The Research Biostatistician at VCOM provides statistical advice, analysis, and education to VCOM researchers through statistical consulting and collaboration. This includes help with study design, sample size calculation, data visualization and analysis, and interpretation of statistical concepts and analysis results. Services are offered to researchers through two types of assistance: Statistical Consulting and Collaboration Meetings and Statistical Consulting Sessions.
Statistical Consulting Sessions are designed to address your quick statistical questions or to help with research projects requiring less than 30 minutes of assistance. Please sign up for assistance and provide brief information via the Statistical Consulting and Collaboration Request Form. A biostatistician will contact you by email/phone call to arrange either ZOOM or in-person meetings.
Statistical Consulting and Collaboration Meetings are developed for more in-depth questions or longer projects and offer the researchers more flexibility of timing and meeting approaches.
If you wish to consult or collaborate with a biostatistician, please review the guidelines below and then complete this form:
Statistical Consulting and Collaboration Request Form
For detailed information and training on statistical analysis, data preparation, open-source software, and material focused specifically on biomedical research, please visit the in-depth Statistical Resources page.
Statistical Consulting and Collaboration Guidelines
- Please understand that statistical consulting deals with simple questions that can be solved within a short period (approximately 1-1.5 hour) and does not need repeated scheduled meetings with the biostatistician, whereas statistical collaboration answers research questions and it requires long-term partnership with the biostatistician, preferably from the initial design of the study to the end. Statistical collaboration is the appropriate approach for extramural and intramural research, with the role of the biostatistician funded through grant submission.
- Please understand that the biostatistician primarily provides advice (and when possible, assistance) on cleaning or formatting data and data variable names. Please recognize that reformatting the data is often required and when required it will delay results.
- Please try to come prepared to the first meeting with research background, research goals and questions, research papers that may assist the biostatistician in understanding my research, and results of any analyses already performed—including plots or graphs.
- Please understand that many problems cannot be solved in just one meeting and be prepared to meet several times with the biostatistician if needed.
- Please understand that request should be received well ahead of the proposed deadline (minimum 4 weeks) to receive proper attention. In rare exceptions, and subject to the availability of the biostatistician, limited assistance may be provided on short notice. However, because of the high volume of assistance provided, there can be no guarantee that every requested deadline can be honored.
- Please understand that projects are processed based on the request date (first come, first serve) and hard deadlines. In addition, projects may be triaged based on VCOM priorities.
- Please understand that you cannot receive assistance on class projects or homework.
- We will provide assistance in a timely manner to the collaborators.
- We will provide advice in data formatting or cleaning if needed.
- We will advise the collaborators on appropriate study design or analyses for their data and assist in performing the analyses as time allows.
- We will discuss with the collaborators statistical assumptions made and the potential drawbacks of different analyses.
- We will attempt to explain the statistical methods used and results in a way that the collaborators understand.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the research biostatisticians.
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