Biostatistics & Computational Biology - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When should I contact BCB for assistance?

     The earlier, the better: when you just think to write the study proposal (inception of your project - not to wait until you have the data). BCB biostatisticians provide a wide range of biostatistics assistance to new research projects and proposals that are initiated by dental investigators. Through these early collaborations such as preliminary data analysis and measurement validation, background rationale review and draft for analysis plan, our goal is to help investigators develop high quality research proposals with sound statistical integrity, which can be submitted to compete for external funding.

I have a project running (funded or unfunded) and I have not worked with BCB on it before. Can I still ask for assistance?

     Yes. You can contact us for assistance at any stage of your project and we will work with you from there. However, study design dictates what statistical methods should be used for analysis.  In most cases, data analysis methods can not remedy a flawed study design. Therefore we encourage all investigators start to work with a biostatistician when the study is in its planning stage. 

How soon should faculty/students/staff approach the Division of Biostatistics & Computational Biology with requests related to IADR/AADR/ADEA submissions?

     Since there are usually a large number of requests before IADR/AADR/ADEA submission deadlines and we may also have competing priorities such as federal grant deadlines, early planning of your submissions is critical. We highly suggest that you contact us a few weeks before submission deadlines. 

I took two statistics courses in college and I feel confident when dealing with numbers. Can I use an online software and analyze the data myself?

     Yes. But this is NOT recommended! First of all, only well accepted reliable software should be used for data analysis. Secondly, seemingly simple dataset may have more complicated features hidden (e.g. correlation, censoring, ascertainment bias, etc.). If you choose to perform the statistical analysis yourself, we highly recommend that you still consult with a trained biostatistician, making sure what you are doing is statistically sound and justifiable.