Biostatistics Training Initiative

Leaders

Dr. Cecilia Cotton, University of Waterloo
Dr. Gregory Pond, McMaster University

Background

Technological advances in cancer research have led to complex and large datasets Given that personalized medicine will change the way we treat cancer patients, there is a critical need for biostatisticians who can work with big data, ensuring it can be used to inform the next generation of treatments.

Since 2010, the Biostatistics Training Initiative (BTI), has placed Master’s students from the University of Waterloo in eight-month internships with mentors at Ontario cancer centres. In doing so, the BTI is training the next generation of biostatisticians in the province, ensuring they are equipped with the technical knowledge, skill set and experience to deal with the changing landscape of cancer treatment and clinical trials.

Based on the success of the program in its first five years and feedback from the Ontario research community regarding its continued need for training, expertise and placement, the BTI expanded in 2016 in order to engage a broader group of trainees, including PhDs and postdoctoral fellows.

The BTI is funded through the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Internships

The primary objective of the BTI Internship Program is to support the training of top Master’s level students in biostatistics. The program matches established Ontario cancer research mentors with highly skilled biostatisticians in training to advance a cancer research program and enhance the training experience of exceptional graduate students within the province.

Fellowships

The BTI Fellowship Program is designed to support doctoral and postdoctoral training in biostatistics for cancer research. The primary objective of the Program is to support the training of the next generation of biostatisticians in the province, ensuring they are equipped with the technical knowledge, skill set and capability for the application of rigorous quantitative methods for cancer research. Through the receipt of a BTI Studentship/Fellowship Award, biostatistics or statistics doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows at an Ontario university will engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative cancer research with investigators located at an Ontario Host Institution.

BTI Internship Program

Technological advances in cancer research have led to complex and large datasets. Given that personalized medicine will change the way we treat cancer patients, there is a need to train a critical mass of world-class researchers who can work with big data, ensuring it can be used to inform the next generation of treatments.

Since its inception in 2010, more than 45 training opportunities by placing Master’s biostatistics and statistics students in eight-month internships with cancer research investigators at cancer centres in Ontario. In doing so, the BTI is training the next generation of biostatisticians in the province, ensuring they are equipped with the technical knowledge, skill set and experience to deal with the changing landscape of cancer treatment and clinical trials.

The aim of the Internship Program is to match established Ontario cancer research mentors with highly skilled biostatisticians in training to advance a cancer research program and enhance the training experience of exceptional graduate students within the province.

In 2021, up to four internships will be awarded each for $27,400. Internships will be held from May to December 2021. The award funds will be provided to mentor institutions in order to support the intern through salary, benefits and any other statutory obligations (e.g. income taxes, CPP and EI).

Prospective mentors

Mentor research proposal submission deadline is December 1, 2020. A maximum of one proposal per mentor will be considered. Proposals will be reviewed and prioritized by the Executive of the BTI Steering Committee based on:

  • Alignment of the research program with OICR’s Strategic Plan; and
  • Training environment, mentoring plans and existing infrastructure.

Prospective interns

Master’s students in Biostatistics or Statistics programs in any accredited Ontario university are eligible for the eight-month internships. Deadline for applications is December 18, 2020. Triaging of student applications will be performed by the ESC in situations where there are a large number of applicants. The guiding principle behind this is to select the strongest applications while ensuring appropriate geographic and institutional representation of internship awards.

Forms and guides

Important dates

  • December 1, 2020: Deadline for proposals from prospective mentors
  • December 4, 2020: Proposals will made available for viewing by prospective interns
  • December 18, 2020: Deadline for intern applications
  • January 11-22, 2021: Mentor-intern interviews
  • February 1, 2021: Communication of results

Mentor proposals

To be posted December 4, 2020

BTI Fellowship Program

The BTI Fellowship Program is designed to support doctoral and postdoctoral training in biostatistics for cancer research. The primary objective of the Program is to support the training of the next generation of biostatisticians in the province, ensuring they are equipped with the technical knowledge, skill set and capability for the application of rigorous quantitative methods for cancer research. Through the receipt of a BTI Studentship / Fellowship Award, biostatistics or statistics doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows at an Ontario university will engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative cancer research with investigators located at an Ontario Host Institution.

There are no current fellowships: please check back in summer 2021.