Mendelian Randomisation [EL018]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Tuesday to Thursday


Jeremy Labrecque, Carolina Borges, Katerina Trajanoska, and Fernando Rivadeneira

Course fee

€ 665


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




Understanding of genetic epidemiology and Statistics (elementary probability, and regression analysis)


  • Genetic Epidemiology


How to apply

Detailed information about this course:


With the advent of a very large number of genetic databases and resources, opportunities to conduct Mendelian randomization(MR) studies are quickly increasing. The MR approach proposes using genetic variants as instrumental variables to test or estimate the potential causal effect of a (non-genetic) risk factor on a disease or health-related outcome. When the assumptions are met, the MR approach can overcome the limitations of associations drawn from observational epidemiology and help prioritizing potential targets for pharmaceutical and public health interventions. This 3-day course aims to provide all the tools necessary first to understand the basic principles of causal inference underlying MR and second to perform an MR study; covering both simple and complex statistical methods for causal inference within one- and two- sample Mendelian randomisation frameworks. During the first day, basic principles of causal inference and mediation analysis will be covered. On the second day, students will apply the concepts learned on day 1 within a Mendelian randomisation framework; including methods to assess instrumental variable assumptions and working on hands-on practical sessions employing online tools like MR-base, but also using specific R-libraries. During day 3, examples of published MR studies will be presented followed by discussion of the topics and a short Q&A session. In addition, students will be able to run specific hands-on analyses with diverse summary level datasets. While theoretical background is provided on all topics, this is by definition a "hands-on" practical course, meaning you will spend most of the day performing MR analyses." Starting this year, the EL018 course will be given on a yearly basis.

See 'how to apply' for the course registration period.


  • Gain insight into disentangling the concepts of causation and association;
  • Learn aspects of design, execution and interpretation of MR studies;
  • Get familiar with hands-on applications (used for 1-sample and 2-sample MR) commonly used across MR/GWAS consortia.

Participant profile

Epidemiologists, geneticists, biostatisticians, investigators/physicians involved in clinical and pharmacological research.


Assignment(s), Attendance

Reduction on fees

PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to the fee of the research master programmes (120 EC points)

No fees are charged for  Erasmus MC PhD candidates, provided they have an account in Hora Finita, the Erasmus University PhD registration system. When submitting the application, you can state that someone else pays your tuition fee.

In case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.


25% reduction for all (international) PhD candidates without formal appointment at Erasmus MC

Upon receipt of your application you will receive a request to upload proof of enrollment as a PhD candidate.