Biostatistics Core

Biostatistics Collaboration and Consulting Core (BCCC)

The Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Public Health Sciences is pleased to announce the University of Miami Biostatistics Collaboration and Consulting Core (BCCC). The primary objective is to ensure that the appropriate use of statistical methodology is incorporated in research. This enhances the University’s scientific mission in ensuring appropriate planning for research, including the use of statistical methodology. BCCC personnel are available for collaboration at all stages of research, including but not limited to preparation of grants and contracts, study design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. Obtaining biostatistical collaboration as early as possible in development of a research project increases the quality of the research, and the likelihood of success in obtaining extramural funds, and meeting study objectives.

The BCCC offers short and long term collaborative support activities, grant development, and quick consulting to faculty, staff, and students, and operates as a cost center. The University approved hourly rate is $105, and all fees are based on UM policy B020 for Recharge or Cost Centers.

The BCCC offers different types of support:

  • Short term support activities: The BCCC offers support activities as short term consulting. For this, Investigators come in for a free initial meeting to describe a specific project. The BCCC will determine the workload and associated time it will take to perform the work needed to complete the project, and present an agreement to the investigator with the associated fee for this support. For example, BCCC may agree to a proposal development/grant application that would take an estimated 40 hours of work on our part. Thus, the BCCC would charge 40*$105=$4200 for the proposal development. This would be a one-time fee, and be recovered in total upon agreement for support.
  • Ongoing Collaborations: The BCCC provides support for collaborations that are ongoing. This might be in the form of long term projects or a Dept/Center/Research group that wants to have a “retainer” on biostatistics support. For example, a certain Department may want to have the equivalent of .25 FTE (520 hours/year) of biostatistics support available to them for whatever they need. This can be protocol development, manuscript writing, data analysis, etc. An ongoing collaboration plan agreement would be established with the BCCC for this type of ongoing support, and fees would correspond to .25*2080 hours/year=520 hours/year.
  • Grants: BCCC support is available for externally funded-grant proposals that include our core in the grant budget for a line item amount of support each year. This would fall into the form of an ongoing collaboration described above. Once the PI and the BCCC receives award notice, the BCCC will then establish an ongoing collaborative agreement, for which the BCCC will bill monthly. The dollar amount put into the budget for the grant will need to be agreed upon by the BCCC, and based on the estimated workload per year of the grant.

The short term support fees as described above apply to protocol development, depending on the estimated workload needed. An exception to this is where Department/Center/Research group is already engaged in an ongoing collaboration with the BCCC to retain biostatistical support for activities that are not externally funded.

**Office Hours:*Office hours consultations are for providing very quick (30 minutes) support to address quick questions or give statistical advice. This is a free support, and is not meant to provide data analysis or write statistical analysis plans or papers. The intention is strictly for limited guidance and to address questions. Office hours currently takes place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm., and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Authorship Policy

Co-authorship on scientific journal articles is generally expected on studies where substantive input on design and/or analysis is provided. The contribution of each person needs to be evaluated as a manuscript is prepared. Consideration for authorship should be based on the accepted criteria for most medical journals. These criteria generally cite both study design and statistical analysis as intellectual input sufficient for authorship. It is impossible to define every situation in advance; however, it should be clear that reimbursement for time does not preclude or replace authorship. For more information, please refer to the edicts set forth in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, http://www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html.

BCCC Leadership and Personnel

The BCCC is Directed by Dr. Shari Messinger, an Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics. All collaboration and consulting activities involve MS and Ph.D. level BCCC staff statisticians. The members of the BCCC cover a wide range of interests and statistical expertise and have consulting experience in a variety of subject matter areas.