Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Participant Information

Scholarship applications for SISG and SISMID will open on January 25. General registration will open on February 15.

Course schedule

Course timeframes will be posted to each module description page. Instructors will post a specific course schedule to the module description page a few weeks prior to the start of the course. You will need to log into your account to access this information (instructions below). The schedule may also include links and references to resources (ppt slides, readings, software, data sets, etc.). If your module has a pre-module survey, please complete the survey before accessing module material. Survey responses are anonymous.

Some instructors will post all materials to the module page, while others will post a url leading to a separate website or platform that hosts course materials.

Access to course materials. You may access course information by logging in at with the same user name and password you used to register. Click My Account in the upper left to get to your dashboard. From there, you can access order information and click View map, materials and information, which will take you to the module description page. In the right-hand column, you will see a Module Assets heading. If an instructor has uploaded information, it will appear there. If you experience any difficulties logging in, please contact Deb Nelson at

Zoom video platform

We will use Zoom for live sessions. You do not need to have a Zoom account in order to attend a live session. Links for Zoom sessions will be included in the course materials. If you are new to Zoom, when you click the link you will be prompted to download the Zoom software package. If you plan to use a smartphone, you will need to download the Zoom app. For the best educational experience, we highly recommend that you use a computer to participate in the Summer Institutes, with a tablet as a second choice, and smartphone as the third. Zoom recordings will be available for at least 30 days after a module has ended.

Certificates of Completion

Certificates of completion for each module can be downloaded through your account dashboard. When you complete a module evaluation, the system will automatically generate the certificate for that module. Unless it's your last module, in which case the system will ask you to complete both a module and institute evaluation before generating the certificate. Note there is sometimes a delay between when you complete the evaulations and when the certificate link appears. Occasionally, certificates lose their formatting during this process. If this is the case, please email and we will get you a corrected copy.

Connect with other participants

We encourage participants to make professional connections or discuss topics related to Summer Institutes modules using the Summer Institutes Slack workspaces. Each module has a private Slack channel that is only for participants in that module. There may also be non-private Slack channels that can serve as forums for discussion across modules.

We also invite you to join the Summer Institutes Facebook or, for more broad-based information, follow the UW Biostatistics Department page. On Twitter, we’re @UWBiostat and tags include #sisg, #sismid, #sisbid, and #siscer.

Disability-related accommodations and services

The Summer Institutes is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. If you are in need of accommodation to participate fully in this event, please contact Deb Nelson at 206-685-9323 or

Contact for questions

Deb Nelson,, 206-685-9323.

Registration Questions

What is the module schedule?

Instructors are re-designing modules for online delivery using live-stream sessions and other elements such as pre-recorded lectures, interactive online discussions, virtual Q & A, and downloadable presentations, data, and software. UDPATE: For SISG, SISMID, and SISBID, live sessions will start no earlier than 8 a.m. Pacific and end no later than 2:30 p.m. Pacific, except for Wednesdays. For modules that end on Wednesday, live sessions will end by 11 a.m. Pacific. For modules that start on Wednesday, live sessions will begin no earlier than 11:30 a.m.. For SISCER, live sessions will be held between 8:30 a.m. and noon Pacific. When confirmed, a course outline for each module will be posted to its respective module description page.

Will live sessions be recorded?

We plan to record live-stream sessions and post links that participants can access by logging in to their module page. Recordings will be posted as soon as possible but there could be a few hours delay. We will not record any small group or one-on-one live sessions that occur within a module.

Can I take concurrent modules?

Registrants may not take concurrent modules.

When does module registration close?

Module registration will close three business days prior to the start of a module.

Are any prerequisites needed in order to participate in a module?

Knowledge requirements or prerequisites are outlined in the module description. If a module was offered in 2019, registrants may access the Summer Institutes Archives to view course materials from previous years to gauge the knowledge base needed for module content.

Can I get credit for Summer Institutes courses?

Summer Institutes modules are considered training courses, not university academic courses. Institute attendees are not required to register as university students and no university credit is awarded for participation. However, participants will receive a certificate of participation.

How do I change modules?

Module change requests must be made at least three business days prior to the start of a module. If you wish to switch modules, please email with the following information:

  • Name and email used to register
  • Order Number
  • Modules you wish to cancel
  • Modules you wish to add

How do I cancel my registration?

Please email your cancellation request to Be sure to include the name and email used to register as well as your order number.


Canceling a credit card payment, including changing payment from credit card to invoice or UW budget number, will result in the following cancellation fees:

  • Cancellations made on or before June 6 will be subject to a $70 processing fee.
  • Cancellations made June 6 to June 30 will be subject to a $100 processing fee.
  • No refunds will be processed after June 30.

Scholarship Questions

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Registration scholarships for up to three modules are available to graduate students in the Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics (SISG) and the Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID).

Links to the scholarship application can be found on the SISG and SISMID scholarship pages. Please note SISBID and SISCER are not able to offer scholarships for their modules.

What should be included in the application statement?

