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Date:         Fri, 25 Oct 2002 17:49:11 -0600
Reply-To:     William Dudley <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         William Dudley <>
Subject:      OT Lengthy query about statistical support
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Please excuse the lengthy note with cross postings to other list servers. This is a general question about how statistical support is provided in you institute (e.g. company, college within a university, academic department, private business*.).

I work in a college of Nursing as a research faculty. As with many Colleges of Nursing, we have an Office for Research Support at the Associate Dean level. In addition to the Associate Dean who is also faculty and PI on several grants, we have secretarial, budget, and statistical staff, and other doctorally prepared Statistical faculty. I have been providing statistical support in the college for a few years in what I call a collegial model. I come onto grants as a co-investigator with salary support (as much as 20%) and may have assistance from MS prepared statistician, or I may serve as a consultant providing advice (for say 5%), or some type of mixed model in which I serve as co-investigator but mostly supervise MS stats staff who do all of the analyses. In addition, I have responsibilities for pre award work: helping to write power analyses and planned analyses sections of grants and working on other aspects of the grant (mostly clarity of ideas and "so what" aspects of the grants).

The research mission of the College has grown to the point where the collegial model does not work very well. The college wants to explore other models of the provision of statistical support. For instance one model would be that the Office of Research Support is completely service oriented with a stable of MS stats folks who are farmed out by some one lke me to grants and provide expert service but service that is highly constrained (the statisticians are highly trained programmers with no substantive interest in the grant). Another would be to hire a bunch of Doctorally prepared statisticians who are on grants as co-investigators and who have their own line of research.

Who among you, can take a few minutes to describe the model by which statistical support is supplied to a group of researchers. I am mostly interested in US academic centers but I'd like to hear about non us academic and industrial models as well. Here are some focused questions:

What is the nature of your institution?

What is your appointment (faculty, staff*)

What types of research funding is there? (e.g. NIH, drug company, private foundations)

What is the level of funding in direct costs?

How do researchers get statistical support? Can you describe a model?

How are you and your fellow statisticians funded (e.g. salary support, hard money, indirects, endowed positions*).

If you have a service orientation, how do you structure the grants to provide direct cost to support your personnel. Or so you charge out services in a fee for service model???

Can you characterize the nature of the support (Is it a highly constrained interaction in which the researcher has to lay out questions and variables and gets a print out, or is it a process of discovery with many paths to the answers explored.. * or more likely something in between?).

Many thanks for any information you can provide


*********************************************** * William N. Dudley, PhD * University of Utah * College of Nursing * 10 S 2000 E Front * Salt Lake City, UT 84122-5880 ***********************************************

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