Types of Service
There is no charge for Stat Lab consulting with USC faculty, staff and students. Due to the small size of the staff, and the relatively large number of clients, we do ask that clients keep the number of repeat visits on the same problem to the minimum number necessary. At the same time we do not want to limit those who need intensive assistance. In order to accommodate these competing interests, each client will receive 3 meetings free of charge, after which some form of payment may be necessary. The Stat Lab staff member assigned to a problem will provide the client with written recommendations briefly describing the problem, followed by an appropriate statistical solution and the computer code for the solution. We are able to assist with statistical computing in a wide variety of packages, including SAS, SPSS-X, Microsoft Access, Minitab, R, etc.
In the initial interview, we review the current status of the project, discuss data collection and analysis methods and reach an understanding of the specific problems the client would like addressed. The Stat Lab then prepares a project description including an estimate of the effort and cost of each phase of the project (fee schedule available upon request). If the client chooses to proceed with the project, the Stat Lab prepares a proposal package detailing the scope of work and budget, which is forwarded to the University's office of Sponsored Awards Management (SAM). SAM then forwards a contract to the client's appropriate representative for approval. Billing is conducted through the University's Office of Budgets and Contracts.
When to contact the Stat Lab
In order to get the most out of the assistance provided by the Lab, the client should come to us as early in the research process as possible. Ideally, interaction with the Stat Lab should begin during the preparation of a research plan and data collection protocol. Often, issues that could present problems in analysis later can be solved during this early stage of the process. However, we are glad to help researchers at any stage of their work.
Scheduling a Visit
When you contact the Stat Lab, we will generally respond by the next day. Often, we can set up a meeting within the week, though delays of two weeks are not uncommon. This means that we will likely be unable to provide help if you are seeking immediate statistical assistance. As mentioned above, we encourage clients to contact us early in their thesis process.