Health Research and Policy

Need a statistician?

  1. I want help with a grant application or study protocol (design, statistical plans, power and sample size, database design).
  2. The Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research (Spectrum), in association with the Department of Health Research and Policy, offers a free one-hour consultation on study design. Please follow these steps to book an online appointment:

  3. I want to find a statistician for long-term collaboration or to include as a co-investigator on a grant (with FTE support, for example).
  4. To help you find a faculty collaborator, we offer the Study Design Workshop (SDW), which meets every other Tuesday from 1:15 to 3pm. See for the schedule of upcoming open slots, and email Kevin Horner to reserve a slot. Some departments include statistical support that can offer services to their faculty (e.g., the Departments of Medicine, Surgery, and Psychiatry). If you are faculty in the Department of Medicine, the Quantitative Sciences Unit (QSU) or some departments, such as Medicine, Surgery or Psychiatry, may offer statistical support for your project. Contact Manisha Desai ( to arrange a meeting. Cancer center members may also ask questions at the regular Biostatistics Conference, held at 11am each Friday. Contact Ray Balise to schedule your appearance. (The biostatistics staff members based in Health Research and Policy are not ordinarily available for inclusion on grants.)

  5. I want to confer with biostatisticians about my long term plans for research.
  6. See 2 above.

  7. I want help extracting data from research databases at Stanford or analyzing data that I already have.
  8. We can help you figure out how to get access to data, but we do not promise to do your analyses for you. Depending on our capacities and the complexity of the task, we can at least advise you and may be able to take on certain analyses ourselves, subject to availability of time. See 1 above for an ‘entry point’. We give priority to analyses that will support grant applications or publications, have interesting statistical features, and have a limited scope. In addition, some help is available from the Department of Statistics consulting course (Statistics 390) – please visit for information and schedules. Please bear in mind that unrealistic deadlines will lead to disappointment.

  9. I want help in developing my own statistical staff, or a departmental or other shared statistical resource (for a PPG or similar large project).
  10. Contact Professor Philip Lavori for a strategic consultation on your needs. We encourage long-term planning for local strength in biostatistics. Again, your department may have already begun to build such strength – three departments cited all have local biostatistics talent, faculty and staff; and others are considering it.

  11. I want to do something else and it isn’t on this list.
  12. Feel free to contact Philip Lavori or Richard Olshen to discuss. The former directs two of the statistical cores (CTSA and CCSG) and the latter is the Chief of the Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Health Research and Policy. They will try to help.

General notes:

We do not maintain a fee-for-service statistical consultative operation – all our work for you is free to you, having been paid for in advance by the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG), the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA), and (mostly) Institutional Funds originating in the School of Medicine Dean’s Office, alternatively from philanthropic donations. To continue this support, we need to hear from you if you value the services that are available. Arrangements between you and faculty in biostatistics for support on grants or for unsupported help are purely elective on both sides; we can put you together, but the rest is a matter of mutual interest. Faculty in the Division of Biostatistics are all in the University Tenure Line and have all the usual responsibilities for excellence in their discipline. Traditionally, they have been able to attract and maintain high levels of grant support, so there is some competition for their attention.

As in all things, planning ahead is a good idea. By all means, try the consultation service in 1, as early as possible in your planning. It is unlikely to hurt and it can get you started along the right road. Please be patient with us as we try to figure out how to help you, but expect that all of us will try to find the right answers.

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