Statistics Advice Centre
For many years the Statistics Group, operating within the Department of Mathematics, has offered a statistical analysis and advice service to commercial organisations, as well as to internal researchers and postgraduate students at the University of Surrey.
The service is able to perform or advise on the statistical tasks associated with research projects. For full contact and personnel details please see our contact us page.
Free Advice Service
Following on from instructions from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christopher Snowden, the internal statistical advice service (along with the corresponding mathematics facility) is now centrally funded.
Consequently, there are no charges for statistical advice given on a one-to-one basis to postgraduates, researchers and staff members at the University of Surrey. The Mathematics And Statistics Advice Centre can only provide assistance to staff and postgraduate students. However engineering undergraduates in need of mathematical advice may find the Mathematics Drop-In Centre of use.
In order for us to keep detailed timesheets, all postgraduate students will need to fill in a brief form to be signed by their supervisor prior to arranging an appointment.
Click here to view and print the relevant form, or alternatively for fans of microsoft word click here to download the relevant form in Word format.
Academic & external Research
For full details of the academic research work of our Statistics personnel, please see the Statistics Research Group's web page.
In addition, collaborative research takes place with personnel from many other departments. A recent example involves nutrition personnel in the School of molecular and Biological Sciences, to whom we provided expert assistance on stepwise logistic regression. This enabled the identification, from a substantial data set on the feeding patterns of a large number of premature babies, of a model to predict the incidence of eczema within 12 months from birth. The appearance in this model of controllable items such as number of different solid foods led to the derivation of feeding recommendations for improved health in premature babies. Furthermore, publication was achieved in a high ranking academic journal.
Rewarding collaborations with external parties also take place frequently. For instance Cephalon, a local biopharmaceutical company, approached us for statistical assistance in analysing the results of an extensive clinical trial. From their point of view, access to our Statistics personnel provided them with expert statistical analysis without the commitment of the long term employment of a professional medical statistician. From our point of view, exposure to current practices in drug safety trials expanded our knowledge of statistical procedures required in the commercial world.
Unfortunately owing to the recent high level of demand for statistics advice within the University, we are unable to provide help to external individuals and companies at the present time.
The service is able to perform a full range of tasks associated with all aspects of a research project. These include:
- Quotes for statistical analysis for inclusion in project proposals
- Statistical advice on required sample sizes
- Assessment of study protocol and of the possible need for a pilot study
- Statistical reviews of previous studies and of relevant literature
- Advice on design of questionnaires/clinical report forms
- Data collation
- Construction of data coding schemes
- Data entry : advice on the use of an appropriate spreadsheet/database
- Data validation (checking data for errors)
- Statistical analyses, including graphical output if required
- Provision of bespoke statistical software, including documentation
Whilst the amount of help we can give on some items may be limited (for instance the important issue of sample size is often determined purely by logistical considerations), we are always available for short sessions to offer advice on any of the items above. In particular, a brief review of your questionnaire design may lead to enhancements which will enable a much more incisive statistical analysis after the data have been collected.
Finally, please be aware that all Statistics Advice Centre staff have other work commitments, ranging from teaching related duties to involvement in major research projects. Consequently, although an initial response to any statistical query should arrive within a few working days, it may occasionally be several weeks before the staff member who is most suited to the query is available for a face to face meeting. Consequently, planning ahead for the statistical element of any project is essential.
Short courses / SPSS
Note that the Statistics Group no longer runs short courses, owing to the prohibitive set-up costs. However, if you are interested in attending a short course on SPSS (Windows version), please see the Department of Sociology's Day Courses web page.
Consultancy charges for external clients
As of 4th January 2005, all statistical advice to external medical researchers is charged for at 50 pounds sterling per hour, or 375 pounds sterling per day, + VAT . Note that VAT is not chargeable if the work is being paid for from within the University (by IR) or via an NHS hospital.
External companies are charged 495 pounds sterling per day + VAT (or 66 pounds sterling per hour + VAT), with substantial discounts (up to 20%) for projects requiring more than 5 days of work.
Additional charges are made for travelling time and expenses, should meetings be necessary outside of the University. At the first consultation the total number of hours will be estimated, according to the extent of the required data handling, statistical analyses and report format. An invoice is dispatched upon completion, with payment requested within 4 weeks.
Note however that assistance to external companies is subject to staff availability.
Articles for publication
When collaborating on research papers, co-authorship is not normally necessary, although an acknowledgement for statistical assistance is always appreciated. Co-authorship might be suggested, however, where statistical support is complex and/or substantial.
The Statistics Advice Centre, operating within the Department of Mathematics, has offered a clinical trials analysis service to researchers within the University of Surrey for many years, alongside its general statistical consultancy service. These services have now been made available to outside industry, subject to staff availability.
For full details click here
If your need is urgent, we suggest visiting the University of Reading Statistical Support website.
In the field of statistical computing, a variety of tasks can be undertaken. These include data entry and validation, typically in connection with clinical trials or other medical studies. Also, we have considerable experience in advising on the usage of spreadsheet packages for data collection, and in accessing large computerised databases for data retrieval.
For full details click here.
Recommended statistics text books
Click here for some recommended statistics books for non-statisticians.
Directions - How to find us and what to bring
Click here for a map and suggestions for meeting agenda.
Past work for industry, commerce and the public sector
- Analysis of fibre breaks in composites
- Crack growth problems in airframes
- Strengths of steel structures and welded joints
- Extreme value theory methods for prediction of dispersion, threshold boundar ies and field connectivity
- Modelling high resolution X-ray diffraction data
- Co-investigator on a NERC grant "Large eddy simulation extended by extreme value theory for the prediction of dispersion" (2000-02)
Health and Safety
- Co-investigator on feeding practices for low birth weight infants (funded by Cow and Gate) and a systematic review of weaning (funded by Nestle)
- Identification of factors affecting back pain in the retail industry
- Time to event methods (environmental toxicology)
- Health study of respiratory disease in relation to area of residence (funded by BAA)
- Collaboration on three NHS-funded systematic reviews
- Analyses of pharmaceutical data
- Analyses of infection prevalence levels
- Retrieval/analysis of healthcare data from patient administration systems
- Models and diagnostics for flow cytometric data
- Co-investigator on BBSRC project on Bioprocess Design (1997-01)
Electronics, Computing & Mathematics
- Application of extreme value theory to multi-channel communications systems
- Rutherford backscattering
- Defect detection in ceramic tiles
- Implementation of reversible jump McMC for modelling mobile satellite communications channels
- Extremes of solutions of complex turbulence models with applied mathematicians
- Academic partner in a Teaching Company Scheme (1996-99) with IML Ltd of Liphook on artificial intelligence and application of computer-intensive methods
- Small satellite reliability
Statistical Input for Applications
Many grant applications require sample size calculations. Please click below to run the software application SSA (beta 21/08/08)