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We aim to provide comprehensive epidemiological and statistical support to biomedical researchers.
We encourage researchers to contact us at the initial stage of grant applications for help with:
PhD project planning
We encourage students to get advice on design and analysis at the planning stage of their project. Students are generally expected to run their own analyses, but CReDITSS provides a package for guidance and advice (see fee structure below).
We also provide data analysis services under a flexible model. We can provide advice and guidance if staff and researchers want to perform the analysis themselves with the oversight of a statistician, or we can perform the analysis ourselves according to a statistical analysis plan (derived in consultation with the researchers) and provide a full report. This also includes helping with the drafting of the manuscript and responding to reviewers.
Data Storage and Integrity
In the event that we perform the analysis we also provide a repository of data in case of future queries, i.e. the original dataset, cleaned dataset, syntax and command files, are all saved in case any questions of data integrity or version control are raised in the future. All files are on a password protected server in HMRI with regular backup.
Our IT unit provides a web-based randomisation service with the option of web-based data entry that can be customised to suit the needs of each project. This can handle varying block sizes, stratification, and minimisation. (See IT section)
The last few years has seen many methodological innovations in epidemiological and statistical methods. The CReDITSS Unit offers help in the following areas:
Directed acyclic graphs to help identify sources of confounding; this includes both cross-sectional designs and longitudinal designs with time varying confounders.
Various statistical techniques:
treatment of missing data, e.g. multiple imputation, pattern mixture models
Genome-wide association studies, including imputation to HapMap and 1000 Genomes, and principal components analysis for control of population stratification
The support services are accessible to all researchers, registrars, and Staff of the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health District, and HMRI. In all these cases, an initial consultation of 1 hour is free. In addition, support for grant applications is also provided free on the understanding that a budget for statistical analysis will be included in the grant, and if successful, the work will be brought to the unit. Further work is charged at rates described below.
The unit will also undertake epidemiological and statistical support for biomedical researchers external to the University of Newcastle, the Hunter New England Local Health District, or HMRI, although this is at a different fee structure.
The unit does not receive any infrastructure funding from the University of Newcastle or the Hunter New England Local Health District. It is run by HMRI as a not-for-profit service to the research community. Fees entirely cover the salaries of the statisticians working in the unit.
For those with multiple projects and multiple statistical analyses, it is also possible to buy ongoing statistical support for the year:
Making an appointment
The unit’s business manager, Michelle Gillam, is the first point of contact. She will book a time for the initial consultation. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 2 4042 0500.
The quote includes time to provide feedback on the manuscript, assist in writing up the statistical methods, results and discussion, and respond to reviewers.
We subscribe to the authorship guide suggested by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
Where these criteria are met we expect that unit staff will be included as authors on any publications resulting from their analyses and input
STATISTICAL PACKAGES USED
Statistical software used in the unit includes: Stata, SAS, JMP, R, and WinBUGS.
The unit does not routinely use SPSS and GraphPad so support for these packages is limited.