Our department is committed to creating, pursuing, supporting, and advancing initiatives and research to promote accessibility, equity, and representation in the field of biostatistics and beyond. Leena Choi serves as vice chair of diversity and inclusion.
Ongoing programs and initiatives include the following:
We are reviewing applications for this year's program (May 23 - July 1) on a rolling basis.
Diversity and Inclusion Application Fee Waiver
Vanderbilt's Biostatistics Graduate Program is committed to inclusive science. To encourage diversity in our applicant pool, the program has created a merit-based Diversity and Inclusion Application Fee Waiver for prospective PhD students. (There is no fee for MS-track applications.) Waivers will be considered upon request for US citizen and permanent resident candidates who are members of groups that are underrepresented in biostatistics and data science—specifically students who identify as African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander. For details, visit our application process page.
Our department is heavily involved with organizing this year's global conference for R users. Working to make the conference both physically and economically accessible to participants around the world has been a top priority for the team, as is encouraging a wider spectrum of contributors. Some of these efforts can be seen in the accessibility guidelines for prospective presenters and in the publication of announcements in multiple languages; the slate of tutorials includes offerings in English, French, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. Registration is now open, with pricing tiered according to country income.
Ethical Responsibilities Regarding Race in Research – Study Group
Race, in the words of Dorothy Roberts, "is a political category that has staggering biological consequences because of the impact of social inequality on people's health." How, then, should we as biostatisticians use race and related constructs in our analyses? We meet monthly to discuss and learn. For more information, contact Laurie Samuels.
The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation-American Association for Cancer Research (BMSF-AACR) Design and Implementation of Clinical Trials Workshop
Read about the 2021 workshop at its AACR page and its mentorship component in the January 28, 2022, issue of Cancer Letter. Professor and chair Yu Shyr is a course director, and assistant professor Mario Davidson on the invited faculty roster; Shyr and Davidson are both Academy of Excellence in Education members.
This year's program will take place from May 23 through July 1. We will update the information page when we open applications for 2023.
Resources and Opportunities
VUMC Office of Health Equity (with the OHE Antiracism hub)
The Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group
The purpose of this working group is to educate and inform the IMPH community on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The group partners with the Office of Health Equity, Office for Diversity Affairs, and other groups across VUMC to synthesize and communicate scheduled events, speakers, and activities occurring across campus. The group hosts events and activities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and to raise awareness of organizational activities and discussions.
To join this working group, complete the two-minute IMPH REDCap survey.
This extensive directory of links is maintained by the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. The page also contains links to funding to promote and support diversity.
This lecture by Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, FACP, was delivered on December 16, 2021, as a Vanderbilt School of Medicine Grand Rounds presentation.