Sandawana William Majoni Specialist Physician and Nephrologist Royal Darwin Hospital

Master of Biostatistics, University of Newcastle 2015

Statisticians with whom I worked inspired me to explore the possibility of formally training in statistics.The Biostatistics Collaboration Australia course offered me the best opportunity to undertake this aspiration. The structured nature of the course, the online delivery of the teaching and the ready availability of help when needed gave me the best option as my full time job as a clinician is extremely busy. With an ambitious self-set target to finish the course in the shortest possible time I had to work extra hard both at work and at home to create the opportunity.

Though ambitious, the effort was worth it. The directed learning over a range of statistics topics starting with the mathematical background theory to the practical applications of statistical principles has afforded me a higher level of understanding of statistical procedures invaluable to the vast majority of research work that is performed in medicine in general, in nephrology in particular and that is published in the medical literature.
Although time constraints created challenges, I enjoyed the course immensely and have already recommended it to 2 of my colleagues, who are now doing it. This course has provided me with the possibility of increasing my contribution to research which has been one of my life long career dreams.

Patrick Schober Anesthesiologist and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Physician, Research Coordinator Acute Medicine, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Master of Medical Statistics, University of Newcastle and BCA Star Graduate 2014

My background is anesthesiology and emergency medicine, and I’m involved in several research projects in our department. What has always fascinated me the most about doing research was to work with the data and to draw sound conclusions based on what we had observed. However, my statistical abilities were limited and I therefore decided to extend my knowledge to a level on which I could perform professional analyses of my research data.

The BCA program allowed me to study next to my regular work at my own pace. The learning objectives are clear, units and course material are highly relevant, and online discussions with fellow students as well as excellent and timely feedback by instructors made studying biostatistics an enjoyable experience. I am proud of completing this program, which has provided the necessary skills to perform adequate analyses of medical research data.

Jeeva Kanesarajah Statistician, Centre of Military & Veterans' Health, University of Queensland

Master of Biostatistics, University of Queensland 2014

I found the BCA program to be excellent, particularly in terms of having courses that are relevent to my job as a statistician. Hard to manage part-time study with full time work, but my studies really directly benefited my work. It’s great to have such courses here, learning from experts from all around Australia.

Jennie Louise Statistician and Lecturer, School of Population Health, University of Adelaide

Master of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide and BCA Star Graduate 2014

I am a statistician in the Data Management and Analysis Centre in the School of Population Health at the University of Adelaide, where I work mainly on perinatal clinical trials. This is a position I achieved due to my BCA studies – prior to this, I was working as a lecturer in medical and health ethics, and had no formal statistical or mathematical training.

I enrolled in the BCA specifically to retrain for a career in biostatistics, and although the journey has been challenging, it has also been very rewarding.
The BCA program provided the right balance of strong theoretical foundations and practical statistical skills; I found that the breadth and depth of the materials provided an excellent grounding for a statistical career. A great amount of thought and effort has clearly gone into both the individual courses, and the cohesiveness of the program as a whole. I still have all my course notes, and consult them at regular intervals!

Mark Finnis Consultant, Intensive Care Unit Royal Adelaide Hospital

Master of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide and BCA Star Graduate 2014

My primary work is as a clinician in Intensive Care Medicine. However, having had a life-long interest in computer programming and databases, I had become a default resource within our ICU for quality assurance and research projects, including the provision of ‘questionable’ statistical advice. Like many in the medical field, my statistical knowledge was self-taught, limited and completely unstructured.

The BCA course offered me the opportunity to undertake directed learning over a range of topics, from pertinent background theory to applied techniques central to the vast majority of research work undertaken within our ICU and that published in the medical literature.
Whilst at times challenging, I enjoyed the course immensely and would not hesitate to recommend it to a colleague. The course has left me wishing to extend my learning further and has provided me the fundamentals necessary for this to occur.

Philip Clare National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney 2013

I came to the Master of Biostatistics program with a history in Psychology and government and social research. The program has helped me move into public health research, and I am currently working at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), where I am working on a large-scale NHMRC funded randomised control trial. In addition, I provide statistical advice and support to other researchers in the centre.

The Master of Biostatistics has given me the skills and understanding to approach a wide range of complex research problems, increasing the quality not only my own research (which has resulted in a number of papers published, accepted or under review), but also the research being conducted NDARC.

James Scandol Senior Statistical Systems Officer, NSW Ministry of Health

Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney and BCA Star Graduate 2013

My current position is Senior Statistical Systems Officer at the NSW Ministry of Health where I work preparing, securing and testing the datasets that are used by epidemiologists in the public health network. I had previously worked as a scientist for the NSW Department of Primary Industries, so the BCA was an excellent transition degree which gave me an understanding of epidemiology and the types of statistical analysis that are performed.

The BCA courses were very practical and focussed on the sorts of problems that biostatisticians face every day. In particular, the courses on the analysis of linked data and survival analysis were thorough and provided the skills and knowledge to try these methods on real research problems. The earlier courses in probability and distribution theory were challenging but very rewarding. I’d recommend this program to anyone considering a career in biostatistics and it would be an excellent award to complete before commencing a PhD in biostatistics

Kerry Wong Statistician, International Centre for Equity in Health, Southern Brazil

Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne 2013

My undergraduate background is in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Melbourne. Health research has always been my career ambition and my first job following undergraduate was a research assistant position at a medical school. Soon after, as I noticed that practical experience and a qualification are equally important, I decided to opt for the flexible BCA program and started doing the two simultaneously.
For 3.5 years with the BCA, I held different research- and data-related roles at the University of Hong Kong, Cancer Council Victoria and the World Health Organization. Not only was the training I received in biostatistics and epidemiology from the BCA program supplemented each of these roles very well, I took advantage of the high mobility that it allowed to maximize my exposure in different public health issues worldwide. I am now one of the statisticians at the International Centre for Equity in Health in Southern Brazil and continue find the material taught by the BCA program useful for my work here.

My next goal is to further develop my skills in epidemiology at the PhD level, and ultimately, to apply these skills in quality research for the provision of scientific evidence to guide national and international public health decisions.

Robert Casson Head, Discipline of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences; Director of Research, SA Institute of Ophthalmology; Unit Director, Ophthalmology Network, Lyell McEwin Hospital; Professor, University of Adelaide

Masters of Biostatistics, University of Adelaide 2012

I am an ophthalmic clinician scientist and did the BCA course one subject per semester over 6 years. Although a long-term commitment, the workload was manageable and each subject added to a powerful statistical toolkit that has given me confidence to handle the design and analysis of all my research endeavors, including RCTs, cluster sampling surveys, and dealing with correlated data.

Becoming a trained statistician has improved the quality of my research and provided an unfair advantage when writing manuscripts and grant proposals.

Matthew Spittal Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne 2011

I am currently employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. While I had completed a PhD in psychology, I wanted to retrain as a statistician and work in population health research.

The Master of Biostatistics gave me the opportunity to achieve both those goals. The programme has a strong focus on the theoretical underpinnings of the major statistical methods that are used in health research and this is closely linked with the correct interpretation of the parameters that arise from the application of each method. The programme places this in the context of health research, drawing on problems applied to experimental and observations studies. Completing the degree has allowed me to work on interesting and rewarding problems in a wide range of areas.

The BCA acknowledges we live and work on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for Country.