Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp: A Practical Guide to Study Design and Implementation


Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp - Columbia University SHARP TrainingRegistration is open! Join us for the next live-stream Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp on August 11-12, 2022.  


The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp is a two-day intensive combination of seminars and hands-on analytical sessions to provide an overview of the concepts, techniques, packages, data sources, and data analysis methods needed to conduct Mendelian Randomization studies.     

Subscribe here for notifications on registration deadlines and Mendelian Randomization course updates.



Summer 2022 dates: Live-stream, online training August 11-12, 2022; 10:00am - ~5:30pm EDT

This two-day intensive boot camp integrates motivation for Mendelian randomization studies, statistical concepts, genetic considerations, and practical examples to design, implement and interpret a Mendelian randomization analysis. Led by a scientist with several award winning papers on Mendelian randomization combined with extensive expertise in epidemiology, the workshop will integrate seminar lectures with hands-on computer sessions to put concepts into practice. Emphasis will be given to leveraging existing publicly available resources (data, tools and packages) as well as indicating the scope for new studies. The afternoon lab sessions will provide an opportunity to work hands-on with real data. Participants will learn and practice all the steps required for a successful Mendelian randomization analysis using publicly available data, including identifying suitable data sources, data extraction, data alignment, assumption checking and sensitivity analysis. 

By the end of this Mendelian Randomization training, participants will be familiar with the following topics: 

  • Principles of Mendelian Randomization 

  • Implementation options 

  • Suitable publicly available data sources 

  • Data interpretation and handling 

  • Data analysis 

  • Sensitivity analysis 

  • Study design advantages and pitfalls 

  • Emerging Mendelian randomization techniques 

  • Use of MR-Base 

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate. 


  1. Each participant is required have a working laptop or tablet with video and audio capabilities, and a free, basic RStudio Cloud account. All lab sessions will be done using RStudio Cloud.

  2. The Boot Camp will use data sets in R/RStudio using the RStudio Cloud platform, therefore it is required that each participant has previous experience using R. 

If you have any specific questions about R and R studio in the context of the Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp, please email us


Mary Schooling, PhD, Department of Environmental, Occupational, and Geospatial Health Sciences at CUNY School of Public Health. 


Scholarships are available for the Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp. 


The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp will no longer take place in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boot Camp will instead be a live-stream, remote training that takes place over live, online video on August 11-12, 2022 from 10am EDT - ~5:30pm EDT. Please note this training is not a self-paced, pre-recorded online training.


"The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp was extremely useful and provided me with practical knowledge and understanding of the tools that I can now readily apply in my research." - Faculty member at New York University, 2021

"I think the course was well done. Mary was very knowledgeable and provided simple explanations to difficult concepts." - Ruth C., Staff Scientist at NIH, 2021

"Comprehensive and quick introduction to useful tools and ideas for performing Mendelian Randomization." - Staff member at AbbVie, 2021

"This was easily the best workshop I've attended. I left feeling like I could apply the skills I learned immediately." - Student at The University of Arizona, 2021

"The Boot Camp provided a great introduction to Mendelian Randomization, the methods, applicability and limitations." - Faculty member at Cornell University, 2020 (virtual) 

Check out more testimonials here.


COVID-19 Update: With the training being offered virtually, we are passing along any and all costs saved to attendees.

  Early-Bird Rate (through 6/15/22) Regular Rate (6/16/22 - 8/1/22) Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee $925 $1,025  10% off
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations/Government Agencies $1,025 $1,225 10% off
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations​ $1,225 $1,425 NA


*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. To access the Columbia discount, email for instructions and specify the following: 1) your registration category from the table above, 2) if you are paying by credit card, or internal transfer within Columbia, and 3) if an internal transfer, indicate the registration category from the table above, and if grant funds are being used.

Invoice Payment and Group Registrations: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, or would like to pay for a group of registrants, please email with the following details: 1) full attendee name(s) and applicable registration category from the table above, and 2) payment method (credit card, invoice, wire).

Registration Fee: includes course material which will be available to all students after the workshop.  

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14 days prior to the training.

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded. 




Want updates on new Boot Camp details or registration deadlines? Subscribe here.

Questions? Email the Mendelian Randomization team here.

The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp is hosted by Columbia University's SHARP Program at the Mailman School of Public Health.


Additional Testimonials

"Now I know how to make use of existing GWAS results to solve MR problems. The potential and opportunities are massive!" - Academic Staff member at the University of California, San Francisco, 2020 (virtual) 

"As someone who had very limited prior knowledge of Mendelian Randomization, I found this course very useful. The team was extremely helpful and receptive to modifying the course to best fit the needs of the attendees." - Postdoc at Harvard University, 2020 (virtual) 

"A fantastic introduction into the world of Mendelian Randomization. Dr. Schooling was incredibly insightful and provided a well-rounded overview of Mendelian Randomization." - Student at UNT Health Science Center, 2020 (virtual) 

"Excellent comprehensive introduction to MR. All concepts and analysis steps were well explained and after completing the course I felt ready to critically read and interpret MR analyses and methods papers, and ready to conduct my own studies." - Faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2020 (virtual) 

"This is a very useful program. The idea and concept how to do causal analysis and applying instrumental variable analysis in complex biology data will be very useful for advance data analysis and drug development." - Staff member at Johnson & Johnson, 2020 (virtual) 

"The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp was a really great experience! I enjoyed the mix between learning the concepts, practicing, and then applying the methods to my own research." - Student at Vanderbilt University, 2019 

"This class was a good overview of the current state of MR and made it so we can perform our own MR studies." - Anonymous Postdoc, 2019 

"I thought this was a great overview of the principles and methods of mendelian randomization. More importantly, the hands-on component made me much more comfortable performing my own analyses." - Anonymous Faculty member, 2019 

"I learned a lot from this MR Boot Camp and am now ready to apply MR to my area of research." - Postdoc at University of South Florida, 2019 

"Mary provided all the tools and resources needed to carry out quality MR analyses. With this course, I feel confident in applying MR to my research in addition to teaching it to my peers and colleagues." - Student from University of Minnesota, 2018 

"Mary covered the topic in a very straightforward fashion and everything was very clear. The practicals were relevant to the topic and the TA's were very knowledgeable and helpful as well." - Staff member at University of Pennsylvania, 2018 

"The MR Boot Camp was excellent and gave nice overview of the methods. In the end, all of us were prepared to do our own MR study. "- Anonymous Attendee, 2018 

Very practical workshop for attendees to apply the skills learned on their research question of interest. - Anonymous Attendee, 2018