In 1994, the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health established the Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences to encourage underrepresented minority students’ future participation in graduate programs in Biostatistics and Public Health. The program is supported by a new T36 grant from NIGMS: “Pipelines into Biostatistics: Training in Quantitative Public Health” for which Dr. Rebecca Betensky is the Principal Investigator. Now called the Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology, it has expanded to include a 6-week summer program, a Visiting Faculty Workshop, and a post-baccalaureate internship program.
Current summer program participants and post-bacs work collaboratively on a group research project guided by a faculty member and graduate mentor. These projects further develop their quantitative research skills while tackling a current public health problem.
Interns in this program will reside at Harvard for three months each summer. They will participate in collaborative research projects and participate in three one-month rotations at academic and clinical centers at Harvard. They will also receive directed mentoring and support for graduate school applications and selection. They will then return to Harvard to participate in the symposium and present their research in a subsequent summer.
The Pipelines into Biostatistics Annual Symposium is a new component to the Department’s Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences and is the culmination of the 6-week summer program experience. It provides participants with an opportunity to present their research findings, hear from visiting faculty, and network with alumni. Attendees include current and past summer program participants, faculty, fellows, graduate students, and visiting faculty from minority-serving institutions.
In conjunction with the Symposium, we host a three-day Faculty Workshop. We invite four faculty members from quantitative fields at minority-serving undergraduate institutions to attend our annual symposium and to spend two days in intensive meetings with HSPH faculty and students. Our goal is to expose these faculty members to the field of quantitative Public Health so that they can return and educate their undergraduate students about these exciting career options. We also aim to learn from visiting faculty about how to strengthen our pipeline programs and better support underrepresented students in our graduate programs.