Olivier Supplisson (France), 2021-22

Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, as well as a dual degree at HEC Paris and ENSAE Paris in statistics and business, I was eager to pursue a research-oriented program in public. I was looking for a program that would provide me with the necessary technical and methodological tools to understand the particular challenges faced by clinical researchers, while also offering a comprehensive curriculum on topics such as meta-research, reproducibility, and evidence synthesis.

During my first year internship at ENSAE, I discovered the research program and scientific excellence of the METHODS team, who manage the Master’s program. Additionally, I was aware of the team’s links with Cochrane, an international organization dedicated to improving the quality of clinical research and the advancement of evidence-based medicine. These factors motivated me to apply for the Master’s program, which I joined in the fall of 2022.

In the first semester of the program, I found the curriculum to be of very high quality, with professors from both France and abroad. The program’s international composition facilitated cross-cultural exchange, further enriching my educational experience. The curriculum was designed to allow for a gradual immersion into the specificities of clinical research, with topics progressing in complexity over time. Additionally, weekly projects provided practical opportunities to apply theoretical concepts, helping to keep track with the program’s fast-paced nature.

During the second semester, I did my internship at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, within the epidemiology of emerging diseases unit, working on the use of self-tests during the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 waves in France. I secured this internship during the summer preceding the start of the academic year, and I would strongly recommend future students to start searching for internships early to reduce the burden of internship applications and to focus more on coursework. Having a clear professional objective in mind and trying to align your internship accordingly might be an effective strategy.

I am currently enrolled in a PhD program in public health at the Collège de France (ANRS|MIE funding), where I am working on the epidemiology of human herpesvirus infections, under the direction of Dr. Samuel Alizon, Professor Sonia Burrel, and Dr. Mircea Sofonea. I am convinced that the Master’s program equipped me with the necessary tools to confidently approach my doctoral program, providing the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to have a critical view of the existing literature, as well as of my own work.

Overall, I would strongly recommend the Master’s program to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of clinical research issues, medical statistics, and evidence-based medicine.

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