Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Support (BERD)

The CTSC Biostatistics Core is designed to provide HSC investigators with expert early consultation and service on all aspects of study design, biostatistics, and basic data management for effective clinical and translational studies. The Core provides easily accessible consultation and services, user-friendly courses for researchers at all levels, and novel tools and methods intended to solve problems and address barriers to the conduct of clinical and translational research.

Our services are open to all investigators to understand the methodological aspects of their research needed for planning their projects, including power analysis, sample size designation, and research design for extramural grant submissions. Download the BERD Guidelines for detailed information.

Services for UNM Health Sciences Center Faculty

Because of the NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), the CTSC is able to provide funding to cover 5 hours per calendar year of individual biostatistical consultation per faculty investigator. Consultation hours are often used for preparing a pilot or grant application. Additional consultation or service work is charged at the usual rate of $75/hr.

Consultation activity includes power analysis, sample size and research design for grant or pilot project submissions, while service includes more complex analysis, data modeling, and data management. The 5 hours paid for by the CTSC apply only to consultation hours.

If funds are not available from extramural grants, we encourage you to seek funding from the CTSC Pilot Program, HSC Research Allocation Committee (RAC), and/or departmental sources.

Biostatistical support is available free of charge to residents and fellows through departmental/institutional funds.  Only projects on which residents or fellows serve as Principal Investigator (PI) qualify. Projects that involve a resident or fellow with a faculty member serving as the PI does not qualify.

What Researchers Need to know Before Scheduling Services

Setting Appointments:

Please contact HSC-CTSCbiostats@salud.unm.edu to schedule appointments and complete the required paperwork (Information for Biostatistics Service form).  Please do not contact biostatisticians directly for scheduling appointments.

Some Tips for Scheduling:

  • Appointments for initial consultation are generally limited to one hour.

  • You should schedule a meeting with a biostatistician as early as possible in the process of protocol development.  For grant applications, we request at least 4 weeks or more ahead of internal grant deadlines. The biostatistician can assist you with study design and with writing a statistical analysis plan and its essential components, like specifying sample size. 

  • Large amounts of consulting hours over a few days or weeks is likely not possible or practical. We will do everything we can to accommodate your project, though please be aware that CTSC biostatisticians may be; 1) working with many other investigators at different stages of their research, and/or 2) need time to work through complicated biostatistical analysis.

  • During the initial meeting, develop a work plan and timeline with the biostatistician and make regularly scheduled appointments. It is not practical trying to schedule a large amount of work in a short period as the biostatisticians work on multiple simultaneous projects.

Some information researchers should bring to meetings with biostatisticians:

  • Clear articulation of your study question and hypothesis
  • Relevant papers where similar variables have been studied
  • Pilot data you may have

All of these things will be helpful in planning for the analyses and your sample size calculation which is highly dependent on the expected variability in the data as well as treatment effect sizes. The CTSC biostatistician will be most helpful if you are able to provide information to better inform estimates and analytic plans.

Authorship Policy

CTSC/BERD requires that the BERD biostatistician serve as a co-author on publications involving BERD biostatistical support if he or she meets the criteria set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) as follows:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

CTSC/BERD also requires that the BERD biostatistician serve as a co-investigator or named biostatistician on grants that are developed with the BERD biostatistical support. The level of commitment should be discussed and mutually agreed upon between the PI and the biostatistician.

For any additional questions, please contact HSC-CTSCbiostats@salud.unm.edu.

Biostatistics Services and Fees

Fee Guidelines

Because of the NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), the CTSC is able to provide funding to cover 5 hours per fiscal year of individual biostatistical consultation per faculty investigator. Consultation hours are often used for preparing a grant or pilot grant application. Additional consultation or service work is charged at an hourly rate of $75/hr.

  • If you do not have funds available from extramural grants, we encourage you to seek funding from the CTSC Pilot Program, HSC Research Allocation Committee (RAC), and/or departmental sources. 
  • Support for GME residents’ research projects is also provided through Departmental/Institutional support.  Residents do not need to provide a billing account number.
  • We can provide language and supportive documentation for CTSC biostatistical support for your grant applications.
  • CTSC Pilot Project funding is an important potential mechanism to gain additional support for biostatistical support services.
  • Biostatistical support for Cancer Center projects is provided by the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource of the UNM Cancer Center.
  • Biostatistical support for medical student research projects required for graduation is provided by the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education.