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Department of Statistics

Statistical Consulting Lab
Policies

Who we engage with

  • All Kansas State University faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates actively engaged in research may seek statistical support through the Statistical Consulting Laboratory. Faculty with Kansas State Research & Extension (KSRE) appointment and their research teams will have priority if time or resources are constrained. 

  • In order to enable a productive dialogue, a minimum level of understanding of basic statistics concepts will be expected of researchers seeking assistance from the Statistical Consulting Laboratory. Thereby, researchers, particularly graduate students, are strongly encouraged to engage in statistical training that is directly relevant to their research project.
  • For Masters students requesting statistical consulting, the following courses are highly encouraged as basic statistical training:
    • STAT 705: Regression and Analysis of Variance
    • STAT 720: Design of experiments 
  • For PhD students requesting statistical consultation, the following courses are highly encouraged as basic statistical training:
    • STAT 705: Regression and Analysis of Variance
    • STAT 720: Design of experiments
    • STAT 870: Analysis of Messy Data 
  • Computing courses are strongly encouraged in order to facilitate access to proper statistical tools. Relevant course offerings in the statistical curriculum include:
    • STAT 725: Introduction to SAS Computing
    • STAT 726: Introduction to R Computing 

How we engage with research

We highly encourage researchers to engage the Statistical Consulting Laboratory prior to conduction of a research study. 

“To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask her to conduct a post mortem examination. She can perhaps say what the experiment died of.”

Sir Ronald Fisher (1890 - 1962)

  • Contributions if engaged during planning of a study (HIGHLY preferred):  Fine-tuning of research question, assistance with efficient design of experiments, computation of statistical power and determination of required sample size. In addition, if engaged during planning stages, the Statistical Consulting Laboratory will be better positioned for data analysis.
  • Contributions if engaged after data collectionAssistance with choice of proper statistical methods, model specification and fitting, software implementation (mostly SAS and R), interpretation of results, advice on preparation of figures for presentation and publication, preparation of research manuscripts for publication. 
  • Direct engagement of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory with research projects is mediated primarily by Statistics graduate students with initial supervision from Statistics faculty. 
  • On a case-by-case basis, Statistics faculty may engage in collaborative research with a wide variety of Kansas State University researchers to apply established statistical methods to novel situations or to develop new statistical methods motivated by specific problems. 

What will be expected 

  • Any time that a member of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory is involved in any substantial way with a research study through experimental design, data analysis, interpretation of results and/or manuscript preparation, it will be expected that such contribution will be recognized in the form of co-authorship in any peer-reviewed publications and/or in conference abstracts or proceedings, as relevant for each discipline. 

  • Similarly, any time that a member of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory is asked to be involved in any substantial way with preparation of a grant proposal (i.e. experimental design, sample size calculation, power analyses, etc.) or to provide a letter of statistical support for experiments on the grant, it will be expected that a corresponding budget line will be incorporated into the grant proposal to ensure proper coverage of expenses related to grant work. The specifics of the budget line will depend on the scope of the proposed work. Researchers should discussed budgetary issues in advance and directly with the Director of the Statistical Consultling Laboratory.

  • Any questions regarding these expectations should be addressed directly with the Director of the Statistical Consulting Laboratory

How we function

  • To schedule a consulting appointment, please email us at statlab@ksu.edu. Make sure to include your Consulting Request Form providing a detailed, yet brief description of the research project, including:
    • Research objectives/questions you want to address using statistical methods. 
    • Description of variables (to be) measured.
    • Diagrams/pictures showing the data collection process (intended or realized). These can be particularly helpful and are highly encouraged.
    • Include papers of previous studies of a similar nature, which might aid us in helping you. 
  • A complete Consulting Request Form is required prior to consultation on any new project. 

  • All consulting meetings are scheduled by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted.
  • Requests for statistical consulting will be addressed in the order in which they are received. You should hear back from us within 3 work days. If not, feel free to follow up with a polite inquiry to statlab@ksu.edu
  • Given our current high demand, please plan for an approximately two week lead-time for a scheduled appointment. Be aware that the Statistical Consulting Laboratory is currently understaffed and we may not be able to accommodate tight timelines. 

What we are NOT

  • The Statistical Consulting Laboratory is NOT a data dump. Data files will not be accepted unless specifically requested.

  • The Statistical Consulting Laboratory is NOT a data management office. Researchers are responsible for entry, formatting and quality checking of all data.
  • The Statistical Consulting Laboratory is NOT a data analysis office. The Statistical Consulting Laboratory will provide advice to help frame the research needs. However, the Statistical Consulting Laboratory is not required to analyze data from any specific project. In particular, the Statistical Consulting Laboratory will not engage in any form of data analysis related to research projects still in progress (i.e. data collection not yet completed) or to projects found to suffer from fatal flaws in their design structure or treatment structure. 

  • The Statistical Consulting Laboratory reserves the right to discontinue any and all support to or involvement with any research project for which the researchers may have chosen to disregard specific recommendations considered of critical importance for soundness of statistical design and/or inference.