Causal Mediation Analysis

A 2-Day Remote Seminar Taught by
Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D.

Read reviews of this course

To see a sample of the course materials, click here.

This seminar is currently sold out. To be added to the wait list, email

This seminar will focus on some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and will provide practical tools to implement those techniques. Mediation analysis deals with the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will discuss the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in the biomedical and social sciences and new methods of causal inference for dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes.

Starting October 23, we are offering this seminar as a 2-day synchronous*, remote workshop for the first time. Each day will consist of a full-day live lecture held via the free video-conferencing software Zoom, with a lunch break from 12:30pm-1:30pm ET. Participants are encouraged to join the lecture live, but will have the opportunity to view the recorded session later in the day if they are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

The seminar will include hands-on exercises reviewing the content covered, and participants will have the opportunity to review the exercise results with the instructor and ask any questions.

*We understand that scheduling is difficult during this unpredictable time. If you prefer, you may take all or part of the course asynchronously. The video recordings will be made available within 24 hours of each session and will be accessible for one week after the seminar, meaning that you will get all of the class content and discussions even if you cannot participate synchronously. 


We will also consider when standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid and when they are not valid. These approaches will be extended to more complex settings. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be discussed in detail. SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R macros to implement mediation methods will be demonstrated and distributed to course participants.

Other topics include the use and implementation of sensitivity analysis (to assess how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions) and extensions to multiple mediators.


This remote seminar is held via Zoom, a free video conferencing application. Instructions for joining a session via Zoom are available here. Before the seminar begins, participants will receive an email with the meeting code and password you must use to join.

In all cases, methods will be illustrated using software, with SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R examples and syntax. This is a hands-on course with at least one hour each day devoted to carefully structured and supervised assignments. 

To do the exercises, you will need to use your own computer with a recent version of SAS, Stata, SPSS, or R. SAS and Stata will be supported by the instructor. Macros in SPSS and R will also be accessible, but SPSS and R will not be directly supported by the instructor.

Who should Register?

Course prerequisites: Familiarity with linear and logistic regression. Some knowledge of counterfactual or potential outcomes notation is helpful, but not necessary.

Seminar Outline

1. Concepts and methods for mediation
2. Sensitivity analysis
3. Mediation with time-to-event outcome
4. Multiple mediators
5. Surrogate outcomes
6. A unification of mediation and interaction

REviews of Causal Mediation Analysis

“Dr. VanderWeele is an excellent teacher and provides detailed, thorough explanation of mediation analysis in this course. The course is well set up, exposes students to advanced analytical approaches, and provides some excellent guidance on how I can improve my approach in answering the scientific hypotheses of my interests. I took this course for my dissertation research and it has been very helpful in every possible way.”
  Ninad Chaudhary, University of Alabama, Birmingham

“Dr. VanderWeele is an expert in the field of causal mediation analysis and this is a great opportunity to obtain a personal instruction on a new methodology. The applied assignment allows individuals to apply the newly acquired knowledge in a setting where you can receive live feedback from an instructor that is easy to understand. All around great experience.”
  Michael Flores, Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Health Alliance

“The course provided practical tips and analytical skills that you can easily understand and apply despite its convoluted concepts and theories. The instructor’s explanation was clear, easy to understand, and free of any jargon. I highly recommend this course to supplement analytical skills.”
  Machiko Minegishi, Harvard University

“This course provides a great opportunity to learn causal mediation analysis and have a hands-on experience with statistical programs. Very helpful feedback from Dr. VanderWeele. Great opportunity to meet researchers with similar interests. Highly recommended!”
  Shu Xu, New York University

“This course was very helpful for me. I have a better understanding of causal mediation analysis. I enjoyed the great lectures.”
  Yoshihito Goto, Kyoto University

“The course was well-taught and informative. It was geared toward intermediate to advanced students and it was helpful to go in depth in a particular topic.”
  Jennifer Brite, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

“Wonderful course! The instructor was exceptionally thoughtful in his explanations and very patient answering questions. The course provided great information about methods as well as information about tools and resources available for a variety of applications. I highly recommend the course on mediation analysis.”
  Mary Vaughan-Sarrazin, University of Iowa Hospital