Statistical Advisory Service

The Postgraduate Statistics Centre at Lancaster offers free statistical advice to researchers from all departments.

If you have a query about aspects of experimental design or statistical analysis relating to your research, the Statistical Advisory Service is here to help any Lancaster PhD student or member of staff, from any department. We run drop-in sessions from 10am to 12 noon on Tuesdays during term time in B77 of the Postgraduate Statistics Centre.

There is no need to book in advance but if you cannot make this session or would prefer to make an appointment, please email advice@stats.lancs.ac.uk. Please note that emails to this address from non-Lancaster accounts will be rejected for security reasons.

Who is this service for?

We are open to queries from Lancaster University members of staff, researchers, post-docs or PhD students who require advice on

This service is internal to Lancaster University. We cannot accept external clients.

Undergraduate and Masters students

Unfortunately we are not able to offer advice for students on taught courses, whether they are at undergraduate- or postgraduate-level. Neither can we offer advice on undergraduate dissertations. We may be able to advise Masters students on their dissertation, provided that

What you can expect from us

All consultants are members of staff within the department, although sometimes PhD students may observe advisory sessions. We try to respond to queries within a week, but may take slightly longer during busy periods.

We can offer you advice, but we do not undertake data analysis ourselves. In some instances, both advisor and client agree that the advisor should take on a more direct role in the project. If this happens then the project will be treated as a research collaboration, rather than as a job for the advisory service, with joint publication output.

Some queries are better resolved through attendance on one of our short courses. Our advisors will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Queries on software

We are often able to help with queries on SPSS or R. However, if you require basic advice on software usage, for example on data input, you may be better attending one of our short courses. Our advisors will again be happy to point you in the right direction.

Drop-in or appointment?

A drop-in session may be short (15-30 minutes), but can speed things up by allowing us to get a better understanding of your problem. If further advice is needed we are then well placed to match you with an appropriate advisor. Additionally, drop-in appointments allow you to explain your problem to us without needing to set it down in an email first.

An appointment typically lasts for an hour. You may then need further appointments, which may or may not be with the same advisor. In order to get the most from an appointment you should explain your problem well in your initial email query. Additional advice may also be given via email following either a drop-in or appointment session. This is up to the individual advisor and client.

What we expect from our clients

In all statistical studies, planning is key. If you think that you will need to conduct a statistical analysis as part of your research we would encourage you to get in touch with us at the beginning to discuss an appropriate study design. You may then wish to return at a later date for advice on the data analysis.

If you choose to seek an appointment directly, please include a paragraph in your request email giving details of your project so that we can match you to one of our advisors. Please do not include attachments as our email system does not always accept these.

If you choose to attend a drop-in session, please bring along anything that may help the advisor, including any references to statistical methods that you would like to use.

Please do not leave your query until the last minute. No-one works best under pressure, and we will be unable to help with a job that needs to be done for the following day (or even the day after).

Further information

If you would like further information, please contact the Advisory Coordinator, Dr Emma Eastoe.