Stats Help and Consulting

I often work with biological researchers to provide help with experimental design, data management, statistical analysis, and other kinds of modelling. While I usually really enjoy this kind of collaboration, this assistance or service is not part of my core role at the university. Since I get quite a lot of requests for such assistance, I have had to develop a clear policy for this kind of assistance. While this policy may seem a bit 'mercenary', I realised that without it I end up spending all my working hours helping people with their statistics, with few tangible results!

For an initial discussion/consultation, I usually say yes to a request if someone offers to buy me a coffee (unless I am really busy, or the required knowledge seems well beyond my experience). If extra help is needed then we can discuss possible options for collaboration such as
  • co-authorship on a paper arising from the collaboration
  • consulting fees paid from operating or project funds
  • official co-supervision for postgraduate students (if the amount of statistical input from me is likely to be significant)

For students, since your supervisor will need to be involved in any of these options, it is usually best to inform them about the request for assistance from the beginning (with a cc on the email for example).

I generally follow the consulting policies and fees of the UWA Centre for Applied Statistics (CAS), who charge for analysis but not for paper writing, although these are negotiable. It is also worth noting that the UWA CAS offers statistical consulting services and free help to postgraduate students. They have a wide range of expertise across different areas of classical and modern statistics. 

I run short courses on R, the powerful free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. These include a general beginners' course, and also follow-up courses focusing on graphics and data manipulation. These courses are run at least once each year at UWA, and at other locations from time to time as well.


Comments