Building Bridges and Sharing Expertise
External partnerships expand CIDA’s expertise across the nationJul 7, 2020
CIDA offers statistical expertise, feasibility and study design, and software development to organizations who may not have these resources in-house or are looking for a specific need for their project that other departments might not have the means to fulfill. “There's the standard statistical consulting of design and analysis, but then additionally we have written software [for investigators to use] on their own that comes with a user's guide; once the software is handed off, the biostatistician will be available for extended, personalized consulting on an as-needed basis,” explains McNair.
CIDA’s faculty of biostatisticians comprise of individuals with different backgrounds, strengths, and expertise to accommodate a wide-range of project requests. Some investigators partner with CIDA for recurring projects that require consistent statistical analysis, other projects are shorter in duration with the most common project size being about 30-40 hours of work over 6-8 weeks. The best types of projects for CIDA’s external consulting are any that require statistical support and/or analysis.
CIDA has such a variety of expertise which allows flexibility to assist external clients with their needs,
says Rachel Johnson, MS. Working with CIDA is “especially beneficial for contracts who have long term or continuous projects (such as annual reporting) because then they know who will be working with their data each year or deadline and don't have to constantly introduce new people to their project.”
While long term/continuous projects are excellent to build a relationship with CIDA and a statistician, external consultations are not limited to them. “Get a statistician involved at the beginning of [any] project that involves data analysis so that the data can be collected in a manner that can be analyzed later,” McNair advises. Involving a statistician early in the project development not only allows for an expert to help set up the design of the project to yield results that can be properly analyzed, but “[an investigator] can come in with one idea and as the project continues if they find they need another area of expertise, we have professionals who can help,” adds Johnson.
The Center for Innovative Design and Analysis values developing external partnerships with other institutions and organizations. Johnson values these relationships because,
“There's the thought that there is a divide between academic and industry so it provides an opportunity for us to build a bridge between the two worlds.”
CIDA’s part to bridge the worlds of industry and academia is as simple as visiting their website and submitting a consulting request form. CIDA welcomes all requests and questions as they determine what resources are available to assist with each external project’s needs.