LA’s Biostatistics Education Summer Training program at USC (LA’s BEST@USC)

While we are disappointed that COVID-19 impacted our plans to host the Summer 2020 program on campus, we have developed a tutorial introducing the R computing language to future participants.

Program Summary

Students will conduct summer research for six weeks from June 14, 2021, through July 23, 2021, with training from public health leaders. All students will receive formal training in biostatistics and meet experts in epidemiology, molecular biology, cancer, and clinical research with opportunities to work on real data sets. The main focus will be on heart and lung diseases, but students will also have the opportunity of being introduced to a wide range of public health research topics including cancer, metabolic disorders, and genetics. At the end of the summer session, students will present their research findings to the Keck community. 

Students will receive 2.0 units of college credit. Given the current pandemic, we will be hosting an online program, which will take place 3 days/week. Meal allowance will be provided and tuition is covered. 

The program aims to increase

  • awareness of work opportunities for quantitative scientists in public health;
  • the number of workers in math and science careers;
  • the number of underrepresented students pursuing graduate degrees in biostatistics at USC.  

LA’s BEST@USC dates: June 14, 2021 – July 23, 2021

Eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Completed at least two years of undergraduate study
  • Applications from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged
Topics include: 
  • Health data analysis, epidemiology, clinical trials, statistical genetics and spatial
    statistics for geographical modeling
  • Training using R, a widely used software in research
  • Immersion in data from groundbreaking public health research studies such as the Southern California Children’s Health Study

About the program:
This program is funded under the Summer Institutes in Biostatistics (SIBS) program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Grant #:R25 HL147236].

To learn more about the SIBS program and our sister sites, please visit the program website.

We thank the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center for additional funding.

Applications for Summer 2021 due March 12, 2021. Offers will be made on a rolling basis.


Application requirements:

As part of your application, you will be required to submit*:

  • An essay describing how this opportunity will enhance your career goals (min 500 words)
  • Official transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation (One MUST be from a faculty in science, technology, engineering or mathematics)
*Submission/upload instructions and links are on the online application. 

For questions regarding your application or the application process, please contact:

Nicole Reyes Avila, Coordinator
(626) 833-9102

Funding by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R25 HL147236

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can letters of recommendation or official transcripts be submitted after the deadline?  Yes, as long as your application form and personal statement are submitted by the deadline, your application will be considered on-time. However, complete applications with all materials will be reviewed first.
  • Can I still apply if I’m graduating in May 2021 (or prior)?  Yes, your application is welcomed. Please use your personal statement to explain how this program aligns with your future in Biostatistics.
  • If accepted to the program, is it mandatory to live in provided housing?  In an effort to encourage full immersion into the program, yes, it is mandatory (exceptions will be considered). (Not applicable for this year’s virtual program.)