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Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to request help?

It depends on the type of assistance requested. For anything with a deadline (grants, abstracts, etc.), we need to receive requests at least 60 days prior to the submission date. This allows us to manage staffing levels and ensure that there is time to provide input on the study design. For requests without a deadline (papers, analysis, etc.), please get in touch with us as early as possible.

What can I get for free?

Statistical assistance with grant development is provided for free for WFUSM faculty provided that the Biostatistics Core is included in the grant budget. 

Note: development of industry contracts will be billed on an hourly basis upon successful receipt of contract. These funds should be built into the industry contract.

What do I have to pay for?

All post-award work will be billed at an hourly rate. This includes data entry, data management, meetings, data analysis, programming, writing, editing, paper revisions, etc.

What do the rates cover?

These rates reflect current salary, fringe, and the PHS computing fees.

What do Biostatistical personnel need to help me?

If we are assisting with a grant, we will need a description of all available pilot data, proposed study design, an idea of the feasible sample size, and any other relevant information. If we are assisting with data analysis, we will need the data (preferably electronically, in a format such as an Excel spreadsheet; we will be happy to discuss how best to do this) and the questions of interest.

What if I have a simple power calculation?

We have developed a set of web-based power calculators. SAS is used behind the scenes as the computational engine. Existing designs include correlation, one-sample t-tests, two-sample t-tests, paired t-tests, onesample frequencies, two-sample frequencies, and paired frequencies. Also available is a series of questions to aid investigators in the selection of calculator. 

We also recommend two free programs that can be downloaded from the web, G*Power and PS. As always, we encourage investigators to consult with a statistician when there are questions about these calculations.

How are budgets determined?

Budgets are created in a collaborative manner. We will work with the investigator to establish a scope of work and will budget accordingly. If there is only a fixed amount of money available, we will discuss what can be accomplished for that amount.

How does this fee-for-service model differ from FTE collaborations?

Biostatistics Core is not a replacement for the collaborative research done in the Department of Biostatistical Sciences (DBS) but an alternative arrangement for projects with more limited involvement of DBS faculty and staff. We generally spend much less time on a project that comes through Biostatistics Core than if we were receiving FTE-based support. Whether an individual project should be handled through Biostatistics Core or through DBS as an FTE-based collaboration will be discussed. Factors to consider would be project size and duration and whether a DBS faculty member is available for an FTE-based collaboration.

How often will rates change? How does this affect existing grants?

We will evaluate rates on an annual basis and will change them if necessary when salaries increase (October 1). We will bill at the current rates.

What should I do once I learn that a grant will be funded/not funded?

We would like to know! Please email Haiying Chen (hchen@wakehealth.edu). If your grant has been funded, please allocate Biostatistics Core services as Lab Services, expense account code 423013, in the award budget established by the Controller’s Office.

How are bills generated?

We record hours on a weekly basis with each week starting on a Monday. Bills are generated on a monthly basis. The number of weeks per bill will vary slightly but will usually be either 4 or 5. For weeks that cross fiscal years, we will use the Monday to determine the fiscal year in which a given week will be billed. Bills for internal clients will be submitted through the Controller’s Office. External clients will be billed by mail or email.

This page has been adapted from the Design and Analysis Unit's (DAU) Frequently Asked Questions.

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