BIOSTATISTICAL support & Consulting for MSA Projects - The Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA) program has contracted
with the Colorado Biostatistics Consortium (CBC) and the Department of
Biostatistics and Informatics to develop a biostatistics consulting resource that
is available to all medical students when working on their MSA project. This
document outlines this new resource.
- To assist medical students with developing
statistical literacy as applied to their project.
- Help the student develop a design and analysis
framework that is doable by the medical student in consultation with their
mentor and biostatistics faculty and graduate students.
- Provide peer-to-peer and one-on-one feedback on
the design and analysis aspects of the student’s project.
Collaborating with a
In instances where it becomes clear the project requires
design or analysis methodology well beyond the skill set of medical student,
the medical student and their faculty mentor will be referred to the Colorado Biostatistics
Consortium (cbc.ucdenver.edu). The CBC will develop a scope of work with anticipated
costs. It is the expectation that the faculty mentor will help the student
identify mechanisms for covering the costs of implementing such a study.
Structure of the
Two hour consulting clinics will be offered approximately
every 2 weeks over the academic terms. The
medical student is required to register and fill out a form prior to attending
any clinic (see cbc.ucdenver.edu to register). Students may attend as many
clinics as they desire and are encouraged to attend many over the course of
their project. The main topics covered
in each clinic are designed to be relevant to many MSA projects.
Each clinic has two parts:
Examples of consulting support in the hands‐on portion of the clinics may include:
- A 20‐30 minute applied introduction to a statistical concept applicable to every MSA project. The
first ~20 minutes of each clinic covers the topic -- the remaining time is
group and individual based hands-on work with MSA students, and biostatistics faculty,
- A hands‐on portion dedicated to answering your specific questions. The Hands‐on portion is a mix of group and one‐on‐one interactions with peers and biostatistics graduate students and faculty. Questions in the hands on
session do not have to align with the clinic topic.
o Review and assistance creating testable study hypotheses
o Choosing a study design
o How to calculate a sample size and create a justification
o Developing an analysis plan
o Reviewing analysis code or procedures
o Interpreting analysis output
o Review of tables and figures
Students must register 48-hours prior to attending any clinic:
COMIRB - COMIRB approval is required for all students conducting human subjects research. You will need to complete required training in order to submit a protocol or be added to an existing protocol.
This presentation by Warren Capell, MD, the Director of COMIRB at CU Denver, is a very helpful IRB Orientation to reference.
Health Science Library - The MSA program has a librarian assigned for each of the 5 thematic areas who can help with professional grade searches for background sections of proposals and with systematic reviews.
For Statistical Help, the Health Sciences Library has Statistical Workstation
PCs for use:
North Commons – Third Pod Group (you can ask at the Service Desk)
Four PC workstations: HSL-P27 to P30 (marked with signage)
- Students using statistical
applications have first priority.
- Students using VH Dissector Pro
have second priority.
- If you are not using statistics applications or VH Dissector Pro,
you may be asked to relocate.
Statistical Software: SAS, SPSS, JMP
Pro, and R with EpiTools
- Epi Info: Suite
of lightweight software tools, delivers core ad-hoc epidemiologic functionality
without the complexity or expense of large, enterprise applications
- VH Dissector Pro (VH
= Visible Human)
- Cn3D: A helper application for
the web from NCBI which allows you to view 3D structures
- Microsoft Office Pro: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access
- Web browsers: Chrome, IE, Firefox
Projects Seeking Students - There are a number of longitudinal projects that seek students to take an active role. This link will provide a brief project description as well as the contact information for either the mentor or a student working on the project.
Writing Center - The Writing Center is available to assist with your writing for your MSA proposals and with scholarly papers that may result from your MSA project. The Writing Center is located in the HS library.
FAQ's about the MSA program
Funding Opportunities for MSA projects
Tips for finding and working with a mentor