Vanderbilt University Medical Center's BRET Program, Data Science Essentials, Receives Second Prize 2019 AAMC Innovations in Research and Research Education Award

Aug 27, 2019
Mandy Arola

Congratulations to our friends at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) on their 2019 AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) Innovations in Research and Research Education Award second prize award for their Data Science Essentials program.

Last year, we began a partnership with BRET to teach the first section of this new program. Data Science Essentials was designed to introduce Ph.D. level biomedical scientists to careers in data science. The first part of this program, taught by Mary van Valkenburg of Nashville Software School, is an eight-week course in Python aimed at helping the students explore whether data science might be a good career fit. 

Part two of Data Science Essentials helps the students develop their soft skills and learn about the importance of networking and building a professional community. The final section of the program exposes students to case studies from different organizations doing data science in Nashville.

Excerpt from Awardee Abstract:

20 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows participated in this module. Pre- and post-test online evaluations indicated a significant improvement in participants’ understanding of data science principles following the introductory didactic section. Furthermore, participants reported overwhelmingly that the program was a valuable use of their time and helped them make important career decisions.  Overall, this is an effective approach to enhance the readiness and confidence of biomedical trainees to pursue data science careers.

The second year of this program kicked off last week and we’re looking forward to another successful course in Python.

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