Applied Epi equips local COVID-19 response

Note:The R training materials that Applied Epi made for Emory University can be accessed for free at this website!

Helping local epis learn R

Following the launch of the Epidemiologist R Handbook, Applied Epi was approached by the Emory University COVID-19 Response Collaborative (ECRC) to deliver R training for its cohort of ECRC fellows - recently-graduated epidemiologists placed for two years in local Georgia health districts to respond to COVID-19. These local epidemiologists had indicated R training as one of their top learning priorities.

In August 2021, Applied Epi worked with ECRC administrators to deliver two virtual training sessions to over 40 participants - many of whom now use R in their response activities!

Using R for automated COVID-19 reports

The first training session demonstrated the use of R to build automated COVID-19 reports with R Markdown. Applied Epi built a customized case study that utilized anonymized data from Fulton County, Georgia. Step-by-step, the instructors walked the participants through data import, cleaning, and descriptive analyses. At the end, the participants had access to a full R Markdown script which they could apply to their own jurisdiction’s data!

Data visualization: basics and tips

The second training focused on data visualization with R’s ggplot2 package. Applied Epi instructors covered the fundamentals of ggplot2 syntax in a friendly, clear manner. This was followed by advanced tips and techniques, and an overview of using ggplot2 for creating GIS maps.


Participants resoundingly approved of the training, with 100% expressing that the content was clear/understandable and applicable to their needs.

Free and open-access materials

Applied Epi and Emory University have made all the training materials publicly available on this training website. Video recordings of the training are also viewable on the Applied Epi YouTube channel.