Biostatistics is the application of statistics to various areas of biology, especially medicine, but also agriculture, fisheries and the ecological sciences. Biostatistics research at the University of Calgary is heavily enmeshed in the field of Health Data Science, requiring the use of not only high-level statistical methodology, but also computational and application area expertise.


Biostatistics Supervisors Program Details Application Procedure


Graduate Research Training

The University of Calgary offers graduate Biostatistics research training opportunities run jointly by the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science) and Community Health Sciences (Cumming School of Medicine). This graduate training is offered at both the PhD and MSc Thesis levels, available as an interdisciplinary specialization in Biostatistics either through the Mathematics and Statistics, or Community Health Sciences, PhD or MSc-Thesis degrees.


Applied Collaborative Research

Students within the interdisciplinary biostatistics specializations will typically have a statistics/biostatistics supervisor and a co-supervisor from their research area. Such collaborations may involve:

Cumming School of Medicine
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Kinesiology
Faculty of Nursing
Department of Computer Science
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child & Maternal Health
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute
Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases
Hotchkiss Brain Institute
O'Brien Institute for Public Health
Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta
McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health

The interdisciplinary biostatistics group has strong connections with the institutes at the Cumming School of Medicine, especially the O'Brien Institute for Public Health (OIPH). The OIPH was set up to study ways of improving the health care system and new ways to prevent disease. Many of the biostatistics faculty are members of OIPH, and are developing statistical models and tools to further their aims.


Rocky Mountain Data Science Network

The University of Calgary, jointly with our partner the University of British Columbia – Okanogan, was recently awarded the status of a Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Health Science Collaborating Centre (CANSSI – HSCC). Our initiative, entitled the Rocky Mountain Data Science Centre (RMDSC), offers our best Biostatistics graduate students the chance of paid four or eight month internships, working in governmental, industrial and academic environments.

Students who participate in this internship training program will gain hands-on experience in the application of statistical and computational methods that build on and complement their formal training. They will learn both the art and science of biostatistics and data science, and develop important communication, project and time management skills.

For further details about the RMDSC please contact Karen Kopciuk:


Data Science and Computational Statistics

Biostatistics research at the University of Calgary tends to be focused upon modern, computational, data science statistical and biostatistical problems. A non-exhaustive list of research interests of our faculty members includes:

Machine learning
Data science and “big data” problems
Computational statistics and Monte Carlo methodology
Clinical trials
Population health/ecology
Statistical genetics
Infectious disease modeling
Disease surveillance
Longitudinal data analysis
Survival analysis
Multistate models
Missing data problems
Bayesian modelling
Spatial and spatio-temporal statistics
Functional data analysis
Causal inference
Experimental design


General Inquiries

General inquiries should be addressed to the Biostatistics Graduate Education Coordinator, Dr. Rob Deardon (