Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of the course?

There will be a mixture of lectures, coding practice and laboratory sessions. In addition, there will also be more focused case studies (e.g., analysis of microbiome data  or use of The Cancer Genome Atlas). Course participants will work in small groups to prepare, analyze and visualize data, and for the capstone project, will present their research to all course participants and faculty.

How many participants will there be?

The summer course will be limited to 24 students to optimize the student/faculty ratio and encourage interaction.

How much will it cost?

The course is fully funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) through the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which covers tuition, laboratory, and sequencing costs.  As such, there will be no cost to course participants, but participants will be responsible for their own transportation expenses. There are a limited number scholarships available that will cover board and lodging for course participants who do not live in the local area.

Who is eligible for the course?

Course participants are primarily expected to be advanced undergraduate or graduate students, but postgraduate researchers and staff who can commit to attending the course full-time are also welcome. We hope to host a diversity of students from both biological and quantitative disciplines such as mathematics, statistics and computer science. Under-represented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Do you admit international students?

Per NIH policy, the course is intended primarily for the education of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  However, in previous years, we have had some slots available to highly qualified international applicants, and expect that to continue this year.

How can I register for the workshop?

Please register at the course homepage where new information will be posted as it becomes available. Course participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until all 24 slots are filled.

When is the application deadline?

There is no fixed deadline for applications.  We review *completed applications on a rolling basis (beginning in early spring), and offer spots to highly qualified applicants until all spaces are filled.  Once all spaces are filled, we maintain a waitlist in case there are cancellations.

Can I take the course if I have schedule conflicts (e.g., vacation or meetings)?

If your application is accepted, your tuition and lab materials will be funded using federal funds provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you accept admission to the course, it is expected that you attend all classes. Please refer to the posted schedule of classes for the specific days and times covered by this commitment.  It is our expectation that you do not schedule conflicting events (e.g., vacations, or work, personal or scientific meetings) during these times. In the application, you will be explicitly asked to affirm your commitment of full attendance.

What constitutes a completed application?

In order for your application to be considered, in addition to submittedthe application; 2 references must complete the on recommendation form in support of your application  Applicants must forward this link to their references.  It will NOT automatically be sent by the application system.

Will I receive credit or a grade for the course?

Course participants will neither receive credit nor a grade for attending the course. The registration or completion of the course will not be recorded in Duke University transcripts. Upon successful completion of the course, a participant will receive a certificate issued by the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Successful completion requires: 1) Regular attendance. Absences are only approved at the discretion of the course instructors; 2) Completion of all assignments and quizzes; and 3) Attendance at the final group presentation.  The certificate will be signed by the course directors.  

Where will the course be held?

The course will be held on Duke Campus.  The laboratory work will be carried out in the Biological Sciences Building on Science Drive while all lectures and computational work will be held in Hock Plaza at 2424 Erwin Road.

Is parking available?

The cost of parking is the responsibility of the student.  Limited parking at Duke University owned properties may be available.

Will computing equipment be provided?

The course fee includes access to server computing resources. You will need to bring your own laptop.  We also suggest that you bring a network cable.

How do I find out more?

If you have additional questions, please contact the course coordinator (