Epi on the Island Summer Courses 2020

Note on COVID-19 consequences for the 2020 Summer Course program:
Module 1 will not take place as originally scheduled; updates will be posted at this page on whether, when and how Module 1 course may be delivered later this summer;
Module 2 and Module 3 are cancelled or postponed (time unknown);
Until further notice, registration is not available.

June 15 – 19 (Module 1), June 22 – 26 (Module 2) , July 6 – 10 (Module 3)

Module 1
Introduction to Multilevel Modelling
June 15 – 19 (schedule)

Instructors: Professors Ian Dohoo, Henrik Stryhn & Javier Sanchez
CVER, AVC, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)

The 5-day course is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to successfully fit multilevel models to both continuous data (linear models) Dand discrete data (emphasis on logistic and Poisson models). The presentation of theoretical background material is limited to that which is required for a reasonable understanding of the methods employed. Specific topics covered in the course include: introduction to multilevel/hierarchical data, mixed models for continuous data, mixed models for discrete data, model evaluation (diagnostics), analysis of repeated measures and alternative approaches to dealing with clustered data (including Bayesian methods). The main software used for the instruction is MLwiN, but the code for fitting models in additional software packages (including Stata and R) will also be provided.

Module 2
Asking Questions That People Can and Want to Answer
– Questionnaire Design and Measurement Scales
June 22 – 26 (schedule)

Instructor: Dr. Marika Wenemark, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences,
Linköping University, Sweden
Instructor: Dr. Ian Dohoo, Professor Emeritus, CVER, AVC, UPEI

Perhaps you are one of the many people who have thought … “Developing a questionnaire can’t be very difficult”, or “Evaluating a producer’s attitude toward antibiotics should be pretty straightforward”. Maybe you want to think again. The literature is full of studies based on questionnaires that were poorly designed, badly executed, and had terrible response rates. Many of those investigators will have combined answers to multiple questions and pretended the results were a good measurement of something (even if they are not sure what).

This course will teach you how to develop a questionnaire which people can answer (and hence produce valid responses) and want to answer (hence providing a better response rate).

The questionnaire design topic will cover basic principles in writing questions and choosing the right response options, but we will also enter the respondent’s mind through knowledge of the cognitive process to answer questions and learn how that knowledge can be used to write effective questions that are easy to understand and answer. The course will also focus on different ways to test and evaluate survey questions as well as how to motivate people to take part in your survey.

Frequently we want to come up with estimates of quantities which cannot be measured directly, such as a producer’s attitude toward antibiotic resistance, or an overall measure of hygiene on a dairy farm. To come up with this summary measure, we need to combine data from multiple questions or observations into an overall scale. Methods to do this have been well developed in education and psychology, but have been little used in veterinary epidemiology. This course will teach you how to develop effective measurement scales. Specific topics to be covered include: introduction to scales; classical scale evaluation; introduction to item response theory (IRT) models; IRT models for binary data; IRT models for ordinal data; and constructing scales.

Module 3
Econ on the Island – An Introduction to Health Economics
July 6 – 10 (schedule)

Instructor: Dr. Mike Paulden, Assistant Professor
School of Public Health, University of Alberta
Instructor: Dr. David C. Hall, Associate Professor, Animal Health Economics and Policy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

This 5-day course provides an introduction to health economics applicable from the perspectives of both human and animal health professionals. A blend of examples, methodologies, and hands-on activities will be presented covering topics in both human health (e.g., program effectiveness, cost of illness to society) and animal health (e.g., impact of a zoonotic disease) that will be of interest and value to both groups of attendees. There will also be an opportunity to divide the class into two groups for more focused study with selected presentation to the entire class at the end of the week.

The course will emphasize understanding concepts and awareness of methodologies ranging from introductory (e.g., basic benefit-cost ratios, allocation of costs, valuation of loss of productivity) to intermediate (e.g., choice variable analysis, cost to society of disease outbreaks, designing mitigation strategies). Most examples will be presented in a format consistent with spreadsheet modeling; limited use of regression techniques or more advanced methods will be provided depending on interest.

The course will be directed to graduate students, health professionals, and researchers. Participants are encouraged to bring their own problems to work with during the course.


For each module, the following registration fees apply (amounts are in $Cdn and include taxes and administration fees):

Module 1: Introduction to Multilevel Modelling

     Participant              Up to May 16th        After May 16th
Students*           750              850
Academic & Public sector     1200             1300
Private sector   1500             1600

Module 2: Asking Questions That People Can and Want to Answer – Questionnaire Design and Measurement Scales

     Participant              Up to May 16th        After May 16th
Students*           750              850
Academic & Public sector     1200             1300
Private sector   1500             1600

Module 3: Econ on the Island – An Introduction to Health Economics

     Participant              Up to May 16th        After May 16th
Students*           750              850
Academic & Public sector     1200             1300
Private sector   1500             1600

*Proof of enrollment in a graduate program at a university (not necessarily UPEI) required

A discount of 10% will be offered for participants taking at least 2 courses. In order to get the 10% discount for taking at least two courses, be sure to click “Enter promo code” first, type 2course, click Apply (with the color blue, at the top left of the “checkout” page), then proceed to the remaining steps for the course registration.

Cancellations before or on May 16th will be fully refunded except for non-recoverable fees associated with the registration system. An 80% reimbursement with a cancellation at least 8 days before each course will be offered.

Click on the following Eventbrite logo for registering to Epi on the Island Summer Courses 2020.  


Participants will have to book their own accommodations.  Below you will find information on places to stay by visiting links to our Tourism PEI website and on campus residences.  Please contact the hotel or residence directly to book your accommodation.

The Tourism PEI (http://www.tourismpei.com/index.php3) website will provide you with links to a variety of accommodations across the Island as well as information on places to eat, festivals and events and things to do during your stay.

The UPEI Campus offers residence rooms to conference participants
(http://www.upei.ca/conference/accommodations). Choose from one of three UPEI residences, each with its own unique style and amenities. Residence accommodations include free parking, local telephone access, a bed linen and towel exchange service, and 24 hour security.

For further inquiries, please contact Jenny Yu at jennyyu@upei.ca.

We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, this summer!