’s website.

Section Chair Debashis Ghosh welcomed members and guests and introduced the members of the executive committee. He thanked the 2016 ENAR program chair, Mary Sammel, the 2016 JSM program chair, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, and the 2016 continuing education chairs, Andrea Troxel and Rosemarie Mick, for their outstanding service.

Rebecca Hubbard was elected section chair for 2018. Pamela Shaw was elected representative to the Council of Statistics for 2017–2019. Also, Sherri Rose was appointed the secretary/treasurer for 2016–2017.

Bandyopadhyay noted that the Biometrics Section was the primary sponsor for six invited sessions (four allocated and two competition), 14 topic-contributed sessions, and 27 contributed sessions at JSM 2016. Two topic-contributed sessions were allocated to the David Byar student paper competition and travel award winners.

JSM 2017 Program Chair Barbara Engelhardt is soliciting invited session proposals.

Troxel and Mick reported there were five CE courses for JSM 2016. Mick will be soliciting proposals for JSM 2017. Anyone with suggestions should contact her at rmick@upenn.edu.

Sammel reported that ENAR had 85 invited session proposals with 48 accepted and sponsored by ENAR. IMS sponsored nine invited sessions.

Nandita Mitra, ENAR 2017 program chair, reported that the ENAR Program Committee was comprised of 15 ASA section representatives (Andrea Foulkes as associate program chair) and two ENAR at-large members. There were 75 proposals, of which 46 were selected to be included in the invited program. The sessions cover a wide range of topics including data science (Big Data), precision medicine, genomics, clinical trials, neuroimaging, health policy, and causal inference. The speaker representation is well balanced across academia, government, and industry.

Treasurer Jonathan Schildcrout reported that the Biometrics Section has $35,191.56. At this time last year, there was $51,619.93. Since JSM last year, the section sponsored one post-PHD training award (Dianna Miglioretti) and two strategic initiatives (Mallorie Fiero, “Incorporating Quantitatively Talented and Under-Represented High-School Students in Arizona into the Biostatistics Community,” and Pedro A. Torres-Saavedra and Roberto Rivera, “Developing the Next Generation of Biostatisticians”). The section paid out $12,000 in student travel awards (40 applicants, 10 travel awards, and one Byar award).

Strategic Initiatives Chair Page Moore reported that cross-listing the solicitation for strategic initiatives results in far more proposals than only listing in the Biometrics newsletter. Biometrics Section membership is still a requirement for receiving a strategic initiative grant. People have expressed at least some confusion as to what a strategic initiative is. The section is following up with past recipients, who will provide a report on what was accomplished by each strategic initiative. These will appear in the section newsletter and on the section’s website. Moore also said it was suggested that there be a link from the section’s site to a distinct strategic initiatives site where people can obtain more information.

Award Applications Invited

The section is seeking applications for the 2017 David P. Byar Young Investigator Award. This annual award is given to an early-stage investigator for best paper to be presented at JSM. It commemorates the late David Byar, a biostatistician who made significant contributions to the development and application of statistical methods and who was esteemed as an exceptional mentor during his career at the National Cancer Institute. The winner will receive $2,000.

In addition to the Byar Award, the section may provide additional travel awards of $1,000 each to the authors of other outstanding papers submitted to the competition.

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have held a doctorate in statistics, biostatistics, or a related quantitative field for three or fewer years as of April 1 of the current year, or be currently enrolled as a student in a doctoral program in statistics or biostatistics and in active pursuit of a doctoral degree.
  • Be a current member of the Biometrics Section (applicant may join at the time of submission for a $5 annual membership fee [$3 for students]). Note: Membership in ASA does not automatically confer section membership; ASA members must join individual sections in addition to their generic membership.
  • Be first author of the paper. The paper may be unsubmitted, submitted, or under review, but may not have already appeared in a journal either online or in print at the time of the application or have been accepted for publication as of December 1.
  • Be scheduled to present the same paper submitted for the award at JSM 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, as either a talk or poster.
  • Not have submitted the paper to any other ASA section 2017 student or early-stage investigator award competition.
  • Have not been a previous Byar award or Biometrics Section travel award winner.

Applicants must submit their JSM abstracts to the Biometrics Section, which will organize a series of topic-contributed sessions to highlight the Byar award and travel award winners.

Applicants must complete their application by submitting the following materials:

  • A current CV
  • A one-page cover letter that summarizes the paper’s content and contribution
  • One copy of the paper

The paper must be a maximum of 25 double-spaced pages (with max of 25 lines per page), including references but not including tables and figures. Papers that are not within these restrictions will not be considered.

All materials must be submitted electronically between November 1 and December 1. Questions should be sent to the 2017 Byar Award chair, Debashis Ghosh.

The 2017 Awards Committee is composed of the 2017 current and past section chairs and chair-elect as well as three additional individuals to be appointed by the section chairs prior to the competition.

Winners will be announced by January 15. Winners should contact Barbara Engelhardt and submit a topic-contributed abstract for JSM 2017.

For more information, visit the section’s website.

Call for Proposals

The section also invites applications for funding to support projects developing innovative outreach projects focused on enhancing awareness of biostatistics among quantitatively talented U.S. students. Of particular interest are projects that will encourage students to pursue advanced training in biostatistics. The section anticipates funding up to three projects this year, with total funding of up to $3,000–$5,000 per project. The project timelines would be from 1.5–2 years. All investigators are encouraged to apply. Award recipients must be an ASA member and Biometrics Section member before project initiation.

A three-page application is due by December 12 and should be in the following format:

  • Title
  • Objectives and Specific Aims
  • Background
  • Significance, and/or Rationale
  • Design and Methods
  • Deliverables/Products
  • Budget

Supplies, domestic travel (when necessary to carry out the project), professional expertise (e.g., instructional designer or webmaster), and cost of computer time are allowable expenditures. Secretarial/administrative personnel, tuition, foreign travel, and honoraria and travel expenses for visiting lecturers to the investigator’s home institution are not allowable expenditures.

A project period with a start date no earlier than January 1, 2017, and an end date no later than December 31, 2018, also should be specified.

Applications should be submitted electronically to the Strategic Initiatives Subcommittee chair, Page Moore. All investigators will be expected to submit a brief report at the conclusion of the project to the subcommittee chair. Questions may be addressed to Moore or Tanya Garcia.

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