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. To make an appointment, please contact us.

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:

  • The design of an experiment, study or survey
  • Statistical analysis of a data set
  • Interpretation of the results of a statistical analysis.

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:

  • The statistical methods required are not covered in the taught part of your course (for example in BIOL421, EBIO211 or PSYC401/402)
  • The request for advice comes from your supervisor, who must attend at least the first meeting

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.

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.

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.

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.