1st & 2nd Year Students

Due August 1st of each year. The IDP is intended to help you i) design, monitor, and measure progress in training, ii) articulate short- and long-term goals, and iii) identify relevant developmental activities. Your advisor, or your advisory committee, is an invaluable resource in this process, providing feedback and helping you to generate an action plan.


BGS requires all of its predoctoral students to be trained in i) Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), and ii) Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility (SRR).

Training in RCR is achieved through lecture, web-based programs, small group workshops, and RCR-focused lab meetings. Training places an emphasis on the involvement of faculty and satisfies requirements set by the NIH for individual fellowships and training grants.

Training in SRR is achieved through lecture and SRR-focused lab meetings. Training similarly places an emphasis on the involvement of faculty and satisfies requirements set by the NIH for individual fellowships and training grants.

PhD student requirements

MD-PhD student requirements


Students will rotate with faculty during their first one or two years of study with the aim of finding a dissertation advisor. 

  • Students must rotate a minimum of three times with at least two different faculty before declaring their dissertation advisor
    • A student cannot rotate more than five times and must have declared a dissertation advisor by the end of spring semester of their second year
  • Students will present their results of their rotations at the end of each semester in fifteen minute "chalk talks".
    • These will occur in the summer during new student orientation, in the spring at the end of April, and in fall in early December. 
    • The student's rotation advisor must be in attendance. 




Beginning during the summer leading into their second year, students will commence work on their MS Theses, also known as Biostatistics in Practice. 

  • In June, students will be sent a list of faculty accepting MS thesis advisees
    • Student will be asked to choose their advisor by early July
    • Depending on the topic of research, a second, clinical advisor may be required
  • For PhD students, methodical theses may, with approval from the dissertation advisor, be eligible to become part of the student's dissertation
  • Students will submit their thesis to their advisor by April 15th.
    • Final theses are due by the end of April.
  • Students will present their projects in mid-April. 
    • Presentations will be twenty minutes long (15 for presenting, 5 for questions)
    • The student's advisor must be in attendance
  • Students will deposit their thesis electronically by the university deadline in late April. 



PhD students are required to present a lecture on a current project in the spring semester of their second year of study. 

  • The format of these sessions will be up to you. Suggested formats include:
    •  A work in progress talk with slides (~30 min) followed by time for questions and feedback
    • An overview presentation of existing literature on a specific topic with time for discussion of future research questions
    • A journal club style session in which the student distributes a paper in advance and leads a discussion of this paper
    • Other formats are also acceptable as long as the presentation or discussion relates to your ongoing research on a lab rotation or pre-dissertation research
  • Students can use works-in-progress sessions to practice a presentation for a conference, candidacy exam, job talk, or dissertation defense.
  • The presenting student's is required to attend, as are all second year students.