Did you know that mathematics plays a fundamental role in the development of drugs and treatments for patients with asthma, diabetes, heart disease and cancer? Did you know that mathematical methods are used to detect the environmental risks that affect many inner-city communities?
If you like mathematics and would like to learn how quantitative methods can be applied in the study of human health, then the Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences is for you. The Summer Program will introduce you to the fields of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and public health, and possibly convince you that this is the career direction you've been looking for!
The Summer Program is a relatively intensive 6-week program, during which qualified participants receive an interesting and enjoyable introduction to biostatistics, epidemiology and public health research. This program is designed to expose undergraduates to the use of quantitative methods for biological, environmental and medical research. The program also provides useful advice about graduate school and the application process through GRE preparation, meetings with different departments of the Harvard School of Public Health and other schools at Harvard University.
Participants receive non-credit introductory Biostatistics and Epidemiology courses, computer program instruction (Stata and SAS), and attend a series of afternoon seminars. The seminars, led by faculty members from various departments at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, are designed to broaden participant's understanding of the relationship of biostatistics and epidemiology to human health by providing a snapshot of methods developed and applied to real research projects in different fields.
In addition to learning data collection and analysis methods, participants learn research collaboration efforts by engaging in group projects with other participants and graduate students. Group projects are designed and mentored by a faculty member in the Departments of Biostatistics or Epidemiology and by a graduate student or post-doctoral research fellow. This research is a good introduction to research methods, analysis, and organization and presentation of results. However, please note that Summer Program is not a summer research program.
As an example of the projects undertaken, one group of students recently studied whether there was a relationship between body mass index and postpartum depression. Another group analyzed data from a clinical trial to treat head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. You can read more about the research projects in our archive section.
Potential applicants should have an interest in public health as a career, working in academia, research centers, community organizations, governmental public health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. Alumni of the Summer Program have earned or are enrolled in graduate degrees in many campuses over the country, including Masters or PhDs in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Environmental Health, or Behavioral Sciences.
Coursework in calculus, algebra, or statistics highly recommended. However, prior exposure to statistics is not required.