FAQs

The CRSC provides assistance in a wide variety of areas including grant proposal development, research design, design of clinical trials, data collection strategies, power and sample size determination, statistical modeling and analysis, interpretation of results, manuscript preparation, data entry services and, to some extent, data management. The Center also can help designing, conduct and analyze surveys. The Biostatistics faculty members have extensive experience in providing statistical support for NIH, NSF and private foundation grants. Their specializations include clinical trials, nonparametric methods, epidemiology, statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology, regression analysis, time series analysis, graphical methods, and Bayesian methods. Consultation is provided by Biostatistics faculty and staff. Staff consultants are supervised by a faculty member.

Although a biostatistician can help you at any phase of your research, it is best to contact us before you design your study. Biostatisticians are trained to frame appropriate statistical hypotheses for research questions and to determine the most efficient design and analyses methods. This will ensure the use of valid and most powerful statistical methods, which in turn, will increase the likelihood of resolving your research questions.

You must schedule a consultation meeting. This is vital to ensure valid and efficient statistical support. During this meeting, the consultant will ask you to describe your study in detail and he/she will most likely ask you many questions to become familiar with your project. It is important that the biostatisticians understand both the design, as well as the scientific background, of your study. This information can only adequately be conveyed during a face-to-face meeting.

For grant preparations, we strongly suggest that you meet with us at least two months prior to your deadline. This gives the statisticians the opportunity to understand your research goals, work through potential statistical analysis problems that may arise during the designing of the study, and write well thought out sections on design, power and sample size requirements, and statistical analysis. Please note that if we are given less than two weeks notice for grant preparation, we may not be able to complete your request. For all other consulting projects, the amount of lead-time depends on the complexity of the problem, but a minimum of 3 weeks is expected.

Visit our website, www.gru.edu/mcg/bistatepi. At the bottom of the page, you will find two links for consulting request forms. If you are affiliated with Augusta University, fill out the internal form. If not, fill out the external form. FAX or deliver your form to the SCSC or the Biostatistics Department at Augusta University. This form is used in matching the client’s needs with the proper statistical expert in order to ensure the best possible services. You will be contacted shortly thereafter to set up an appointment. You may also contact us by phone or by visiting our office. If the investigator is a student, resident or fellow, his/her faculty advisor must be present at the initial consultation session.

No, we do not accept walk-ins for three reasons. First, in order to serve you most efficiently, we assign each project to an appropriate Biostatistics faculty member and a staff consultant, and this requires receiving the consulting request form prior to the first meeting. Second, we need some lead-time to prepare questions for the investigator based on the description of the research project. Third, many of our faculty teach courses or have other professional engagements and, consequently, may not be available for a walk-in meeting.

Yes, if you would like to work with a specific faculty member, please indicate that on your consulting request form. If you already have a productive working relationship with any particular faculty and would like to continue the professional collaboration, we highly recommend that you do so.

You should bring along any information that will help us better understand your research goals and questions, including your research hypotheses, relevant papers from literature, latest draft of the proposal or manuscript, and critiques from previous grant review, if applicable. If you have already collected data, please provide an electronic copy of your data set, as well as how the study was designed, conducted, and provide any data collection issues that may have occurred. Please make sure that you have IRB approval.

The CRSC provides data entry services that include: entering data from source documents into database format, checking data for accuracy and missing data, verifying and correcting data if needed, combining and rearranging data from different files/formats, and performing statistical quality checks.The charge for this service will be $20 per hour for Augusta University faculty/staff/affiliates ($40 per hour for all others).

As a general rule, the CRSC does not provide computer assistance or statistical software assistance.

We are more than happy to meet with you as many times as you need us. Simply contact your consultant faculty or staff to schedule additional meetings. You may also communicate with them through e-mail or phone.

The consultation fee is $120 per hour for faculty/staff/affiliates of Augusta University ($240 per hour for all others). The initial hour-long consultation meeting to discuss the project and the scope of the work involved is provided free of charge to all Augusta University investigators. A 50% surcharge is imposed for work needed within one week. Charges are billed directly to the investigator’s department. 

Research collaborations of DBE faculty members with other Augusta University investigators on grant application preparations are NOT part of the services provided by the CRSC. The investigator should contact and work with the DBE faculty directly for such collaborations. An investigator may also contact the Chair of DBE for assistance in identifying an appropriate Biostatistics or Epidemiology faculty to collaborate on grant applications. Please note that the DBE faculty are expected to be functioning as co-PIs or co-Is in the grant applications with significant funding support requests.

We do not offer a tutoring service at this time.

A consultation is normally a relatively simple, one-time project that while important, does not necessitate repeated contact with the researcher, whereas collaboration is a long-term research partnership with funding support through extramural grants and contracts. The biostatistics faculty members are eager to collaborate with other investigators to find solutions for complex scientific problems that affect human health.

Where meaningful intellectual contribution to the formulation of a research question or the analytic scheme for a research project has been provided by the statistical consultant, it is expected that biostatistics personnel will be offered co-authorship on consequent publications and presentations. Please see more details on co-authorship guidelines at http://www.augusta.edu/mcg/biostatepi/documents/co-authorship.pdf.

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