Methodology Clinics

Methodology clinics are by appointment only. Please email with any requests.

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?

Clinics are by appointment, only, and occur on Fridays 2:30-3:30 p.m. via Zoom. Please email brief description of request to, to schedule your appointment.

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