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Biostatistics Unit

About us

Our biostatisticians are academic staff members who have expertise in providing advice and collaboration to researchers in the health sciences disciplines. Although individual biostatisticians come from different statistical backgrounds/skills, our common interest lies in the application of statistical expertise in health related research. As a team we have a diverse range of skills, with each biostatiscian having expertise in different areas of application.

In order for you to receive the highest quality biostatistical advice and collaboration, it is important biostatisticians be involved from the design stage of projects.

As experts in research methods, we have expertise in all parts of the health research process in addition to biostatistical analyses. This includes the honing of a research question, designing of studies, advising on data collection, advising on data entry, analyses, making and investigating inference, and preparation of journal articles. Also, many funding bodies require involvement of a biostatistician at planning statge of the studies. Most of all, we value and enjoy being part of a research team throught the process.

We also offer short courses for you to brush up on your own biostatistics skills.

How to request help

Once you have submitted your request you can expect to be contacted by one of our biostatisticians within 10 working days. If you are working to a deadline please include this information in your request. We would strongly encourage you to discuss your project with us earlier rather than later to ensure the statistical design and analysis is of high quality. We will do whatever possible to meet deadlines, however we may not have capacity to prioritise last minute requests.

Training

The Biostatistics Unit is developing a programme of training to provide additional support for researchers. This includes introductory short courses designed to introduce biostatistical methods to early researchers along with "Stata" software courses and refresher courses for more advanced researchers. Symposiums, seminars, and workshops are also being developed as part of the programme.

How we prioritise incoming projects

We prioritise new projects in the following order:

  1. Funded grants or grant proposals where there is funding for biostatistical support
  2. Collaborative research
  3. Research students

All new requests within these categories are followed up in the order that they are submitted. Existing projects are prioritised as negotiated with the biostatistician.

Research students

If you are a research student needing a biostatistical supervisor, when you submit your request please make it clear that you are seeking a supervisor.

Please note we have a policy for all students that we do not undertake analyses. Where we are not supervisors, we can offer some advice on design and/or analysis limited to no more than 2 hours per year per student. We will be offering a range of courses that may be of value for students to support their statistical development.

Ethical guidelines

We follow the ethical guidelines published by the American Statistical Association. Please read these guidelines before you meet with the biostatistician as they contain important information on what the researcher can expect when working with a statistician.

Authorship

We follow the ICMJE authorship guidelines. In your first meeting with the biostatistician the appropriateness of authorship will be discussed and agreed upon, subject to renegotiation if the role changes substantially. In general we would not expect authorship to be given for brief advice or where the contribution is minimal. Most collaborative projects would generally fit the requirement for authorship as the biostatistician will not only be heavily involved in the design and/or analysis but will also contribute to the drafting of the manuscript by the necessary interpretation of the statistical results.

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