Master's Seminar II Fall 2018
EPI 221 (1 unit)
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Presenting one's own work to peers, instructing peers in methodologic topics, and critiquing the work of others are skills that clinical researchers will use throughout their careers. Accordingly, the Master's Seminar II will be dedicated to scholars presenting the current status of their research projects to their peers as well as instructing their peers in methodologic topics germane to all clinical researchers. The specific objectives for each scholar's presentation are for the:
We strive to make these sessions valuable for both the presenter and
the audience. These are lofty goals but well worth trying to achieve.
Completion of three quarters of the Master's Seminar I (EPI 220).
Grading will be based on the scholar's presentation (50% of grade) and his/her participation during the other sessions (50% of grade). In the event a scholar does not present during the quarter, the grade will be based upon his/her participation during the presentations by other scholars.
The Seminar will meet every other Tuesday afternoon starting on September 25 to December 11 from 3:15 to 5:15 PM.
What Should You Present?
A. The status of your own work. You should present the current status of your main (or one of your main) research project. In all cases, because seminar members are from diverse backgrounds, you should plan to start with a brief background as to the nature of the problem. For all projects with an analytic objective (i.e., everything other than descriptive work), a directed acyclic graph is expected in order to depict your research question with compact notation. Then, depending upon your progress to date, you should describe your current status. For most of you at this time, this description will include the actual study design, the sampling of participants, the measurements, and the preliminary stages of data analysis. However, if you have only recently started a project, then you will describe your proposed study design, participants, measurements, and analytic plan.
B. A topic in clinical research methods as it pertains to your work. In addition to the details of your individual project, we want you to spend at least about one-quarter to one-third of your session teaching the audience about a methodologic issue in your study. Every study has several interesting methodologic points that are easily generalized to other scholar's work. The goal is to find one point about your study and tell the rest of the audience about it. This may be something about a particular sampling scheme (e.g., snowball sampling or case-cohort designs), a particular measurement (e.g., use of pharmacy refill data to measure medication adherence, or microarrays to measure SNPs, or use of the National Death Index); or a particular analytic technique (e.g., model selection in multivariable analysis; marginal structural models; negative binomial regression, etc.). We don't want you to discuss things that are so idiosyncratic to your own work that no one outside of your field will ever use it (e.g., development of a new assay to measure exposure to wireless computer networks), but rather something that clinical and epidemiologic researchers in many other fields should know about or will likely encounter. The topic can be one that we have covered in our formal coursework (because repetition is good and you might explain it better than our courses do) or it can be something completely different. We are not asking for a lengthy lecture on all of the nuances of this topic but rather an introduction of the topic, the salient points for the clinical researcher, one good review article, and, in some cases, a more detailed reference list.
The deliverables for each session are:
These deliverables should be distributed by Thursday at 5 pm, 5 days prior to the Tuesday session. These materials will subsequently be housed in the course's password-protected syllabus website.
It is fine if you change your slide set between the time of submission and the time of your talk. After all, this is work-in-progress. The point is that we want the audience to have ample time to read over the general nature of what you plan to present in order to provide intelligent feedback.
This course is restricted to those enrolled in the Master's in Clinical Research degree program.