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Methodology Clinics

EpiBio Methodology Clinic

Clinics take place on Fridays, follwing our weekly Seminar Series. Please join us in K203 (third floor of the Kresge Building) at 2:30 p.m. 

Fall Term schedule (please note that there is no Methodology Clinic on October 20, and November 17):

September 15, 22, 29  |  October 06, 13, 27  |  November 03, 10, 24  |  December 01, 08

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are they?

  • Consulting and collaboration provided by supervising faculty and senior graduate students.

Why is the department offering this service?

  • To train our students. One potential outcome, if the clinics are successful, is a graduate course in Methodological Consulting.
  • To develop alternative funding streams for graduate student support.
  • To identify potential employment opportunities for students and graduates.
  • To facilitate collaborations between our faculty and our colleagues.

What sort of expertise is offered?

  • Clarifying your research question (i.e. put in an answerable form)
    • Primary and secondary objectives
    • Testable hypotheses
  • Advising on appropriate research design and terminology
  • Assisting with critical evaluation of measures and instruments
    • Validity/reliability of primary outcome, secondary outcome(s), covariates
  • Assisting with original scale creation and evaluation
  • Advising on proper statistical analysis
    • Conducting analyses and interpreting results
  • Assisting with sample size/power calculations
  • Grantsmanship: helping you align your research questions/objectives/hypotheses, your measures, and your analysis sections
  • Manuscript preparation and responses to reviewers

How do I access the service?

  • Drop-in, Fridays 2:30-3:30 Kresge Room 203 (preferred)
  • Email brief description of request to EpiBio@uwo.ca

What is the difference between consulting and collaboration?

  • Consulting is usually done at one or two meetings. Simple sample size calculations and proper design terminology are examples. The drop-in sessions are designed for this.
  • Collaboration is a longer-term relationship in which the methodologists are considered members of the scientific team.

How much does it cost?

  • The initial consultation at the drop-in session is provided at no cost.
    • We will provide you with an ‘in-kind’ cost for our services.
  • Subsequent activities may be billed (at fair market rates). This will be negotiated depending on the complexity and amount of work required.
  • Faculty members are expected to maintain their own independent research programs. You may be asked to consider offering co-investigator status and co-authorships to faculty and students depending on their involvement and a potential match with the faculty member’s program of research.

Who owns the resulting analyses?

  • You own the results. If we foresee educational uses of our work, subsequent uses of your data and/or results will be clarified beforehand.

Are the results confidential?

  • Yes, except for discussions in the public drop-in sessions.

What should I bring to the first meeting?

  • Brief handouts are helpful, as are simple diagrams on the board.

What are some pitfalls I can avoid?

  • Requests at the last minute before grant deadlines
  • Arriving with data in unanalyzable form
    • Excel spreadsheets are acceptable
      • Conventionally, variables are in columns and individuals are in rows
    • Avoid words (e.g. ‘male’, ‘female’), use numbers instead (0,1) for the values.
      • Create a codebook so everyone knows what each value and each variable means.
      • Minimize missing data, and provide a code (e.g. 99) to differentiate missing values from actual values
  • Collapsing your data prematurely.
    • If you assign cut-points to continuous data to create categories (e.g. ‘mild’, ‘moderate’, ‘severe’), keep the original data in an adjacent column.
  • Providing data with any patient identifiers (names, addresses, OHIP numbers)
    • In column 1, assign each individual a numeric Study ID that only you have the master list for.
  • We can help you respond to reviewers’ comments if we were involved in the original analysis plan on the grant or paper. Forensic re-analyses of something we are seeing for the first time is usually very difficult and sometimes impossible.

Can we help with every research problem?

  • No, but if we can’t see a methodological solution we may be able to advise on some other way of achieving your objectives.

Contact Information

Please direct any inquiries to EpiBio@uwo.ca.