Training Grant FAQs

How long does the training grant fund me?

The training grant provides funding for 2 years (24 months and covers summers).

How much is the stipend?

The grant provides a stipend of approximately $21, 600 per year. In addition, the training grant covers all tuition costs and fees and some funds for travel to scientific meetings.

What is required of me as a Training Grant recipient?

The expectation is that you use your time on the training grant to focus on your courses. Students supported by the training grant have the same requirements as any other doctoral student plus an additional requirement to take a biology course and to participate in 4 rotations (semi-internships, see below).

How many courses must I take?

A student who is admitted with a bachelor’s degree is admitted to the sixteen course, post-bachelor’s PhD program. Nine of sixteen courses are required of all doctoral students. The remaining six courses are electives. However, as part of the training grant, students must take one course in biology and 4 rotations. The four rotations are 1 credit each, and total one course. Thus, training grant students have 4 electives instead of 6. Because students enter with different backgrounds in biology there is some choice in terms of the biology course. Those with experience in biology may elect to take a more advanced course, while those with no experience may elect to take an introductory course.

What is the purpose of the rotations?

The purpose of the rotations is to gain a deeper experience in applied statistics, especially in the biological sciences, and also to provide the student with a broad exposure to the types of research environments that biostatisticians work in. There are 5 kinds of rotations you can choose from: 1) ethical conduct of research (required of all training grant students), 2) genetics, 3) bioinformatics, 4) clinical trials, and 5) observational studies. Students are required to take both the genetics and bioinformatics rotations or to commit to study in one of these areas after completing the training grant program. The ethical conduct of research rotation has a set curriculum, but the other rotations are arranged with the mentor who will be working with you for the duration of the rotation.

How much time do I spend on my rotations?

Students are expected to spend 10 hours per week in each rotation for the duration of a semester, except for the ethical conduct rotation which is shorter. You receive 1 credit for each rotation. So the total of 4 credits constitutes one of the 16 courses.

What happens after I complete the training grant program?

After completing the 2 year training grant program, training grant students in good standing become research assistants with an ongoing research project that involves individuals from different backgrounds, such as laboratory scientists, epidemiologists, clinician researchers, statisticians, etc. Usually you function as a data analyst in this environment. The expectation is that you will receive a lot of applied experience in this role and further, that your thesis topic will grow out of this setting.