In general, biostatisticians have two roles in research: to collaborate with others on their research and to further statistical methodology motivated by those collaborations.

The Role of Biostatistics in Collaborations

The overall goal of biostatistics is to ensure valid and efficient science through the assurance of sound study design as well as the use of appropriate statistical techniques for data analysis. Ideally, an interactive relationship between a biostatistician and other researchers originates in the study design phase and progresses through the reporting of results. In general, biostatisticians can and should partner with investigators throughout the research process, including, but not limited to, the following activities:

  • Clarification of research hypotheses and study aims
  • Assistance in the selection of the most appropriate study design and outcome measurements
  • Calculation of sample size/power
  • Assistance with application preparation for external grants and internal pilot study grants
  • Advice on data collection methods; assistance with building and managing of datasets
  • Help in the understanding of likely data limitations and options to address these limitations
  • Conduct data analysis; guidance to researchers carrying out their own analyses
  • Interpretation of results of data analyses
  • Collaboration in writing abstracts, presentations, and manuscripts