Statistical Consulting Policies and Procedures

Our philosophy

Our goal is to gain a working knowledge of the science and logistics of your problem, while simultaneously giving you a working knowledge of the statistical theory and methods that we suggest. We believe that the most efficient and effective way to achieve this is to develop a collaborative relationship. This means that the statistical work will be performed either by you or together with the statistician. In particular, you should not expect the statistician to do the work for you.

Scope of assistance provided

We can provide assistance in all statistical aspects of research, including: project development, grant writing, experimental design, data analysis, software use (including SAS and R), interpretation of results, writing of reports, manuscripts and presentations, and addressing reviewer comments.

Co-authorship and acknowledgement in publications

Given our collaborative philosophy by which you perform all or a substantive part of the analyses, you “own” the work and in most cases, we would appreciate recognition of the statistician’s contribution in the form of a formal acknowledgement in resulting publications. We ask that this acknowledgment include the name of our group, for example as:

“We thank [name of statistician] from the Statistical Consulting group at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for assistance in the [design/analysis/visualization] of [project/section/experiment].”

If the statistician had significant input into the design of the study, performed the analyses themselves rather than guiding you how to do them, or designed new methodology for the project, then co-authorship may be warranted and could be discussed.

Eligibility

Schools or Colleges, Departments or Centers, or individual labs can collaborate with us by setting up a fee agreement. These are generally longer term (at least one year) agreements for a flat fee. We do not offer hourly consulting.

Currently, eligible researchers include UW faculty, staff, and students in the following units:

  • All departments and centers in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • The departments of Botany and Integrative Biology in the College of Letters & Science
  • The department of Medical Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Several individual labs across campus

Students with a major advisor in any of these units are also eligible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if your unit is interested in discussing an agreement with us, or if you are interested in collaborating with us but are unsure about your eligibility.

Requesting a meeting

If you are part of a current agreement, you can enter the waiting list to meet with one of our statisticians by filling out our online Signup Form. The description of your request is very important, as it will help our staff connect you to the statistician who is best able to meet your specific needs. We do not offer drop-in consulting.

Process time frame

You will receive immediate confirmation of a successful request submission. Within 2-3 business days of submission, you will get confirmation from the staff that you have been assigned to a statistician. You should then be contacted by that statistician within another 2-3 business days to set up an initial appointment. Depending on the time of year, it may be up to 2-3 weeks from the time of submission to the first actual meeting with the statistician. Please plan ahead and contact us well in advance! In addition, be aware that even relatively simple questions can take at least 2-4 meetings spread over 1-2 months to completely and adequately address.

Fair usage practices

We ask that you work with only one statistician at a time on any given project. If you are working on several distinct projects, you may request a different statistician for each project, or the same statistician for any or all of them. If you feel that the help you are receiving is unsatisfactory, we suggest that you discuss the situation with your statistician first. If this does not resolve the problem, contact the director, Cecile Ane (cecile.ane@wisc.edu) or manager, Nick Keuler (nskeuler@wisc.edu). We ask that you not re-enter the waiting list in such a situation.