Bridging the gap between statistics courses and practice

Awardee: Emily Slade (SPH)

Summary: Awardee bridged the gap between statistics courses and students’ ability to implement concepts in their own work with a student-run consulting service to be permanently housed in the Biostatistics Department.

As a teaching assistant for introductory biostatistics courses, doctoral student Emily Slade observed a gap between the education provided to students in statistics courses and their ability to implement statistical concepts in their own work. To bridge that gap, she founded the Biostatistics Student Consulting Center (BSCC), a free service in which upper-level doctoral students in the Department of Biostatistics act as consultants, providing guidance to any student in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health or in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS) federation.

After recruiting and training 22 student consultants, Slade opened The BSCC in November 2016. The team took on 112 cases through May 2017, primarily helping students plan and carry out statistical analyses. Thanks to Slade’s work in founding, running, and demonstrating a clear need for this program, the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has agreed to serve as the institutional home for the Center.