Participant Support: The SROCS Summer Research Conference in Statistics and Biostatistics

  • Thompson, Katherine (PI)
  • Stromberg, Arnold (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary Overview. The purpose of the in-person Summer Research Conference (SRC), is to encourage the interchange and understanding of research and educational ideas in statistics and biostatistics in a manner not ordinarily possible at other meetings. This annual conference is sponsored by the Southern Regional Council on Statistics (SRCOS) and is particularly valuable for undergraduate students, graduate students, isolated statisticians, and faculty from smaller regional schools in the southern region at drivable distances. The SRC gives these students and faculty an opportunity to participate and interact closely with internationally known leaders in the field without the cost of travel to distant venues. Researchers present formal research talks or posters with adequate time allowed for clarification, amplification, and further informal discussions in small groups. Though the meeting is organized in the southern region, attendees hail from all over the United States. For graduate students, the NSF/R.L. Anderson Student Poster Session provides an excellent opportunity for young scholars to gain experience and obtain feedback. A separate poster session allows young faculty and isolated statisticians to participate as well. It is well recognized that the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups in STEM fields and graduate programs has been previously lacking. In 2019, SRCOS launched an undergraduate component of the SRC, called the Statistical Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). The goal of SURE is to encourage STEM majors from under-represented groups to pursue graduate education and career opportunities in the statistical sciences or other STEM fields. SURE includes a discussion of career opportunities in STEM fields from leaders in the statistical sciences, a hands-on data analytics workshop, as well as a speed mentoring session with current graduate students in statistics and biostatistics (with backgrounds in STEM fields). Intellectual Merit. In 2019, the SRC celebrated its 55th anniversary. Years of experience have resulted in the SRC being an effective mechanism for students, junior faculty, and isolated statisticians to exchange cutting-edge research and education in statistics and biostatistics with senior statisticians on a real-time basis; i.e., as they are being developed rather than years after publication. The conference also provides a successful avenue that leads to the development and growth of collaborative relationships among statisticians due to the number of participants, room in the schedule for informal meetings, and location in the southern region. Broader Impacts. The broader impacts of the SRC include strengthening the statistics and biostatistics research community (in particular, the community of the sixteen states of the Southern Region). Internationally-known statisticians, isolated statisticians, graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty from the Southern Region interact through formal research presentation sessions as well as in informal settings. In addition to the presentations, dissemination of the research presented at the conference is accomplished via the organization website. Finally, the second year of the undergraduate component, SURE, will help recruit and retain under-represented groups from STEM fields into graduate education (e.g., in statistics and biostatistics or other STEM fields). 1
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/22


  • National Science Foundation


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