Preparatory Tips for Biostatistics Clinic for Researchers

One of the services provided by the Department of Biostatistics is a daily Biostatistics Clinic held Monday through Friday. The clinic provides expert biostatistical advice for novice, intermediate, and experienced researchers. There are many questions that should be answered. What type of analysis should I conduct? How large should my sample size be? How should I design my study? What model should I use? These are just a few. While this page is only a “rule of thumb” and is not exhaustive, it will provide some useful tips for researchers preparing to attend the clinic.

In order to get the most appropriate answers to your questions, you should:

  • Come with clear expectations of what you would like to learn from the clinic.
  • Know as much about the research as possible, and be prepared to discuss it in detail.
    • Be familiar with the existing literature. This will assist in understanding possible confounders, limitations, and methods used by other researchers.
    • Be familiar with the type of data that you have or will collect: what variables will be (or have been) collected, and how will (were) they be measured (nominal, ordinal, continuous, categorical, etc...)?
  • Be prepared to do a one to five minute, informal, sit-down discussion of your research including some background information, objective(s), hypotheses, and methods (retrospective, prospective, sample size, survey, experimental, clinical, exploratory, descriptive, etc...).
    • You will want to be able to state your objective(s) as concisely as possible.
  • If data have been collected, bring the formatted electronic version of the dataset(s) removed of all personal identifiers on a USB drive.
  • Ask appropriate questions to address your expectations and concerns.
  • Be clear about the advice given during the clinic and have a planned course of action upon departure.

While it cannot be promised that all of the researchers questions will be answered exhaustively within narrow time constraints, every attempt will be made to address as many questions as possible. If further assistance is needed, a researcher may attend future clinics and/or schedule a biostatistical consultation by contacting the:

                            Department of Biostatistics
                            S-2323 Medical Center North
                            1161 21st Avenue South
                            Nashville, TN 37232-2158
                            (615) 322-2001 • fax (615) 343-4924
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Topic revision: r3 - 15 Aug 2013, JoAnnAlvarez

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