Research Course Offerings for Spring 2012

CRSP 500 (3 credit hours) – Design and Analysis of Observational Studies

An observational study investigates treatments, policies or exposures and the effects that they cause, but it differs from an experiment because the investigator cannot control assignment. We introduce appropriate design, data collection and analysis methods for such studies, to help students design and interpret their own studies, and those of others in their field.  Technical formalities are minimized, and the presentations will focus on the practical application of the ideas. A course project involves the completion of an observational study, and substantial use of the R statistical software. Topics include randomized experiments and how they differ from observational studies, planning and design for observational studies, adjustments for overt bias, sensitivity analysis, methods for detecting hidden bias, and focus on propensity score methods for selection bias adjustment, including multivariate matching, stratification, weighting and regression adjustments. 

Recommended preparation: a working knowledge of multiple regression, some familiarity with logistic regression, and some exposure to fitting such models in R.

Course Instructor: Thomas Love, Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Course Schedule: January 17 - April 30, 2012, Mondays, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Location: Wolstein Research Building, Room 1403

CRSP 504 (2-3 credit hours) - Managing Research Records - A System's Approach

This course will provide an approach to managing data for research studies. Major topics will include a discussion of a research study system including database design and development, data management, and clinical data management; how to evaluate the data needs of a study including the impact of required regulations; summary of key regulations; the role of the data manager including protocol review, development of a data management plan, CRF design, data cleaning, locking studies and ensuring best practices. Each session will include a lecture, class discussion, and student presentation. Suggested audience: individuals who oversee or coordinate data for research studies.

Course Instructor: Carolyn Apperson-Hansen, MStat, Director, Research Concierge, Cleveland CTSC

Course Schedule: January 17 – April 30, 2012, Wednesdays, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: WRB 1403

CRSP 505 (2-3 credit hours) - Investigating Social Determinants of Health

The biopsychosocial model highlights the inter-related roles that biological, psychological, and social factors play in health and illness.  This course is geared towards clinical research scholars who would like to incorporate aspects of the "social context" in their research.  The course will examine the conceptualization, measurement, and effects of several key socio-cultural determinants of health and illness.  Sample studies that incorporate social determinants of health will be reviewed. The course will also consider strategies and techniques to conduct clinical research involving social factors in socially and ethnically diverse settings.  Students will be encouraged to develop a prototypical study design to incorporate social determinants in their research. To earn an optional third credit hour for this course, students will be required to complete additional assignments tailored to the students' research needs and interests upon mutual agreement with the instructor at the beginning of the course.


Course Instructor: James Spilsbury, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Center for Clinical Investigation

Course Schedule: Thursdays, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Wolstein Research Building, Room 1403

Non-degree application and registration instructions are available at