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Biostatistics Exposure Program Seeks Partners, Speakers

1 April 2023 622 views No Comment

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Bridge to Biostats Committee seeks to share their Biostats Day program with organizations that work with students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the biostatistics field, are STEM-inclined, and may benefit from exposure to biostatistics.

Also wanted are practicing (bio)statisticians across different industries who want to share information about their path to biostatistics and what they are currently working on in a 10–20-minute presentation.

The Bridge to Biostats Committee formed in 2020 with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented students who go on to pursue statistics in higher education. To that end, the committee developed the virtual Biostats Day program, which includes a presentation featuring an overview of the biostatistics field, interactive statistical activities with real-time data collection and visualization, a short presentation by a working biostatistician about their path to biostatistics, and suggested next steps if students are interested in learning more about the field. The aim is to host four Biostats Days per year.

Over its first two years, the committee presented the program to more than 100 high-school students through collaborations with four partner organizations: Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), Einstein Enrichment Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, City University of New York’s STEM Research Academy, and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Summer Exposure Program. While these programs were held virtually due to the pandemic, students participated actively, and feedback was enthusiastic: More than 80 percent of students across the multiple presentations expressed interest in learning more about biostatistics in post-program polls.

In November 2022, the committee adapted the virtual presentation for its first in-person event in partnership with Baruch College STEP (Science Technology Entry Program) Academy. The program was received well, with 100 percent of the 36 participants reporting they found the presentation interesting/useful and 86 percent expressing further interest in biostatistics in the post-program survey.

Partner staff members were also enthusiastic. Simone Webb, assistant director at Baruch College STEP Academy, wrote, “Your committee’s presentation was ‘the talk of the town.’ Students were truly engaged, as was … our assistant. She mentioned how she did not have these opportunities as a high-school student, perhaps her path would have been different with exposure to fields such as biostatistics.”

To become a partner organization, send an email to Bridge to Biostats. To serve as a short presentation speaker, fill out this form. This form will remain open throughout the year and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

On the Horizon

The committee has a forthcoming manuscript describing Biostats Day in greater detail, including a slide deck that can be adapted for any individuals or groups interested in implementing a similar exposure program.

To know what the Bridge to Biostats Committee is up to, follow them on Twitter @Bridge2Biostats.

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