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Statistics and Research Methods

Research Methods

Boston College Research Services Statistical Services

We offer statistical consulting to researchers, faculty and student involved in research at Boston College.  We provide consultation on all aspects of data collection, analysis and interpretation.  We seek to promote high-quality use of statistical methods and presentation of data in grant proposals, manuscripts, and dissertations.  We recommend that you contact us at the very earliest stage of your research.   We aim to play an effective role as a member of your research team.  We can assist in the following areas:

Grant Preparation

This is an important and valued part of our mission to aid in high-quality research at Boston College.  Our staff includes statisticians that have been funded currently and in the past by the NIH.  Grant Preparation is in iterative process between the statistician and principal investigator and therefore we recommend contacting us in the early stages of your grant preparation.

For grant submissions we provide power analyses, experimental design, and data analysis plans written by our statisticians.  We also provide grant review for proposals. 

We can also provide statistical services once your grant in funded and our statisticians can be listed as co-investigators or key personal.

Data Management

We provide guidance on all aspects of data management.  This includes the development of Case Report Forms, data structures, and coding of data appropriate for your analysis.  Our goal is to ensure that you collect data in a meaningful way so that your research questions can be properly analyzed.  In modern studies data cleaning should be minimized by effective data gathering.  We also provide assistance with popular data capturing software.   Currently we specialize in Qualtrics and REDCap.

Experimental Design

We assist in the effective collection of your data, designing the experiment to minimize bias.  We aid with randomization procedures and guide you regarding the most appropriate statistical methodology.

Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling

Through our professional statisticians and statistically strong graduate students we are qualified to provide you with consultation and guidance.  Our aim is to be current with all modern statistical methods while providing aid with standard procedures.  

We will discuss your data, experimental design, and research questions so we can provide you a data analysis plan.  Our goal is to provide you with the tools that you can analyze your data.  For complicated problems or very modern methods our statisticians may run the analyses in parallel with you, or will take over the analyses ourselves.  After your data is analyzed we will help with the interpretation of results so that you can report your findings responsibly and accurately. 

For larger datasets we will work with members of the Research Services on the use of the cluster for analyses that are computationally intense. 

After your data has been analyzed we will assist you in presentation of the data for the manuscripts, posters, and dissertations.  Our statisticians can write or aid in the writing of methods and results sections.   We will help and offer advice on graphical presentations of your data and findings.  We hope to work with you to produce publication level graphics.

We can work with graduate students to review their dissertations so that they report statistical analysis reports accurately.

Software Support

Our staff has expertise in several statistical software packages.  This include R, SAS. SPSS, Matlab, Stata, and Excel.  We have some knowledge of other software as well.  We can answer your questions and provide support on the use of these programs.