NC TraCS Biostatistics Core's mission is to serve investigators advancing translational research. In most cases, we provide biostatistics consultation and support services free to qualified investigators, per our general policies as set out below. Qualified investigators include researchers from our CTSA award's four core partner institutions: UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. A&T, NC State, and RTI. We also support researchers from any institution who are seeking or implementing UNC-based funding awards to support translational research inquiry.

Fees for Biostatistical Services

Free service model

NC TraCS Biostatistics Core's mission is to serve investigators advancing translational research. In most cases, we provide biostatistics consultation and support services free to qualified investigators, per our general policies as set out below. Qualified investigators include researchers from our CTSA award's four core partner institutions: UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. A&T, NC State, and RTI. We also support researchers from any institution who are seeking or implementing UNC-based funding awards to support translational research inquiry.

For investigators seeking or implementing grant awards issued by NC TraCS specifically, such as the TraCS $2K Grants or $5K-$50K Translational Research Matched Pilot Grants, among others, we provide free biostatistics support at all stages, and these investigators therefore need not allocate for our support in their proposal budgets. (Note: this is true except in relatively rare cases where support needs are so extensive that they fall outside our usual scope of service; in such cases, budgets must account for biostatistics support obtained outside of our service. We will be happy to discuss.)

Separately, and on a very limited basis, we provide some support to graduate and professional students, as explained in our Student Policy (pdf).

Fee-for-service exceptions to our typical no-fees approach are explained below.

Range of services

We serve investigators along the entire research-to-dissemination spectrum. We particularly encourage early study design consultations so that relevant biostatistical considerations are incorporated in research plans from the outset. Our further services include analysis of preliminary or interim data to inform research design; development of and pre-submission review of funding proposals; manuscript preparation and review; and other services as required. Please note that we do not provide comprehensive data management support.

Because our service capacity is not unbounded, we impose reasonable limits regarding service intensity (number of hours), pace, and/or duration. We inform clients of any such limitations to establish shared expectations.

Research and Manuscript Collaboration

In addition to providing short-term consultations, our biostatisticians will often join investigators in ongoing collaborative relationships, agreeing to serve as Co-Investigators in funding proposals and as co-authors on research manuscripts. Thus, in many cases the collaborative relationships begun in response to service requests develop into extensive academic and research collaborations extending over many months or several years.

Fee-for-service exceptions

There are three common exceptions to our general practice of offering free services:

First, the NC TraCS Biostatistics Core is neither designed nor able to provide routine, ongoing biostatistics staffing or support for large externally-funded investigations, such as R01s. Such extramurally-funded investigations should have dedicated budget lines to support such work, which might include data acquisition/transformation/management, core statistical programming, basic data analysis, etc. If asked to support investigators with these needs, we engage only if we identify objectives where our involvement will offer unique, high-value outcomes and support is otherwise unavailable, charging $150/hour. Most analysis tasks along with associated limited data management are completed by our advanced graduate students, whose work is supervised by our faculty biostatisticians at no additional charge.

Note: We regularly advise investigators seeking external awards to budget appropriately for a senior project biostatistician and/or biostatistical support services, given that our support may no longer be justified once grant funds have been secured. We can also recommend prospective candidates, whether faculty or graduate students, who may be willing to contract with the investigator to contribute directly to an investigation.

Second, for requests submitted by research teams that include one or more private sector partners, we typically charge $150/hour for our services.

Third, for investigators who wish to guarantee either continuity of service by a particular biostatistician with whom they have previously collaborated or support on an accelerated schedule, we may consider such arrangements at a charge of $150/hour.

Referrals

Recognizing the many benefits that follow from ongoing, long-term collaborative relationships between investigators and professional consulting biostatisticians who specialize in the same research field, the NC TraCS Biostatistics Core occasionally makes targeted referrals to other UNC-based biostatistics consulting service providers. The UNC campus includes various such resources, each focused on a specific area of research inquiry. These service units may or may not charge fees and typically work only with affiliated researchers.

Because we play a dual role as direct service providers and as facilitators of service access via these targeted referrals, we may ask if you have funds for biostatistical support, since having budget information helps us identify all available service access options.

Request completion

NC TraCS Biostatistics Core requests are closed when the initial request has been satisfied. Investigators are welcome at any time to submit new TraCS requests for additional biostatistical services.

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