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NIH T32 Predoctoral Training Programs on Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences (TADA-BSSR)

Program Overview

The UC San Diego Health Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute (HDSI), Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health (HWSPH), Department of Psychiatry and the San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Public Health and Psychology Department have partnered to offer a research intensive interdisciplinary training program for psychology and public health PhD students interested in gaining advanced training in data science and analytics within their PhD Programs of study. This training program is one of eight sites across the United States that received funding from National Institutes of Health, led by the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, for T32 Predoctoral Training Programs on Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences (TADA-BSSR). The national focus of this 5-year training program, started in July 2020, is to incorporate computational and data science analytic approaches directly into behavioral and social sciences predoctoral degree programs. The T32 program will support the development of a cohort of specialized scholars pursuing careers in health-related research with competencies in data science analytics. This funding opportunity was designed to address key methodology innovation and training priorities in the OBSSR Strategic Plan 2017-2021.


The UC San Diego/SDSU T32 TADA-BSSR program is specifically for students in either the SDSU/ UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program of Clinical Psychology or Public Health. Specifically, students in these programs can apply following admission to one these programs or any time thereafter, to receive:
  1. Partial funding1 for up to 3 years to support their training, renewed yearly based on student progress;
  2. Access to intensive training in data science and informatics methods offered by HDSI and bioinformatics relevant to social and behavioral science research (see full course overview);
  3. Inclusion in seminars and grand rounds held both locally in San Diego and in partnership with the seven other T32 sites across the U.S; and
  4. Network opportunities to enable T32 trainees to access and engage with mentors at other T32 institutions across the U.S.

NIH Requirements

NIH requires students in the T32 program to be US citizens or permanent residents.2 Students in the JDP program in public health can apply following admission into the JDP or any time thereafter until the end of their third year. Students in the clinical psychology JDP can apply after their first year through the end of their third year. Students will be required to take courses relevant to data science3 and the T32’s core competency targets as part of their training and will also be expected to take part in seminars relevant to data science. In addition, T32 students will be provided co-mentorship from both a behavioral/social scientist and a data scientist/informatics professor and will be required to incorporate a data science element into the research conducted as part of their program of study (e.g., doctoral dissertation or other research leading to publications).

Program Requirements

Students must be:
  • Enrolled in either the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program Clinical Psychology or Public Health Within the Public Health program, students can express interest in their application to the PhD program that they want to also be considered for the T32 program. If they are admitted to the PhD program, then their application will be reviewed for possible inclusion in the T32 program. Within the Psychology program, students cannot apply until the end of their first year.;
  • Be citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment (i.e., show a Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551 or other legal verification);
  • Capable of and willing to take additional courses (up to 24 units, contingent upon the number of years to be supported via the T32 program) in specialized training in informatics and data science4 in addition to their core JDP classes;
  • Committed to including a data science/informatics component explicitly into their research endeavors and be willing to be co-mentored by both a social/behavioral scientist and data scientist/informaticist.
  • Demonstrating an interest and capacity to engage with advanced data science/informatics methods in relation to social and behavioral science topic areas.
  • Willing to complete all required NIH T32 requirements including evaluation and tracking.
1 NIH limits the funding to 60% of tuition or $16,000/year, whichever is lower, allowable fees, and NIH’s published stipend levels, currently $25,320 per year, $2,110 monthly ( The remaining 40% of tuition cannot be paid from federal grants and is the responsibility of the advisor or mentor of the student.
3 Up to 24 units, with final number based on number of years in the program and trainee’s prior training.
4Prior courses already taken on advanced statistical or related data science or informatics methods can be counted as part of the total course load, with decision made on if the course meets the criteria for being an appropriate for the T32 program made by the program leadership)