The Summer Program in Biostatistics & Computational Biology at Harvard University is a six-week summer program (which was held virtually for four-weeks this summer due to COVID-19) that is designed to increase diversity in the field of biostatistics by promoting underrepresented minority students. The program offers a select group of diverse undergraduate students a unique opportunity to become exposed to the field of biostatistics and learn about the use of quantitative methods for biological, environmental, and medical research alongside Harvard faculty, researchers, and graduate students.
My desire to learn more about biostatistics led to my participation in the program, and among 16 other chosen students, I was given the opportunity to:
- Take introductory courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health data science, and AI/ML;
- Learn to work with statistical software packages such as Python and R;
- Partake in a collaborative research project mentored by Harvard faculty in Public Health, which I was then able to present at Harvard’s annual symposium “Pipelines into Biostatistics Symposium”;
- Engage in multiple professional development workshops led by Harvard faculty; and
- Participate in a GRE prep course.
This intensive, paid research experience not only granted me with substantial exposure to the massive field of biostatistics and the methods of quantitative research, but allowed me to develop friendships in a collaborative effort to solve problems and use a diverse set of skills to arrive at a common goal.