Academic Statistical Support

We want to support good statistical practice throughout academic research. Good design and appropriate use of statistics allows researchers to make the best use of their data and improve the quality and impact of their conclusions. Involvement can range from helping ensure the optimal design to provide maximum power from your experiments through to bespoke final analyses enabling the most insightful and reliable inference possible. We currently offer two avenues which provide statistical support to any project:

Post-doctoral consultancy advice

We employ a post-doctoral research associate available for hire on a pro rata basis for short to medium term involvement in any academic research project which might benefit from bespoke statistical expertise. Statistical advice or analysis need only be bought in as and when it is needed in the wider project. Typically this may range from a week to several months depending upon the complexity of the problem.

Through this scheme we aim to enable academics to obtain the benefits of dedicated statistical expertise without having to fund an exclusive statistical RA for the full duration of their project. Offering a more affordable way to include statistics within grant applications can also help increase chances of grant capture.

The service is available for use by any academic (any faculty) interested in applying up-to-date statistical models in their research but without the current in-house expertise to do so. All analysis provided is overseen by academics within the statistics group to assure quality.

Payment for the service could come from writing the support into a full-scale grant application or from smaller pots of money, from whatever source. We hope this will support the wider research and funding process, making it easier to buy in relatively small amounts of time from a statistics PDRA, whether it is for a pilot study, as part of a larger grant, or as follow-up to existing research or collaboration such as a postgraduate project.

If you have a current (or near-term) project which you think might benefit from the inclusion of some statistical input (or would like to discuss some ideas) then please contact Tim Heaton, with the following information:

  1. Description of the project and specifically the statistical input required (if you are unsure as to the type of analysis required this need not be detailed);
  2. Time scale on which work would be needed (start date and expected length);
  3. If you have any current collaborations with SoMaS staff. This may help us try to allocate the project to the staff member best suited to the work.
Note: If you are considering submitting a grant then please speak to us beforehand as we can advise on the amount of time which might be required for any statistical components and help with the wording for the application.

Preliminary help and advice for University of Sheffield staff

We run a free Statistics Clinic for University staff where we can give you advice on statistical methods. Being free, this service is intended only to provide recommendations on suitable approaches to users and typically cannot do the suggested analysis itself. This service is available for Sheffield University staff only. We cannot accept appointment requests from PhD students, but PhD supervisors may come to the clinic and bring their students with them. (PhD students can make appointments with MASH). To make a clinic appointment, please contact Tim Heaton. Please note that if you want some more in-depth advice or someone to analyse your data for you, you should be using the post-doctoral service above.

Support for students

Statistics support for Sheffield University students (undergraduate and postgraduate) is available at MASH (Maths and Statistics Help). Contact details are available at the MASH website, which also includes various online statistics tutorials.

External Commercial Support

If you are not a member of academic staff at the Univeristy of Sheffield, and you wish to contract someone to provide statistical advice/analysis, you can contact the Statistical Services Unit (SSU).