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Biostatistics Clinics

Monday-Friday Noon-1:15pm

Biostatistics Clinics are a free service staffed by the Department of Biostatistics open to all members of the Vanderbilt and Meharry communities who have methodologic questions about their research projects or about published articles.

New VICTR voucher application process

Investigators are required to attend clinics prior to applying for a VICTR biostatistics voucher. VICTR-supported biostatistician(s) will be present at Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday clinics (assignment shown below). During the clinic, the VICTR biostatistician will determine whether the project would be eligible for a VICTR voucher. After the clinic, the VICTR biostatistician will work with the investigator to develop the protocol for submission to VICTR. Whenever possible, same biostatistician will be assigned to work on the project if it is approved.
  • Monday, Frank Harrell + Thomas Stewart
  • Wednesday, Chris Lindsell + Li Wang
  • Thursday, Chang Yu+ Daniel Byrne

How to reserve a spot

  • Make your reservation as early as possible, but no later than 12 noon the weekday before you would like to attend. (Our booking software will not allow reservations after this deadline.) Clinic reservations are confirmed only after an email reply from one of our statisticians.
  • NEW Drop-ins are allowed for the Monday and Thursday clinics at 2525 West End Avenue on days when no more than one person has already signed up. Check the Clinic Calendar to see existing reservations, and then arrive at the clinic by 12:15. Clients with reservations will have first priority.
  • Consult the days and themes listed below to find the most appropriate clinic. We have different teams of statisticians covering each day's clinic.
  • In your reservation, include your department/division, position, and a short paragraph about your project. If you are working with a mentor or supervisor (some examples: medical student, postdoctoral fellow, pharmacy resident), please also include in your reservation that your mentor/supervisor will be attending (see FAQs below).
  • We have a projector available if you would like to bring a laptop. Please ensure that data contains no PHI.
  • Click on the book now button to make your reservation.
  • Please save the reservation confirmation email from YouCanBookMe; if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please click the links at the bottom of that email to do so.

Topics and locations for each weekday

Day Theme Location
Monday Health services research, diagnosis, and prognosis
(Includes some comparative effectiveness research, observational research, and graphics)
2525 West End

High-dimensional data
(imaging, high-throughput assays)

Exception: first Tuesday of each month will be HIV-themed at room 11105 2525 West End


(11105 2525 WE on first Tuesday of each month)

Wednesday Surgery, anesthesiology, and emergency and critical care medicine D2221
Thursday Clinical and health research
(other than topics covered on Wednesday)
2525 West End

Basic and animal research (not omics)

Exception: third Friday of each month will be HIV-themed at room D2221 MCN


Clinic Tips and FAQs

  • During most clinics, notes are taken. Links to clinic notes can be found here.
  • A maximum of two investigators can be served at each day's clinic.
  • Mentors are required to attend with students and postdoctoral fellows; for anyone else working with a mentor or supervisor, based on past experience, we strongly encourage scheduling a clinic appointment on a day that all team members are able to attend.
  • Clinic begins at 12 noon and goes until 1:15pm. Please be on time, and email the clinic address as soon as possible if you will be late or need to cancel. Others may be on a wait list for your spot.
  • Clinics held at Medical Center North (see locations above) will not be held if no investigators are signed up. Some clinics at 2525 West End are occasionally open to investigators on a drop-in basis; see How to reserve a spot.
  • As all department members are fully funded on other projects, this noon hour is the only time that we are able to assist investigators without a standing collaboration. (If you are interested in long-term statistical partnership, please ask your department leaders to consider a collaboration.)
  • We are not able to answer questions specific to software (eg, "how do I run a linear regression in SPSS?"). Our department primarily uses R, and if arranged ahead of time can possibly provide some help with Stata. While we are always happy to answer general statistical questions, we cannot provide support for SAS- or SPSS-specific questions. We also have a monthly R Clinic.
  • If your question is specific to REDCap, we recommend the REDCap clinics.
  • For more information, see tips for making the most of Biostatistics Clinic.
  • Email the clinic staff if you have any questions.

Preparing data for clinic

If you have a relatively simple dataset to be analyzed and the analysis can be concluded during the clinic, you can send your data at least two days in advance to and state which clinic date you would like to attend. Preferred formats are R save files, SPSS save files, Stata data files, and comma separated files ( csv files) exported from a spreadsheet or other software, with variable names in the first record. All subject identifiers must be removed from files before sending them to us (please see the Data De-identification Checklist). Click here for information about readying data for analysis.

VICTR information

The first step for obtaining VICTR support for biostatistical collaboration is to attend a clinic when a VICTR biostatistician is present. VICTR-supported biostatistician(s) will always be present at Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday clinics. During the clinic, the VICTR biostatistician will determine whether the project would be eligible for a VICTR voucher. After the clinic, the VICTR biostatistician will work directly with the investigator to develop the protocol for submission to VICTR. Whenever possible, the same biostatistician will be assigned to work on the project if it is approved. We have designed this process to ensures consistent collaboration with the same biostatistician throughout the life cycle of the project, including during the scientific review process.

If a VICTR biostatistician is present at a VICTR studio or a formal work-in-progress meeting, that biostatistician may work directly with the investigator to develop the protocol for VICTR support and bypass the requirement to attend a clinic.

In exceptional situations that preclude timely attendance at a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday clinic and a VICTR voucher is needed, a special request may be made for one-on-one consultation with a VICTR biostatistician. Exceptional circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis. Consideration may be given to

  • off-site clinical schedules preclude attendance
  • the biostatistics clinic schedule is full for a number of weeks
  • an investigator’s documented clinical schedule span the noon hour every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

Sponsored by

  • Department of Biostatistics
  • Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (CTSA)
  • Center for Health Services Research
  • Tennessee Center for AIDS Research

Article about Biostatistics Clinics in the Reporter

2012 article in the Reporter

Other Links

Clinic Leaders

  • Monday – Kim Hart, Olivia Mason
  • Tuesday – Run Fan, Hakmook Kang, Yaomin Xu, Simon Vandekar
  • Wednesday – Jennifer Thompson, Cathy Jenkins, Kim Hart
  • Thursday – Amy Perkins, Jennifer Morse, Kim Hart
  • Friday – Dan Ayers, Alex Zhao, Tatsuki Koyama, Chris Slaughter; Bryan Shephard, Cathy Jenkins
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Topic revision: r118 - 21 Mar 2019, LaurieSamuels

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