Student Dissertation Workshop

A primary objective of the SER is to encourage and foster the professional development of students of epidemiology and young investigators. One way of meeting this objective was felt to be to provide a forum in which doctoral-level students working on theses that utilize various types of epidemiologic studies, in a number of different substantive areas, using a range of epidemiologic methods, could interact with other graduate students and senior epidemiologists. This has been accomplished by conducting a one-day in-depth Student Workshop for 12 students on the day prior to the SER annual scientific meeting in June of each year. The workshop, which first took place in 1977, has been conducted continuously for 30 years. Its purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to have their thesis work reviewed, critiqued, and discussed in a supportive and constructive atmosphere by highly respected senior epidemiologists and faculty who are productive researchers in the “real world” and who have a variety of epidemiologic, clinical, and methodological expertise. Students enrolled in a formal degree program in epidemiology who are working on any phase of their dissertation, from design to analysis, are eligible to participate in this workshop.


“I was so honored and excited to moderate the 2016 doctoral student workshop. My expectations were far exceeded with all the students and faculty thoroughly engaged.  It began on Monday night with an excellent and provocative presentation by Douglas Weed on what it means to be an ethical epidemiologist followed by a cutting edge discussion on stress and its impact on carcinogenesis by Dr. Lisa Signorello. When we convened on Tuesday morning, I was struck throughout the day by how dedicated the faculty were to improving the approach and solving complex issues brought forward by each student’s research. It was also fun for all of us to stretch our epidemiology thinking in content areas beyond that of our own research.  The students brought a breadth of experience beyond that of their doctoral training which added to the discussion of their own research and that of their student colleagues assigned to them for peer review.  Regardless of student or faculty status, there was clear camaraderie and respect for all. I would expect nothing less in our Society! What fun!”

-Bernard Harlow, Workshop Chair 2016