In a recent article published by Karazin University, Intego Group CEO, Sergey Glushakov, and the Dean of the School of Mathematics and Informatics, Grigory Zholtkevich, were interviewed to discuss the certificate program in biostatistics, it’s graduates, and how the war has influenced the educational process.
Biostatistics integrates the medical field with math, statistics, and life science to drive clinical research and new drug development. The training program provided in partnership between the School of Mathematics and Informatics at Karazin National University and Intego Group, a global CRO and technology consulting company, gives students the opportunity to explore modern statistical and programming tools used for analyzing clinical trial data. The program has been designed to meet the growing needs of leading pharmaceutical and life science companies. Although Ukraine has many highly skilled IT specialists, the number of available professionals who fit the standards required by the pharma industry doesn’t cover the market’s rapid growth. That’s why, in April 2013, Karazin National University and Intego Group partnered to create a program that prepares talent who can deliver the best practices in the industry. This certificate program has been running with no interruptions since its inception and is now taking applications from around the country and admitting its tenth class of students.
Sergey Glushakov, Intego Group
Why was Karazin National University chosen for The Center for Biostatistical Programming?
It was the obvious and straightforward choice for us and our partners. With over 35 schools and departments, Karazin National University is one of the oldest and most reputable educational institutions in Eastern Europe. Our program originally targeted students with a strong background in applied mathematics from the School of Mathematics and Informatics only, but it has since been opened up to a much broader audience from all over Ukraine.
We engage professors from a number of schools within the University ecosystem. Thus, we work with the School of Medicine for life science-related courses and call on the School of Foreign Languages to handle English proficiency. Karazin National University was an obvious choice as a one-stop- shop with all the components integrated into a complex curriculum.
What’s the reason for the increased demand for professionals in biostatistics?
The industry of clinical research has been growing for decades. A global pandemic, an aging population, and various other reasons have driven investment in new drugs, medical devices, and pharmaceutical products. Looking at the official data from clinicaltrials.gov, we see exponential growth in the number of clinical trials performed worldwide. And when we look at these charts, we see a large volume of clinical data that needs to be analyzed. That’s where we’ve targeted our training so our graduates can build successful, well-paid and long-lasting careers making an impact on the global society.
How is the educational process structured?
Classes start in mid-October and run through June, when certification and graduation occur. The two-semester program is fully sponsored by our company but requires students to dedicate at least 15-18 hours a week to their studies. Those selected will learn advanced methods of statistical analysis, SAS® programming, fundamentals of clinical research, and specifics of clinical data. Since the majority of educational materials are available in English only, we’ve also integrated English language classes into the curriculum to ensure a thorough understanding and the ability to communicate at all organizational levels upon completion. At the end of the program, students must proceed with the SAS® Certification exam, in order to procure employment.
The war in Ukraine. How did it influence the program, education process and the students?
In mid-March, just a few weeks after the war began, our students were still committed to completing their studies and asked to resume classes. To many of them, this program gave them hope and a sense of purpose. At this critical moment, they all are heroes to me – the students, professors, and our senior professionals – everyone involved in the curriculum. The class of 2022 graduated from the program in June and everyone who successfully passed the SAS® certification exam was accepted to a paid internship in our company. They are undergoing additional training now and will soon be placed on various projects and clinical studies.
Why do you think students should apply to this program, especially today, and pursue a career in biostatistics?
The demand for specialists is here and will continue to grow in the years ahead. The reputation that biostatistical programmers have built in the industry will drive interest and desire to work with Ukraine. And most importantly, our professionals truly deserved the trust to handle the most critical clinical studies and keep project work going despite the war in our home country of Ukraine. The next chapter of this great story is about to begin and we’re welcoming new applicants to join the class of 2023.
For Karazin University’s full interview with Sergey Glushakov and Grigory Zholtkevich, go to https://karazin.ua/en/news/yak-rozpochaty-uspishnu-karieru-v-biostatystytsi-unikalna-n/