The 2021 DBMI Summer Research program has been cancelled due to the pandemic. We are working on alternate plans. Please check back for more details.

Columbia DBMI Summer Research Program   

The 2019 Summer students get together for a group photo outside the DBMI department at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The Columbia Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Summer Research Program provides rising seniors in high school and college undergraduate students from a wide range of backgrounds (biology, psychology, engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, etc.) with fundamental knowledge, hands-on skills, and research experience in biomedical informatics and health data science.

The goal of the program is to promote biomedical informatics and health data science as a career choice for young scientists in training. The program takes place in an inclusive research and learning environment. Students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups are encouraged to apply.

The Columbia DBMI Summer Research Program is part of the biomedical informatics training program which targets a broad spectrum of learners.


The Columbia DBMI Summer Research Program is six weeks long and has traditionally taken place in the Collaboration Space at DBMI, though it will be held virtually in 2020.

The 2019 DBMI Summer students visited Watson Health at Astor Place.

At the end of the program, fellows will have gained computing and research skills, familiarity with the fields of informatics and health data science, experience with real-world, massive health datasets from electronic health records and the data acumen that comes with handling such datasets, along with understanding of the complex ethical and fairness questions inherent to biomedical informatics and health data science research. 

Activities during the Columbia DBMI Summer Research Program will include:   

  • Training and certification in conducting research with and protecting human subjects;   
  • Bootcamp for learning computing research fundamentals for students coming into the program lacking computing skills; 
  • Bootcamp for introductory data science and machine learning for healthcare for students coming into the program with programming skills; 
  • Bootcamp for hands-on observational health data science research. Using the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) framework, fellows will be given access to a de-identified clinical data warehouse of 6 million patient records and learn the basics of observational health data science (creating clinically meaningful cohorts, characterize populations, replicating observational studies including predictive analytics studies, and designing your own study); 
  • Research experience in specific labs with DBMI faculty and their research teams; 
  • Weekly lunch seminar with the opportunity to discuss current research in the field of biomedical informatics and health data science; 

The Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) is part of the Graduate School for Arts and Science at Columbia University and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Our faculty are affiliated with both the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Columbia Data Science Institute.  

Our trainees and faculty come from a wide range of disciplines and are all committed to improving health and healthcare through the use and design of informatics methods and tools. Examples of DBMI research is available here, and include machine learning, causal inference, natural language processing, data assimilation, mobile health, disease phenotyping, technology for shared decision making, large-scale observational data science, and study of health and healthcare disparities.  


Undergraduate students from across the U.S. and rising seniors in high school residing in New York City are invited to apply for the Columbia DBMI Summer Research Program.  

To promote diversity in higher education and biomedical informatics, students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups are encouraged to apply.  


Applications due: TBA

Notification of acceptance: TBA

Contact: Herbert Chase (