Statistics

Statistical Services

Department of Medicine researchers wishing to access statistical support are encouraged contact the Research Office to discuss individual needs and support options. There are limited free resources available to departmental researchers. These resources are designed to address simple questions, and assist residents, fellows and PIs without funding with their statistical needs. To learn more about department services please read our statistics support section.

In addition to departmental support there are many statistical consultant groups which are able to offer assistance with study design, data analysis, and clinical trial design.

  1. SCARL – This is the UBC department of Statistics consulting group. They have general consultancy terms which are clearly set out and available to all UBC members here. They are happy to get involved with studies right from the grant writing stage, helping to be sure that the objectives set out in grants are statistically feasible with the described methodology. Their consulting costs approximately $80-$200/hour, depending on the length of the project and qualifications of the consultant.
  2. C2E2 – The Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation is part of VCHRI. VCHA members can sign up for free one hour consultations with the statisticians, after which arrangements for continuing support must be made.
  3. CHEOS – The Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences at St. Paul’s Hospital offers consultations on data management, grant facilitation, health economics, mentoring, methodology, and statistics. They also maintain a list of research-related seminars and workshops. CHEOS offers an initial free consultation, after which the fees will depend on the extent of the project and the expertise required. Internal PHC researchers get a discounted fee.

Statistics Support

In addition to statistical resources offered by various research centres, division and groups the Department of Medicine and VCHRI are able to offer two options for statistical support for members. The overall aim is to provide open services for researchers with no current funding, and a fee for service option for researchers with grant support. The type of service accessed will depend on the 1) need, 2) complexity, 3) time limitations and 4) available resources.

  • Masound Yousefi, Senior Statistician will be available for all Department of Medicine researchers working on short term projects, manuscripts and to help address common statistical questions.
  • EMMES Canada will provide an option for principal investigators who are looking for assistance in securing grants, pilot studies and with study design methodology for long term program development. EMMES Canada consulting services is a fee-for-service option, but may be accessed by new investigators through department supported funds as described below.

To discuss your options please do not hesitate to contact the Research Manager.

Frequently asked questions about how to access statistical support:

Drop-in hours for statistical support:

Researchers, residents and fellows should email the Research Manager to arrange a meeting with a statistician during the posted times. True drop-in will be available during the last 30 minutes of each session to accomodate quick questions and follow-up. As our resources are limited booking appointments in advance will help ensure that your project is given adequate time and help us make the best use of the available times.

Services for unfunded research:

Researchers who currently do not hold funding are still eligible to access statistical support through two different options.

  1. Through the generous support of VCHRI all department members are eligible to contact Masoud Yousefi, Senior Statistician Analyst of the Brain Research Centre. Masoud is currently supported for 0.33FTE, and his availability will depend on his current workload and the complexity of your project.
  2. The department, Research Office and RAC committee recognize that increased statistics support may be required for researchers who are working on grants, pilot studies and manuscript preparation. To help meet the needs of our researchers the Department of Medicine will be able to support a limited number of principle investigators wishing to utilize the EMMES Canada service. Details on how to access this service are outlined in our Statistical Support User Policy. Briefly the steps are as follows:
    1. Contact the research office to confirm your need and eligibility.
    2. Arrange a consultation with EMMES Canada during posted hours.
    3. Fill out the provided Statistical Support Request Form estimating work to be done.
    4. Have your form approved by the Research Office.
    5. Once approved both the PI and EMMES will be notified.

Due to the limited access to free services department members requiring sample size calculations and estimates for REB applications are encouraged to utilize a free on-line calculator prior to meeting with a statistician. Contact the Research Manager for workshop material on sample size calculation and justification.

Fee for service options through EMMES Canada:

For researchers with funding EMMES will provide support at the following rates:

  • $175 / hr for Senior statistician services
  • $125 / hr for junior statistician services

As outlined in the Statistical Support User Policy. EMMES will provide estimates for time required to complete a project directly to researchers.

How do I pay for the statistics service?

For researchers wishing to access the fee for service agreement with EMMES Canada please contact the Research Office, and consult the Statistical Support User Policy. Briefly, the steps you will follow:

  1. Contact the Research Manager to book a free consultation with Darby Thompson during the scheduled times.
  2. Provide the Research Office with a PG account # which can be used to support the service.
  3. Attend consultation meeting with all necessary information (study protocol, pilot data etc.)
  4. As outlined in the Statistical Support User Policy , the Department of Medicine will apply any charges incurred for service to your PG account directly.

Sample size calculators:

Sample size can be calculated using a variety of on-line calculators. When choosing an on-line calculator choose one which uses variables that you recognize. Two good on-line calculators provided by:

Remember your sample size estimation will depend on your variables, your risk tolerance and the quality of your pilot or literature data. In brief, to estimate your sample size you will need to know the following:
  • Proposed sample size
  • Power desired (typically 80% or greater)
  • Effect size (aka. expected treatment effect)
  • Alpha-level (typically 0.05)
  • Statistical test you plan to use

Once you have estimated your sample size you can play with the power, proposed sample size or effect size to gain a better idea of how feasible your study is. Once you have an good estimate on sample size you may wish to have a quick meeting with a statistician to ensure that your assumptions are valid.

Why pay for statistical consulting services?

While it is possible to use on-line sample size calculators to estimate the number of participants you will need to adequately answer your research question the output is only as good as your initial assumptions. A trained statistician is able to assist you in evaluating your assumptions, your study design and increase your chance of successfully meeting your research objectives.

Additionally, statistical consultants and consulting companies have extensive experience with study design, data management and analysis. They can offer a wealth of experience to support your research. Working with a statistician can improve your grant success rate and study outcome.
The Department of Medicine, Research Office has engaged in this contract to offer department members access to high level statistics support options. Should you have questions please do not hesitate to contact the Research Office.