An application statement should include information about how your selected modules will further your studies/work/research, how your background and experience have prepared you for the module topics, what excites you about your work and the courses, and anything else you feel is relevant to why you should be awarded a scholarship.

What should be included in the letter of recommendation?

Scholarship applications should include a statement from the applicant’s academic advisor that states: (1) the benefit to the applicant’s graduate program of attendance at SISG; (2) that the SISG modules being applied for are not available at the applicant’s institution, and (3) that attendance at SISG by the applicant would be less likely without scholarship support.

How does my advisor submit a letter of recommendation for my scholarship application?

  • Include the name and email of your advisor in your scholarship application.
  • Email the following link to your advisor (make sure your advisor uses the same email you provided in your application):
  • You may send an email to your advisor from your application dashboard; however, you must save your application first in order for this function to work.
  • If your advisor is not able to upload your letter of recommendation, please have them email the letter to either (Statistical Genetics) or (Infectious Diseases).

How do I know if my scholarship application has been received or whether anything is missing?­­­­

You may log into your scholarship application at any point to check on its status (so remember your user name and password). Under Application Status, you will see one of the following.

  • Submitted. This means that an application has been started but is not yet complete. An application is not complete until a letter of recommendation has been uploaded by your advisor.
  • Ready for Review. This means your application is complete and ready for review by the Summer Institutes directors. Generally, it takes several weeks to review all applications.
  • In Review. This means an application has been reviewed by one director but is awaiting review by another.
  • Reviewed. The application has been reviewed and is awaiting release of the decision. We release all decisions on the same day, Wednesday, April 18.
  • Released. A decision regarding the application has been made and your dashboard will reflect whether you have been awarded a scholarship(s). In conjunction with releasing the award, we send an email to applicants notifying them of their final award status.

If I am applying for a scholarship, do I need to register for the modules as well?

Please do not register for modules that you request in your scholarship application. If you register for modules and pay via credit card, and then receive a scholarship for those same modules, we must cancel your reservation and assess a $25 fee to cover processing costs (i.e., the refund to the credit card will be the payment minus $25). If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive a unique code to use to register for modules.

For additional questions and clarification, please contact:

Statistical Genetics:

Statistics for Big Data:

Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases:

Statistics in Clinical & Epidemiological Research:

General Inquiries:

2020 Op-Ed talks

Recordings of the 15-minute Op-Ed talk series from the 2020 Summer Institutes are provided below.

Tuesday July 14: Genetic studies in under-represented populations

Nanibaa’ Garrison, Institute for Society and Genetics, UCLA

Friday July 17: Research funding from the NSF DEB

Chris Balakrishnan, NSF Division of Environmental Biology 

Wednesday July 22: Societal implications of research on plant genetics

Ed Buckler, Cornell University and USDA

Thursday July 23:  Reckoning with our eugenic roots and cultivating anti-racism in science

Rori Rohlfs, San Francisco State University Department of Biology

The fields of population and human genetics are historically entangled in the development of eugenics and scientific racism. Unaddressed, our roots can influence us as a scientific community so that we unintentionally perpetuate racism, ableism, transphobia, and on. However, reckoning with our past can help us identify specific practices that contribute to social injustice, so that we can shift them to move towards social justice in our scientific community and beyond.

Friday July 24: Data-driven vs mechanistic modeling of sars-cov-2

Daniela Witten, University of Washington Department of Statistics 

Monday July 27: Foundations of Evidence Evaluation

Ian Evett, formerly Home Office Forensic Science Service, UK  - Recording coming soon

There is a widespread tendency to be focussed on the likelihood ratio and the phrase “likelihood ratio framework” is often seen. What we all seek as scientists is a logical framework for evidence evaluation – and there is a very good one. Whereas the likelihood ratio is an important element of that framework, it is only meaningful within a clearly established context; in particular the formulation of a meaningful pair of propositions to address. This talk will give a brief introduction to the logic of forensic science evidence evaluation with reference to practical foundations that were established in what became known in the UK as the Case Assessment and Interpretation (CAI) project.

Tuesday July 28: Bringing Genomics into Clinical Care: Genomic Medicine Programs of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Teri Manolio, NHGRI Division of Genomic Medicine  - Join Webinar

Genomic medicine—which NHGRI defines as using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care—is already advancing diagnosis, treatment, risk prediction, and prevention in the fields of oncology, pharmacology, rare and undiagnosed diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Several large-scale research and dissemination initiatives comprising NHGRI's genomic research portfolio are speeding the evaluation and incorporation, where appropriate, of genomic technologies and findings into routine clinical care.

Wednesday July 29: 21st Century Science, 18th Century Process: Science in the Adversarial System.

Erin Murphy, New York University School of Law  - Join Webinar

Forensic science takes place within a larger ecosystem of criminal justice actors, including crime scene technicians, police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges.  Forensic scientists thus often confront tension between their scientific mission, and their identity as scientists, and outside forces pursuing their own goals and objectives.  This op-ed will address these pressures, and the need for forensic scientists to remain committed to their own role in the process in order to safeguard against miscarriages of justice.