Frequently Asked Questions

Collaborating with the BERD Methods Core

It is essential that investigators engage a biostatistician or methodologist as early as possible in the research process.

Depending on the methodology expertise required for the project, it may take up to one month to identify an appropriate methodologist for collaboration. If a methodologist is identified, it usually takes up to 2 weeks to schedule an initial meeting. Based on the prioritization of work and availability of effort, it usually requires up to another 2-4 weeks to start the project. However, this timeline can vary depending on bandwidth and prioritization.

To prepare for the meeting, send any pertinent information about the project (e.g. protocol, background information, grant drafts, etc.) prior to the meeting with enough time to review the materials.

The main objective for the biostatistician during the initial meeting is to gather enough information on the science, aims of the project, research hypotheses, project goals (e.g. grant submission, poster, manuscript), deadlines, and approximate timelines.

We can offer a consultation meeting to provide general guidance on the study, which will be limited without formally collaborating on the project and accessing the data. However, we recommend involving a biostatistician throughout the study as described in the collaborative process.

This document outlines the best methods for collecting and sharing data. We encourage research teams to use REDCap for data collection and Duke Box for sharing data.

Yes, authorship is important to a biostatistician’s career. Both the analysis biostatistician and supervising statistician on the project should be included as co-authors on abstracts and publications because they meet and fulfill the requirement for authorship as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.


Biostatisticians participate in grant development in various ways including, including but not limited to:

  • partnering to refine study questions and measurement methods
  • developing study and experimental designs
  • writing statistical analysis plans
  • computing precision, power, and sample sizes necessary to achieve the study objectives

If you need a methodologist to collaborate on a grant proposal, please visit, Identify a Collaborator for self-guided navigation or to submit a request for analytic resource navigation assistance.

If you have been collaborating with a BERD staff/faculty biostatistician on the grant, you should ask the biostatistician directly for a letter of support. If you have not worked with any biostatisticians in our group, the Director of BERD may provide a letter of support indicating that we will work with you to attempt to identify the appropriate methodologist or team to support the project when it is funded.

We recommend working directly with a methodologist to estimate the appropriate effort the study. You may refer to this effort guideline for a general estimate of how much effort may be needed for projects of various scopes.