|Date of Scholarship||June-July 2011 September-November 2011|
|Host Country||Bristol, UK and Pretoria, South Africa|
|Scholarship||1 - Advanced Epidemiological and Statistical methods 2 - The practical application of mixed models|
ADVANCED EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND STATISTICAL METHODS
The objectives of the scholarship were to:
- Acquire skills in advanced epidemiological and statistical methods with focus on the use of mixed models
- Network and create working collaboration with colleagues involved in similar analyses in the area of biomedical research
In the first part of the scholarship I attended the advanced epidemiological and statistical methods course at the University of Bristol’s Department of Social and Community Medicine in the UK. The course covered important topics including analysis of clustered data and longitudinal data, missing data, casual inference using instrumental variables, propensity scores and time dependent confounding. I was awarded a certificate of completion. I was also able to meet and network with members of faculty and colleagues from different parts places.
The second part of the scholarship was an attachment at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in Pretoria. My attachment was supervised by Prof. Samuel Manda. I gave an initial presentation to the staff in Pretoria outlining the purpose of my visit. In line with my interest, I was given access to journal articles on mixed models which greatly improved my knowledge in this area. Together with Samuel I then started work on analyzing longitudinal CD4 data collected on HIV patients receiving ART. I also drafted a paper comparing the initial treatment effect in HIV patients using multistate models and had an opportunity to visit the SAMRC Durban office where I learned about the studies and analyses they are doing. In the last week I attended the South African Statistical Association conference where I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many statisticians and researchers both from within and outside South Africa. We shared our experiences and I learned about analyses they were doing. This was an exciting and stimulating experience for me.
The scholarship has improved my professional and interpersonal skills in significant ways and I am grateful to the HIV Research Trust for affording me the opportunity. I am also grateful to the Director of SAMRC Biostatistics unit and unit staff in Pretoria who made the attachment a worthwhile experience and the head of statistics at the MRC Uganda for supporting my application.