Institute for medical information - processing, biometry, and epidemiology (IBE)

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Project Consultation

The IBE is responsible for providing biometric consultations for scientific research. This service is available to all professors and research assistants of the faculty of medicine. To be able to provide a satisfactory and effective service despite the large number of applications, a few rules - highlighted below - must be followed:

Online application:

  • All applicants must fill out the online application (link below) Currently not available, please contact the Director's Administration Office
  • For animal experiments please click here.

What is meant by "Biometric Consultation"?

The staff at the IBE provides guidance regarding statistical methods which includes study design and the statistical analysis and interpretation of results. It is not possible for the personnel to execute the statistical analysis. A consultation regarding the selection and application of statistical software is available in certain situations. However, since the number of statistical programs has become too large to manage, assistance is only available for the following programs: SAS, SPSS, and R (S-Plus).

Requirements for an effective consultation

The contents and the methodical level of the consultation is based on the needs and wishes of the applicant. However, it is expected that the applicant has a basic knowledge of biometry.  We would like to emphasize that the IBE offers voluntary lectures to employees who have little experience in the application of statistical methods:

SPSS course, year-round 2 meetings per month, for more information and for registration please call: 4400-74480.

We generally recommend that applicants already make use of the biometric consultation during the planning phase of an investigation. The conversation with a biometrician often leads to a more precise research question and the optimization of the study design.

How binding is the biometric consultation?

The participation in the biometric consultation program does not guarantee an optimal study design and analysis. First, the consultant can only provide advice on those aspects of the investigation that have been provided to him/her during the consultation. Second, the advice given is based on the statistical knowledge of the applicant and which statistical software is available. Third, the consultant has no way of controlling that his/her advice has been correctly implemented. For the reasons stated above, we emphasize that any mention of the institute or the advisory staff member within a publication, whether as a thank you or in the form of a coauthorship, requires an explicit approval by the staff member. Since this rule has not always been followed in the past, we now require a consenting signature to this rule within the application form.

In what form is an extensive consultation available?

A more intensive cooperation with the IBE can be established for research projects that require extensive analysis with more sophisticated methods. A requirement for this service is that an employee of the IBE is familiar with the appropriate statistical methods, is interested, and has time for the research project. For extensive projects, an appropriate personnel capacity must also be available for carrying out the analysis

Co-authorship of the IBE staff member in case of a publication

For research projects requiring extensive analysis with sophisticated statistical methods, the IBE insist on a co-authorship for the IBE employee involved with the planned publication. Staff of the IBE and cooperation partners are encouraged to settle the question of co-authorship before the start of the cooperation.

What support is available regarding statistical analysis software?

The IBE has limited its support of statistical analysis software to the following programs: SAS, SPSS, R, and S-PLUS. This limitation is due to the unmanageable number of statistical software available on the market. While the above-mentioned programs have an extensive scope of function in both data management and statistical analysis, they are difficult to use. We have therefore established introductory courses for these statistical analysis programs. More information can be found on our site under “Study Programs and Education”.

The university computing center (Universitätsrechenzentrum), LRZ, also offers introductory courses and consultations regarding IT and computer usage. Additionally, it provides courses and consultations regarding SPSS.
Information regarding the SPSS course can be found on our site under "Study Programs and Education".
The usage of computer labs at the university hospitals is available to all employees of the faculty of medicine.

For more information please contact:

Shirley von Stuckrad
Phone: 44007-4480