UNDERGRAD RESEARCH

Program Details

What is Biostatistics?

Biostatistics involves the application of statistics to topics in biology. Biostatistics is a rapidly growing field due to breakthroughs in technology, our knowledge of human health and the impact of computation on data storage and analysis.

What is Statistical Genetics?

Statistical Genetics is a sub-discipline of biostatistics that focuses efforts towards design and analysis of genetic studies. Recent rapid advances in the measurement of genetic information (e.g. next-generation sequencing, -omics data) and in our understanding of the human genome are radically changing the way we gather and analyze genetic data. There are a wealth of research and career opportunities in statistical genetics. Due to rapid advances in genomic technology and a resulting dramatic increase in data resulting from application of these technologies to human health and disease, training individuals in statistical genetics has been identified by the NIH as a critical need (www.genome.gov/27528269).

Program Details

Every summer 5-6 top undergraduate students join our nationally recognized research team for eight weeks to investigate current research problems in statistical genetics. This year the program will run from June 2-July 25, 2014, and will take place on the campus of Dordt College, in Sioux Center, Iowa. A $4,000 stipend will be provided along with free on-campus housing. We will also cover travel costs to and from campus at the beginning and end of the program, as well as other travel costs incurred as part of the program (e.g. travel to conferences to present research results)

More than just an eight-week experience

For students participating in the research program, their experience goes well beyond the typical summer research program. Critical components of our program are to bring research results forward to publication in leading peer-reviewed journals and to present our work at national and international conferences of statistics and genetics. Most students participating in our program use it as a stepping stone to Ph.D. programs in statistics, biostatistics, statistical genetics, bioinformatics and other related disciplines.

Fun

We take to heart the motto “Work Hard. Play Hard.” With many students conducting research on Dordt’s campus each summer, social and recreational opportunities abound both on campus and in the surrounding area.

What background do I need to apply?

The program is open to a broad spectrum of undergraduate students with interests in statistics and biostatistics. While there are no formal prerequisites for the program, students who have taken courses in theoretical and applied statistics with a desire to attend graduate school are strongly encouraged. Additionally, some computer programming (statistical or otherwise) and some knowledge of genetics are both a plus, but should certainly not preclude submitting an application. Each summer we look to hire a set of students with a diverse set of strengths and backgrounds so there are few, if any, specific prerequisites.

How do I apply?

For more information on applying, go here.

What are previous students saying about our program?

“Thank you for introducing me to the field of statistical genetics. The program you run is really special. I would argue one of the best in the country. I look forward to continuing to work with you.” -Alex

“Personally, I could not imagine a better summer experience for someone interested in statistics.” -Marshall

“This has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun too. Thank you for your dedication.” -Ashley

Please email statgen@dordt.edu and request to be put in contact with one or more former students if you would like to talk with a student about their experiences.