My Story: The BioStatEpi Summer School

The BioStatEpi Summer School is situated beautifully at Castel Brando, a castle gazing over the small village Cison di Valmarino, an hour north of Venice. Transfer to/from the airport is organized by the school.

The school offers general courses covering medical statistics and epidemiology, both at basic and more advanced level. In addition, more specific subjects can be selected. You can choose two out of six week-long courses. The days are split between the two courses. Alternatively, a more comprehensive subject running full days the whole week can be selected. If you realize that your preselected courses are not at your desired level/meet your expectations, the administration is very flexible, and you can switch courses. Each day is typically divided in lectures before lunch and labs after lunch. In labs, the software used is Stata (but most teachers were able to help those who preferred using different software). Being a somewhat sole Stata-user in my research community, I took advantage of many of the teachers’ competence in helping me with some Stata-specific issues in my own research. One day Stata-courses are offered on Sundays. I had one of those courses; “Analysis of prospective studies using Stata”. I felt this course was not worth the extra cost, but other students attending other Stata-courses (i.e “Basics of Stata”) were happy.

The school is well organized. The faculty is international, including well-known professors and researchers in particular from Karolinska Institutet and Harvard School of Public Health, as well as other European academic institutions. You share all meals with fellow students and teachers, providing great opportunities for new contacts and potential future collaborators.

Students can choose between attending one or two weeks. With school lasting from 0830 to 1730 every day, except Saturday (ends at lunch) and Sunday (day off unless you choose a one-day Stata-course), your cerebral capacity might be challenged. Additionally, you share breakfast, lunch and dinner with fellow students, so the whole experience may get quite intense. Hence, one week-stay should be considered. Being a road bike enthusiast, I got my mental and social “escapes” from hiring a bike several evenings from a bike-shop conveniently situated at the venue. The nearby Prosecco Hills and Dolomites are fabulous.

Ola Nakken

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Last updated: 20.10.2017 11:04