Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS)

Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS)

Summer: June 8th to July 17th, 2015

What is Biostatistics?

Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, including medicine, epidemiology, and public health. Biostatisticians work closely with experts from other fields in research teams to answer questions related to improving health and reducing illness. Together they design studies, determine appropriate sample sizes, coordinate data collection procedures, and carry out statistical analyses to answer these questions. Some biostatisticians even develop the new statistical techniques needed to address new areas of biomedical science.

Opportunities for Biostatisticians

There are many exciting and lucrative career opportunities in government, industry, and academia for individuals with advanced degrees in biostatistics. Many biostatisticians enjoy the variety that comes with working with many different collaborators. In fact, the famous statistician, John Tukey, was quoted as saying, "The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone's backyard." Great starting salaries are also among the many benefits to working as a biostatistician. According to a recent salary survey in Amstat News, the median salaries for Master's and PhD level biostatisticians with fewer than five years of experience were $75,000 and $98,000, respectively! The demand for biostatisticians TODAY is greater than ever before and is only expected to continue to increase in the future. Jobs are available in many settings and recent graduates have found positions with employers as diverse as pharmaceutical companies, university research groups, hospitals, and health-related industries. It is a very good time to explore the field of biostatistics!

Interested in Learning More?

The Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, gives undergraduate students majoring in the quantitative sciences the opportunity to explore a career in biostatistics emphasizing applications in both basic and clinical research. Using mathematical science they will learn how to develop new methods for experimental design and analyze the resulting data. Over a six-week summer school session participants will be engaged in two three-credit courses for a total of six credits that can transfer back to participants' undergraduate institutions. The first course will be an Introduction to Concepts in Biostatistics that will provide an overview of fundamental statistical concepts. The second course, a practical working course entitled Practicum in Basic Biostatistics will give students exposure to analyzing data from basic science experiments, clinical trials and observational studies.

Participants in the six-week program will:

  • Learn the principles of applied biostatistics from recognized experts in the field.
  • Meet practicing biostatisticians, epidemiologists and statistical geneticists.
  • Gain experience working with actual data collected in internationally recognized studies that have been funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • Learn about opportunities for graduate study and additional training.
  • Explore the ever growing field of Biostatistics which is an essential part of studies designed to improve the world in which we live.

Financial support

  • There are no fees or tuition costs associated with participation in the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics. Housing, meals and some extracurricular activities are covered. Participants will earn college credits and have access to university computing systems, libraries and other facilities.

    Who is eligible?

    • Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
    • Undergraduates majoring in mathematics, science or other quantitatively oriented areas are eligible, including seniors graduating in the Spring of 2015.
    • Graduate students in their first year of a masters program are eligible, but priority will be given to undergraduates.
    • African American, Hispanic, Native American, Southeast Asian, Native Alaskan or Native Pacific Islander are especially encouraged to apply.
    • Students with disabilities are welcome. Accommodations are available! (
    • The UW SIBS program is open to 20 students.

    Sister Programs


Any questions about the program or application procedures?

Please contact: Whitney Sweeney, Student Services Coordinator
Telephone: 608-262-9184 or Email: sweeney [at]