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Training Opportunity: Institute on Systems Science and Health (ISSH 

June 13-18, 2010
New York, New York

Application Deadline: February 15, 2010 11:59pm (Eastern) 

Produced and funded by: 
 The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health
 The Syndemics Prevention Network at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hosted by
  Columbia University
     Mailman School of Public Health
     Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health
     Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research 

With support from
  Academy for Educational Development
  GT Consultants

ISSH 2010 OBJECTIVE: This is a training course, not a scientific conference. The objective is to provide attendees with a thorough introduction to a selected systems science methodology that may be used to study behavioral and social dimensions of public health challenges.  Participants in the week-long course will focus on one of three methodologies: agent-based modeling, system dynamics modeling, or network analysis. The ideal candidate is an investigator, at any stage of his or her career, who has had little or no formal training in systems science and aims to use the knowledge gained at ISSH to develop proposals to the NIH and CDC for research projects to improve population health and health equity.

The CURRICULUM will help participants: 
	*	Better understand the general principles of systems science and different methodological traditions, including their strengths, limitations, and types of problems for which they are best suited; 
	*	Work through specific problems using a chosen methodology and become familiar with relevant software package(s); 
	*	Appreciate the potential for applying systems science methodologies to problems of population health and disease, especially those in which behavioral and social factors figure prominently; 
	*	Prepare stronger applications to funders such as NIH, CDC, and philanthropies in those areas where systems science, behavioral and social processes, and population health intersect. 

FACULTY: Faculty are leading experts (practitioners and teachers) with extensive methodological experience. Track leaders are as follows:  
  Agent-based Modeling - Elizabeth Bruch, PhD University of Michigan
  System Dynamics Modeling - George P. Richardson, PhD, University at Albany - SUNY
  Network Analysis - Kathleen Carley, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
Additional speakers for plenary sessions and track-specific presentations will be announced at a later date.

ISSH Planning Committee	
  Patricia Mabry, PhD, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health
  Bobby Milstein, PhD, MPH, Syndemics Prevention Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  Mark Orr, PhD, Columbia University

Program Information 
ISSH will feature plenary sessions on topics of general interest as well as in-depth, hands-on training in specific tracks. On the application form, participants will rank their preference among the three available tracks:  (1) Agent-Based Modeling; (2) System Dynamics Modeling; and (3) Network Analysis.  All tracks will provide an introduction to the relevant methodology with examples drawn from public health.  Ample time will be provided for participants to network and form collaborations that will last beyond the course itself.  Attendees are expected to attend their assigned track and may not elect to switch tracks or attend portions of other tracks.  However, an introduction to each track will be given during plenary time, giving all participants a basic understanding of all three methodologies.  Note that Agent-Based Modeling track participants will be offered a four-hour webinar prior to ISSH to ensure that they have basic programming skills. 

To be eligible for ISSH 2010, individuals must have: 
*	Completed or be currently enrolled in a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent terminal degree within their field. 
*	Crafted a research statement focused on a public health problem/opportunity that would benefit from the appropriate use of one or more systems science methodologies. 

ISSH 2009 alumni are not eligible to apply.  Priority will be given to investigators who have demonstrated research potential/experience and who will clearly benefit from systems science training. The ideal candidate will have prior exposure to systems science methodologies but will have little or no formal training in this area.  In addition, he or she will be actively pursuing an independent research career and have a desire to focus future work on applying systems science approaches to population health problems featuring behavioral and social processes. 

Applicants are NOT required to be citizens, permanent residents, or non-citizen nationals of the United States. HOWEVER, expenses will only be paid for domestic (within the U.S.) travel.  Preference will be given to applicants who plan to use the training to inform research on health problems facing the U.S. population. 
Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

ISSH 2010 will be held at the Columbia University in New York, NY on June 13-18, 2010.  The program will begin with a welcome session at 6:00pm on Sunday, June 13 and will conclude by 2:00pm on Friday, June 
18.  Participants are expected to attend the entire course. 

The NIH Office of Behavioral Sciences Research will pay for travel to and from the course site, room and board, and all course materials.  There are no additional fees although participants are asked to furnish their own laptop computer; a limited number of laptops will be available on loan to those who do not have an appropriately configured laptop. Family members may accompany participants at their own expense. However, please note that the curriculum activities will be open only to enrolled students, so family members are encouraged to make their own arrangements for daytime activities.  

Currently there is no CE/CME accreditation associated with this course. 
Application Process 
All application materials must be submitted electronically. A complete application packet must include: 
1.	One Application Cover Sheet with applicant signature 
2.	Curriculum Vitae 
3.	Two letters of recommendation 
*	Letters should come from individuals who have worked professionally with the candidate within the last two to three years. 
*	Letters can be from deans, department chairs, mentors, division chiefs, supervisors, colleagues etc. 
4.	Brief personal statement of career interests and how ISSH fits into these interests as well as a summary of prior learning related to systems science methodologies.  Limit: 1 page.
5.	Research interests, including a succinct statement of a research question that you feel would benefit from one or more of the three systems science methodologies highlighted at ISSH.  Limit: 1 page.

You must prepare all materials before uploading. Submit your application materials online at  

Applications must be received no later than 11:59pm eastern time
on February 15, 2010.

Participants will be notified of their selection by March 15, 2010. 
If you have additional questions or needs, please contact Courtney Thompson, Academy for Educational Development at (202) 884-8661 or [log in to unmask] 

Background and Resources 
ISSH 2010 builds on prior efforts to raise awareness among behavioral and social scientists about the potential uses for systems science methodologies to improve population health and health equity (see Mabry et al., 2008,  Links to selected videocasts and related material are provided below.

  2009 Institute on Systems Science and Health (ISSH 2009)    

  2007 Symposia Series on Systems Science and Health
     Systems Methodologies for Solving Real-World Problems: Applications in Public Health 
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link:  

     Network Analysis: Using Connections and Structures to Understand and Change Health Behaviors 
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link:  

     Agent Based Modeling: Population Health from the Bottom Up 
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link:  

     System Dynamics Modeling: Population Flows, Feedback Loops and Health 
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link:  

     2007 Complex Systems Approaches to Population Health 
     DAY 1:
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link: 
     DAY 2:
     To view videocast with Real Player follow this link:  
     To download Video or Audio Podcast follow this link:  

If you experience difficulty accessing these videocasts, contact Patty Mabry at [log in to unmask]   

Thomas W. Valente, PhD
Director, Master of Public Health Program
Department of  Preventive Medicine
Keck  School of Medicine
University of Southern California
1000 S. Fremont Ave., Unit #8
Building A Room 5110		
Alhambra CA 91803		
phone: (626) 457-4139
cell: (626) 429-4123
fax: (626) 457-6699
email: [log in to unmask]

My personal webpage:

The Empirical Networks Project

Evaluating Health Promotion Programs
(Oxford U. Press):

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