Data Collection and Management for Clinical Research (EPI 218)

Summer 2024 (2 units)

All research studies must securely store data, query it, and prepare it for statistical analysis. Many research studies will also collect new data. Commonly-used spreadsheet applications (such as Microsoft Excel) are are inadequate for these tasks.

This course prepares students to begin their own research data collection and managgment systems (RDBMSs) used by virtually all major commercial database systems. It also gives students practical, hands-on experience in developing research data systems using REDCap (a web-based data capture system), as well as moving and converting data between systems. Students will survey many of the advanced features of REDCap and Access and see why researchers should nearly always choose true database applications for collecting and managing their research data.

For many students, this course will be a first introduction to UCSF's secure cloud computing environment, the Reserach Analysis Environment (RAE). Some use of Stata and (optionally R is included at an introductory level.


Online Syllabus


The objectives for this course are for participants to:

  • Comprehend the basics of the Relational Database Model, including key concepts such as tables, records, fields, data types, relationships, and primary/foreign keys.
  • Develop simple but useful data collection systems using REDCap.
  • Execute the basics of querying a multi-table, relational database using SQL.
  • Prepare (and budget) for data management in a research study.


Each week, for seven weeks, curricular material is introduced with a lecture and an assignment in which students apply the material. Weekly computer lab sessions give students the opportunity to practice, ask questions, and interact with course faculty.

Lectures: Thursdays, 8:30 AM to 9:20 AM, July 18 through August 29, 2024.
In-person lectures, providing an overview of the curricular material for the week, are given 8:30 AM to 9:20 AM every Thursday at Mission Hall, beginning Thursday, July 18. A recording of the lecture is available on the course's syllabus and can be viewed by students who are unable to attend in person.

Computer Labs: Thursdays, 9:30 AM AM to 10:30 AM, July 18 through August 29, 2024.
The computer lab is held from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM every Thursday at Mission Hall, beginning July 18. Most students use the lab session to complete the weekly assignment, either individually or in groups. Course faculty are available during the lab session to address questions on the assignment or on any aspect of the curriculum. Although lab attendance is highly recommended, students may complete the weekly assignments without attending the corresponding lab session.

All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus.


Weekly Assignments
The course has six weekly assignments. As students work through the instructions, they complete an online quiz or create files for upload to the course syllabus site. The six assignments are worth 60% of the final course grade.  A seventh optional extra-credit assignment uses R. 

Final Project

The final project has two parts: Generation of research study data collection and management system that you have built; and creation of a brief data collection and management plan The final project is worth 40% of the course grade.

Official UCSF transcripts are not available for individual courses taken within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Students not in full-year TICR Programs who satisfactorily pass all course requirements will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Course Completion

Only UCSF students (defined as individuals enrolled in UCSF degree or certificate programs) will receive academic credit for courses. Official transcripts are available to UCSF students only. A Certificate of Course Completion will be available upon request to individuals who are not UCSF students and satisfactorily pass all course requirements.

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities

To Enroll

ATCR and MAS students use the Student Portal

Students taking individual courses:

Summer 2024 Course Fees
How to pay (please read before applying)
Summer 2024 Course Schedule

Apply by July 5, 2024 for summer quarter.
Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.