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The Consultation and Research Services for BERD provides short-term Statistical Support and Data Management Services of one or two hours meetings with limited follow-up free of charge.
A request for BERD Consultations begins with the completion of the online form, followed by a one-hour consultation meeting. After the initial consult, BERD offers limited free follow-up services with an additional meeting if needed. 

Statistical Consultations provides guidance on the following:

  • data analyses
  • sample size and power calculations
  • hypothesis refinement
  • study design
  • manuscript preparation
  • grant submission

Longer-term collaborative data analysis, manuscript preparation and grant submission with appropriate financial support can be arranged through the Biostatistics, Resource in Design, Grants and Evaluation (BRIDGE) using a Fee-for-Service structure or establishing collaborations with faculty in the Department of Biostatistics at the Mailman School of Public Health.  Requests will be directed to these services after the initial consultation meeting. 

Data Management Consultations provide guidance on the following:

  • options for data collection instruments (i.e. questionnaires; paper vs. electronic; output from monitors, etc.)
  • clarification and guidance in selecting data management tools, such as desktop databases with customized data entry screens, customized web based applications utilizing industry standard relational database systems, or the REDCap data management system
  • evaluation of security and backup options for data storage
  • requirements for datasets for analysis
  • guidelines for moving existing data into a properly formatted and secure environment

Team Members:
Shing Lee, PhD, Co-Director, sml2114@cumc.columbia.edu 
Sonia LynAdministrative Support, svl1@cumc.columbia.edu

Faculty Statistical Consultants:
Qixuan Chen, PhD, qc2138@cumc.columbia.edu
Cody Chiuzan, PhD, cc3780@cumc.columbia.edu
Gen Li, PhD, gl2521@cumc.columbia.edu
Sara Lopez-Pintado, PhD, sl2929@cumc.columbia.edu
Wei-Yann Tsai, PhD, wt5@cumc.columbia.edu

Jimmy Duong, MPH, jk2108@cumc.columbia.edu
Weijia Fan, MS, wf2213@cumc.columbia.edu
Vivian Zhang, MS, yz2212@cumc.columbia.edu

Data Management Consultant:
Richard Buchsbaum, rb539@cumc.columbia.edu


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I access these services?
The first step is to think carefully about what you need - perhaps you are not really ready for data analysis, but actually need help thinking about how to define the variables, construct hypotheses, and plan analyses. Then, fill out and submit a request form.

What will happen to my request form?
Your form will be reviewed by BERD Consulting team and you will be contacted for an appointment, or referred to an appropriate alternative resource.

How long will it take to hear back after submitting my request?
You will usually be contacted within a week to make an appointment, but in periods of high demand, it may take up to two weeks to get an appointment.

How far in advance should I contact the BERD?
At least 8 weeks before a grant or paper is due, or at least 4 weeks before an analysis is needed.

What will happen at the appointment?
For statistical requests:
After completion of an online request, the requestor meets with a faculty member from the Department of Biostatistics, a Masters level statistician, and possibly one or more biostatistics graduate students for an initial visit, which should last around an hour. This is typically enough time to understand the scope of the research or request, and define next steps.
BERD staff will then spend limited additional time working to complete your request. After the initial visit, “behind the scenes” work might include computation of simple power analyses, effect size calculation, or sample size calculations; written advice on experimental designs; comments on the appropriateness of proposed analytic models; or written advice on proper analytic models.
The statistical consult will conclude with either a second face to face follow-up visit to discuss results, or an email with a detailed explanation of results.

For data management requests:
After completion of an online request, the requestor meets with one of our staff members to discuss the data management requirements during a free one-hour consultation. If the consultation has been requested before a grant proposal has been written, our data manager will help the investigator design a data management plan with associated budget requirements. If an investigator has already begun to collect data, prior to the consultation, the data manager will provide guidelines for moving data into a properly formatted, secure environment.
The data management consult will conclude with either a written report outlining a data management plan, or second meeting to discuss suggestions in more detail.

How much does it cost?
We provide these consulting services to the CUMC research community free of charge. More extensive collaborations require formal support and will be referred to the Department of Biostatistic’s Biostatistics, Resource in Design, Grants and Evaluation (BRIDGE) service.

Who is this service for?
Priority is given to faculty and research scientists at CUMC who do not have their own departmental or institutional resources for study design and biostatistics. BERD services are not available to students. Applicants must have a valid CUMC ID and an eRA-Commons username.

What if I want to learn more about research design and biostatistics?
If you are interested in more formal training you may consider participating in one of our educational initiatives or pursuing a research degree, such as the Master of Science in BiostatisticsClinical Research Methods track, or the Patient Oriented Research track. There is also a five week summer program for fellows and faculty, The Columbia Summer Research Institute
For details on other training opportunities, see TRANSFORM.



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