M.S. in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration
The Department of Biostatistics offers an M.S. in Biostatistics with a concentration in clinical research and biostatistics. Established in 1997, the program is specifically designed to satisfy the needs of those wishing to pursue clinical and/or health services research.
To become successful clinical researchers, clinicians need extensive training, not only in their clinical content area, but also in the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, reporting and dissemination of clinical research. Likewise, clinicians wishing to successfully conduct patient-level outcomes or health services research need training in the skills required for this research. Common to both needs is training in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics — basic sciences for clinical medicine. Increasingly, also important to both is training in health economics and services organization — the anatomy and physiology of health care delivery.
To provide this training at VCU, courses from the standard M.S. in Biostatistics program, newly created courses and select courses were combined to create the M.S. in Biostatistics, clinical research and biostatistics concentration. Included in the program are required credit hours dedicated to directed, independent research. Students, under the guidance of a research advisory committee, will choose a research project according to their interests and intended career goals. Students are expected to develop a research proposal, select a research adviser and form a research advisory committee before the completion of 18 credit hours of core course work. The research advisory committee will be composed of a clinician as adviser, at least one additional clinician and at least one faculty member of the Department of Biostatistics. Results of the project are required to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented to the research advisory committee.
Through these diverse and extensive experiences, the M.S. in Biostatistics, clinical research and biostatistics concentration program offers the most comprehensive approach to training the clinician-researcher.