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Education

Courses and training

SAS training

The SAS system provides a way of creating and/or accessing a variety of data sets, with techniques for manipulating the data to obtain output ranging from simple frequency tables to complex three-dimensional graphs.

The goal of the MCHP online SAS tutorial is to provide the new user with enough knowledge of SAS to translate basic research questions into SAS code, enabling completion of the research project required by the Epidemiology of Health Care course at the University of Manitoba. Additional "intermediate" training material has been developed for new users of the MCHP data bases; Intermediate SAS (PDF) covers arrays, do loops, first/last by-group processing, retain statements, and how to work with dates. (Complete SAS Institute manual documentation is available online under Academic Software References, Vendor Reference Materials, on the Software team resources page, recognized with University of Manitoba IP addresses.)

A printable version of the SAS workshop manual (PDF) is available.

SAS software is available from the University of Manitoba for employees and students; more detailed information regarding SAS is available from the SAS website.

SAS tutorial

The MCHP online SAS tutorial is best viewed using at least Version 3 of Netscape or Internet Explorer, with a minimum setting on an SVGA monitor of 256 colours, 800x600 pixels. It was developed for use with SAS Release 9.1 (Windows 95/98 or Windows NT operating system). In addition to the usual system Help menu, this version of SAS provides additional information to licenses under the Help headings of "SAS OnlineDoc" and "Online Tutor".

As a self-guided tutorial, it is suggested that the user review the general guidelines and SAS program syntax first. The remaining material might then be followed sequentially: how to prepare a data set, how to view the data, how to explore and manipulate the data, how to add observations and variables to a data set, and how to process the data. (If the user runs SAS and the browser simultaneously, example code can be copied from the browser to the Program Editor window in SAS.)

Several sample data sets are referenced:

  1. Height/weight - is used throughout for illustrative purposes.
  2. Simulated clinical - can be created by the user to complete the questions found at the end of the sections on viewing, exploring, manipulating, adding variables and observations, and processing the data (with links to how the program, log, and output should look).
  3. Simulated Manitoba Health - the data set used by students of the Epidemiology of Health Care course to complete the required assignments, only obtainable from MCHP, not from this tutorial. Additional questions are included here, for use with this data set, complete with links to the program, log, and output.

SAS has improved its interface to the point where a lot of analysis can be simply and quickly carried out using menus, examples of which are provided in the alternatives to programming section. It is often desirable, however, for users to have a basic understanding of SAS programming. Knowledge of SAS programming facilitates not only spotting some of the pitfalls inherent in processing data, but also maintaining more complete documentation of all the steps required to produce any given output. It is all too frequently necessary, in the course of carrying out research, to reproduce results which may have required a complex series of data processing steps.

It is important to recognize that there is often no one "right" way of obtaining accurate results. For simplification and continuity, this document reflects one style of writing SAS code. There are other more or less efficient ways of constructing SAS code, however, all of which may produce identical results. Where alternatives exist for generating results, a legitimate, and often preferred, choice is code that the user understands.

Student support

  • Support for students using the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository

    MCHP data analysts can help students develop their project proposals and provide support to develop the data files. Students receive discounted access to the Repository. Data analysts are available to advise on analyses and interpretation of results. Guidance on preparing student thesis proposals is available.

  • Support for students supervised by MCHP faculty

    MCHP has workspace available for students within the MCHP offices. Students are part of the MCHP family and are invited to join in staff meetings and events. A student engagement committee organizes student research forums and events and shares useful hints and tips for working with the repository.

Support, awards and prizes

There are a number of supports available to students working with the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository including:

Manitoba Training Program for Health Services Research

Program description:

The Manitoba Training Program for Health Services Research (MTP) is an applied training program for students engaged in health services research. Students must be accepted and enrolled in a thesis-based master's or PhD graduate program at the University of Manitoba. Preference will be given to students who are in the first or second year of their graduate program. Students may receive support from the Manitoba Training Program (MTP) for a total period of one year (September to August). MTP students receive $17,850 per year for master’s students and $22,500 for PhD students, paid on university payroll in bi-weekly installments. Benefits are not provided. Priority will be given to students who have not previously received MTP funds.

MTP students receiving other awards will have their MTP stipends adjusted accordingly and will be given an incentive top-up. For students receiving additional funding from other awards, the MTP stipend will be adjusted to offer an incentive top-up.

Training requirements:

In addition to requirements of their respective graduate programs, MTP students must complete the following training activities:

  • Enrol for credit in the MTP seminar series, CHSC 7730, Topics in Health Services Research, offered September – April (3 credit hours). This course is offered approximately every other Monday morning for the fall and every other Wednesday for the winter academic term.
  • Take at most one additional course through the Department of Community Health Sciences. This includes: i) CHSC 7320, Organization and Finance of the Canadian Health Care System.
  • Attend, at minimum, one of the knowledge translation workshops offered by Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.
  • Conduct an approximate 10 week (full-time equivalent not to exceed 20 weeks in total) Manitoba-based work experience practicum aimed at bridging the gap between research and practice.
  • On a competitive basis, students will be supported to participate in and attend the annual Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) Conference.
  • Acknowledge MTP support (and support of MTP funders) in appropriate publications/presentations.

Please note: upon approval of their advisory committees, students are able to apply MTP courses towards their graduate programs of study.

Evelyn Shapiro Award for Health Services Research

Professor Evelyn Shapiro had a long and illustrious career in health services research, particularly in the realm of health policy as it relates to the care and provision of services for older adults. She developed Manitoba's home care program and worked nationally to implement similar programs across Canada. Professor Shapiro was a founding faculty member of the Department of Community Health Sciences and, as a lead researcher with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, earned world-acclaim for her innovative and policy-relevant research.

Professor Shapiro’s many accolades include the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour (their highest award bestowed on a non-physician). In 2007, Professor Shapiro was named a Member of the Order of Canada. Professor Shapiro passed away in November 2010 at the age of 84.

On the occasion of her retirement, the Evelyn Shapiro Award for Health Services Research was established to support the work of graduate students in an area of health services research. The Award is designated to help cover the cost of data access up to a maximum of $5,000.

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Roos Prize for Best Publication in Population Health

The Roos Prize for Best Publication in Population Health recognizes excellence in sharing research findings by rewarding high quality research publication. The Prize, funded from an endowment established at UM in 2010, honours the pioneering work of Drs. Leslie and Noralou Roos in the use of administrative data for research, their extensive publication and knowledge sharing reputations, and their role in the creation of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP).

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Student opportunities

From time to time MCHP researchers have opportunities for students to work as research assistants.

MCHP provides opportunities for students by:

  • Providing employment opportunities to support research projects
  • Offering COOP student placements (e.g., Computer Science students as Data Analysts)
  • Offering internship opportunities (e.g., Creative Communications, Statistics)
  • Offering Indigenous student internships

Opportunities will be posted here when available.

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, 
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB  R3E 3P5 Canada

204-789-3819