What is the NSW Biostatistics Training Program?
The NSW Biostatistics Training Program is a three year workplace based training program which offers a supervised learning experience for people who have completed postgraduate studies in mathematics or science, and are committed to a career in biostatistics.
The training program involves a combination of workplace based learning and part-time study; trainees rotate through a series of work placements throughout the NSW health system, and complete a Master of Biostatistics degree part-time through the University of Sydney via distance learning.
The training program is delivered by the NSW Ministry of Health in partnership with the University of Sydney and the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA).
Upon successful completion of the training program, graduates are eligible for:
- award of a Master of Biostatistics, conferred by the University of Sydney
- a Certificate of Completion, conferred by the NSW Ministry of Health
- accreditation as a graduate statistician with the Statistical Society of Australia Incorporated.
How many traineeships are available?
The number of traineeships varies from year to year. Usually 4-6 traineeships are available in each intake.
When do the traineeships commence?
Traineeships are typically advertised in October of each year, with successful candidates commencing in February of the following year.
In some years, a second round of traineeships is advertised in April, with successful candidates commencing in August.
Can I undertake the training part-time?
No. The training is offered on a full-time basis only.
Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the traineeship?
No. It is the Trainee's responsibility to find a job on completion of their traineeship.
Where are the traineeships based?
Trainee Biostatisticians undertake a range of work placements within the NSW health system. Placements are generally located within the Sydney metropolitan area within: the NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Health Pillars, academic research centres and other affiliated population health organisations. Trainees change work placements every six months.
Can I choose my work placements?
Placements are determined by senior management within the Ministry’s Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, to ensure their alignment with the strategic and operational priorities of NSW Health. Trainees are matched to placements based on their skill levels, learning needs, professional interests and the requirements of the placement.
How long will it take to complete the Master of Biostatistics course?
The Master of Biostatistics is generally completed over three years.
Am I expected to pay the Master of Biostatistics course fees?
No. The NSW Ministry of Health meets course and compulsory student fees associated with completion of the Master of Biostatistics. Fees are paid directly to the University of Sydney.
Prior to their enrolment in the Master of Biostatistics, all new Trainee Biostatisticians sign a deed of agreement. The deed is a legally binding agreement between the NSW Ministry of Health and the Trainee, which sets out the terms and conditions under which the Ministry agrees to pay the Master of Biostatistics course fees.
What skills and experience do I need to be considered for a traineeship?
The roles are open to applicants who have:
- successfully completed an honours degree majoring in statistics, or an equivalent qualification
- an aptitude for advanced mathematical work
- a high level knowledge of statistical concepts and methods, and
- extensive experience in the use of statistical software packages.
Applicants must also hold a work visa that gives them permission to work in Australia for the duration of the traineeship.
What qualifications do I need to be considered for the traineeships?
Applicants are required to have successfully completed an honours degree majoring in statistics, or an equivalent qualification. Qualifications that will be considered include, but are not limited to qualifications in the following disciplines: statistics, science, mathematics, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, economics and health sciences.
In order to be considered for a Trainee Biostatistician role, you will need to have completed a Bachelor degree with honours in one of these disciplines. Other qualifications that have a major component of statistics may also be considered.
Do I need to have completed an honours project as part of my degree?
Applicants are required to have successfully completed an honours project as part of their postgraduate studies in order to demonstrate their ability to apply statistical concepts to a real life situation. If you haven’t completed an honours project, you will need to provide evidence of work experience in a statistical role.
Can I apply if I am already enrolled in the BCA Master of Biostatistics?
In general, yes, however we recommend that no more than 6 subjects have been completed.
Can I apply if I am not an Australian citizen or permanent resident?
All temporary roles within the NSW Ministry of Health require applicants to hold a work visa that gives them permission to work in Australia for the duration of the role. Thus, the traineeships are open to:
- Australian citizens
- Australian permanent residents
- New Zealand citizens
- People who hold a valid work visa for the duration of the traineeship (3 years). This does not include bridging visas.
The traineeships are highly competitive, and there is no shortage of Australian applicants. Thus, the Ministry of Health is not able to offer sponsorship for 457 visas. Applicants must hold a valid work visa before applying for a traineeship. The NSW Ministry of Health cannot offer employment to applicants unless they already hold a valid work visa.