Digital illustration of statistics concept. getty
The Medical Statistics Group, at the Peninsula Medical School, offer a Statistical Consultancy Service providing statistical clinics for both staff and students. The Consultancy Service can also offer support and collaboration with funding applications.
Our team has a broad range of expertise including, but not limited to:  
  • Trial methodology 
  • Sample size calculations 
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Regression analysis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Compositional data analysis
  • Survival analysis
  • Multi-level modelling
  • Longitudinal data analysis 
  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Bayesian inference and model fitting in BUGS, Stan, JAGS, WINBUGS, OpenBUGS 
  • Approaches to deal with missing data 
  • Statistical packages SPSS, R, STATA, SQL, Git 

Supporting clinical trials or other research studies

From design and analysis to interpretation and reporting of all types of study
We have extensive experience in providing statistical support to clinical trials including feasibility (for example, the EMaPP feasibility trial and RESOLVE) and pilot trials, randomised controlled trials including CTIMPs (for example ENRICH), adaptive designs, cluster trials (for example, PARTNERS2), stepped-wedge trials, early phase trials (for example, ERASE), trials of complex interventions, and other well designed research studies including observational longitudinal studies such as SWIMS and the EarlyBird study. We work across the whole life cycle of trials and can offer support and advice in the following areas:
  • study design  – including sample size and power calculations
  • grant and protocol writing – advice on the data that you plan to collect and how these data will result in meaningful conclusions
  • advice on writing Statistical Analysis Plans (SAPs)
  • data management – eCRF design, development of data entry protocols and the organisation of databases
  • statistical analysis – advice and assistance in any area of statistics, and interpretation of findings
  • statistical reporting – help with the preparation of reports and papers for academic and professional journals.

Statistical advice

Ad-hoc support – clinics for Plymouth students, researchers and staff
1-hour appointments for statistical advice, in-person or online, are available to help staff and students with their statistical needs. We offer support and advice on:
  • developing research questions
  • discussing appropriate methods for data analysis
  • providing support with statistical software packages
  • discussing interpretation of statistical output.
Historically these 1-hour appointments have led to further research collaborations with colleagues from within the University and externally from our local NHS Trust. 
Case study: in 2018 we had a 1-hour appointment with a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine to provide advice on study design and sample size requirements. This developed into a research collaboration with our group providing the analysis for a small pilot study and contributing to the subsequent research paper to disseminate results. We are now collaborating further on developing a research funding application to expand this work to a full trial.  


Undergraduate, postgraduate and bespoke training courses
We provide undergraduate teaching in the Peninsula Medical School and postgraduate teaching within other areas of the University including, the School of Health Professions, the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, the Peninsula Dental School.
Examples of our teaching activities include:
  • BMBS Medicine (Year 1 & 2 Evidence Based Practice) – understanding statistics and critical appraisal skills
  • School of Health Professions (MClinRes) – correlation and regression – introduction and practical workshop
  • MSc Health Data Science and Statistics – introduction to statistical analysis plans
  • MSc Dentistry – practical meta-analysis
  • Supporting PenArc Making Sense of Evidence workshops (for a wide range of people, from students, patients and members of the public to doctors, allied health professionals, nurses and therapists).
As well as teaching statistics to undergraduate medical students and other postgraduate students, the Statistical Consultancy Service is able to work with you to develop bespoke training packages to meet your needs. For example, we have previously developed and delivered a three-day workshop package for Plymouth Marjon postgraduate students and their supervisors covering introductory statistics, sample size calculations, and regression analysis.

Supporting research fellowships

Support for fellowship applicants pre and post award
As a group, we have many years of experience of supporting postgraduate fellowships. We are able to offer advice on statistical analyses, double coding, interpreting results, potential avenues to disseminate research outputs. We have supported both medical research fellowships (INSTEP, OBTAIN, ACCEPT) and pre-doctoral fellowships in medical statistics.

I am currently leading my first clinical feasibility trial as an early career researcher and clinical academic. The Medical Statistics team provided expert design advice and ongoing support in an approachable way that is easy for a non-statistician to understand. I cannot recommend them enough.

Chris Lovegrove, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow (OBTAIN study)

Supporting funding applications

We can provide support and advice for researchers on all aspects of developing a funding application, with expertise in NIHR funding programmes as well as other funding schemes (e.g. Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK). We can advise on appropriate funding opportunities for your research proposal and are happy to discuss collaboration and potential co-applications.
Please complete the request form if you wish to discuss your needs with us or book a consultation.
Your first consult is completely free of charge.