HomeAboutGlobal HealthMECOR Program ▶ MECOR China


Methods in Epidemiologic,
Clinical and Operations Research (MECOR)


“Improving global lung health through development of local, country and regional lung disease research capacity”


Dates: March 25th- 30th, 2025

Full day


Guangzhou, China

Application Dates:

August 1, 2024 - November 30, 2024



MECOR Faculty:
MECOR Course Director: Shannon Carson
MECOR Course Director: Yahong Chen
ATS Senior Manager, Global Health: Jadir Oliveira


The ATS MECOR Program

The primary aim of the ATS MECOR Program is capacity building for research, based on the idea that individuals with skills in research are needed develop, design and carry out studies to identify and quantify the burden of lung disease in their country and to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that are likely to be effective in their settings. The ATS MECOR Program, now in its 28th year, has developed into a 3-level program with a range of competencies that include basic research design, data analysis, presentation skills and manuscript preparation.

In 2012, an ATS MECOR Program was developed for China. The first course was held in Beijing in collaboration with Peking University Clinical Research Institute. In 2015, the ATS MECOR Program was further developed in collaboration with West China Hospital/West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. In 2016, the course was conducted with collaboration from the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease in Guangzhou. The course returned to West China Hospital in 2017. In April 11-15, 2018, the course was conducted in Beijing with the support of the Respiratory Disease Clinical Research Fund  of China Songqingling Foundation.In March 20-24,2019, the course was held in Shanghai and  supported by the Respiratory Disease Clinical Research Fund  of China Songqingling Foundation and  Prof. Hui-li Zhu (Huadong hospital, Fudan University ). Due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, our course was held virtually in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. However, we are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to an in-person course in 2023. We can't wait to welcome you back and provide you with the high-quality education and networking opportunities that our course has always offered.

The goal of the ATS MECOR Program is to improve global lung health through the development of local and regional lung disease research capacity. This, in turn, will provide the capacity for collaboration in clinical and epidemiologic projects with a cadre of trained clinicians and scientists. The content of the ATS MECOR Program courses has been carefully chosen to emphasize local and regional respiratory disease problems that are of public health importance.

Description the ATS MECOR 2.0 Curriculum

The ATS MECOR Program is designed for clinicians, investigators, academicians, and public health professionals who primarily work with pulmonary diseases to provide training in research methods. The ATS MECOR 2.0 Curriculum will provide this training by working with them over a 3-year period to fully develop and complete a research study including publication in the medical literature. Students will prepare for the first course by reviewing videotaped lectures and reading assigned texts. They will attend a 5-day Level 1 of the program to identify their research question and develop an outline of a feasible research protocol that they can complete over at 3-year period. Students will return in the 2 subsequent years to work with faculty mentors to complete Levels 2 and 3 in the program for additional course work and mentoring to complete their study and prepare the publication.

Goals of each level are as follows:

Level 1: Introduction to Clinical Research

  • To acquaint all incoming students with the basic components of a research project with a specific focus on developing a research question.
  • To provide all incoming students with a uniform understanding of general research concepts, approaches and vocabulary.
  • To assist all students in developing an outline of a research protocol that they can conduct in their clinical or academic setting and complete over their 3-year curriculum in MECOR.
  • To assist students in completing and submitting an application to their Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Level 2: Clinical Research Methods

  • To develop the statistical approach and describe the specific tests to be used in each student’s study.
  • To prepare dummy tables and graphs to be included in their papers.
  • Preparing a clean data set.
  • To prepare a manual of procedures for the study, including a plan for quality control.

Level 3: Advanced Clinical Research Methods

  • Work with mentors to complete data analyses for a completed study and write a paper
  • Work with faculty mentors to write a grant application to fund subsequent studies


The competencies for the ATS MECOR Program are listed below.
As the ATS MECOR Program was developed for each country, region or (sub) continent, the program design has taken into consideration the local/regional respiratory disease research needs and has, inevitably, been shaped by the availability of resources.

Prerequisites for all ATS MECOR Program courses include:

  • Fluency in the language of the course as demonstrated by submission of an essay written in that language as part of the application process.
  • Medical degree or advanced degree in related areas such as public health, nursing, physical therapy etc.
  • Participants are required to attend class for the full 5 days and are expected to do preparation before the course and in the evenings. The week's course work is demanding, and participants must be willing to free themselves of all other clinical commitments for the week of the course and participate in all class work.
  • Participants must be prepared and willing to present their research protocols or week's work on the last day.
  • All Level 1 participants are expected to return to the MECOR course in the two subsequent years to complete the full MECOR curriculum and their research projects.
  • Students are expected to work on their research projects between courses with the assistance of faculty mentors remotely and online resources.
  • Admission to the level 2 course requires having received IRB approval for the study designed in their Level 1 course
  • Admission to the Level 3 course requires completion of data collection for their project and having completed and cleaned database

The ATS MECOR Program Faculty

The ATS MECOR Program model is very different from the traditional educational model in that it is very highly interactive, with most of the course time spent working in small groups in which every student is expected to fully participate. As a result, the courses have a very high faculty to student ratio, with one faculty member advising a group of 2-4 students. Faculty are present throughout the week participating in all small group work. All ATS MECOR Program courses include faculty from North America as well as from the sponsoring regional or country Thoracic Societies.


Textbook required for use in the ATS MECOR Program includes:

  • Level 1: Designing Clinical Research: An Epidemiologic Approach, Hulley SB (3rd Edition 2006, 4th Edition 2013, or later, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins).
  • Level 2: Statistics at Square One, Campbell MJ (11th Edition 2009, Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Level 3: Publishing and Presenting Research, Browner WJ (3rd Edition, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins)

NOTE:  electronic versions of textbooks will be made available to all students upon acceptance to course.