Biostatistics Resource at Nationwide Children's Hospital (BRANCH)

The Biostatistics Resource at Nationwide Children's Hospital (BRANCH) is an extension of Ohio State University's Center for Biostatistics. BRANCH provides assistance to researchers in study design, data analysis and interpretation of statistical results. Our goal is to bolster the level of quantitative research conducted within The Research Institute and the clinic by providing support for biostatistical analysis of clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory research data (including high-throughput ‘omics data).

Our group consists of a mix of faculty members and biostatisticians with expertise in a variety of areas including clinical trials, complex observational studies, and high-throughput statistical bioinformatics.  We are experienced in both intramural and extramural grant submissions including NIH, DOD, AHRQ, PCORI, NSF and foundation grants and can work with investigators starting from the genesis and formulation of research hypotheses to helping to design the study and writing a statistical analysis plan. This also includes selecting appropriate study populations and control groups, measures of exposures and outcomes, and datasets for secondary data analysis.

BRANCH members can also provide information and referrals for data management, bioinformatics, epidemiological methods, qualitative analysis, community engagement, subject recruitment and other resources within Nationwide Children's and OSU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS).  In addition to applied biostatistical work, BRANCH members also develop new biostatistical methods inspired by collaborative work with investigators.

Free Support

Consultation: The basis of an initial consultation is to gather information from the researcher in order to provide options and guidance for conducting statistical analyses and to develop a plan for any additional statistical work. In collaboration with RISI Research & Development (R&D), this consultation can also include advice on data collection and data management needs.  It typically involves a one hour meeting and follow-up as needed.

Grant Application: We collaborate with investigators to develop a study design and to write grant application sections for statistical analyses (including power and sample size calculations). We will also perform limited preliminary data analyses to strengthen a specific grant application. All grant application support is free.  However, it is expected that appropriate biostatistics support costs will be built into the grant budget (see below).

Walk-in Clinic: A free walk-in clinic providing 30 minute sessions will be offered Tuesdays from 1 – 4 pm, Aug. 7 to Dec. 18, in room FB3C.3 and Fridays from 10 am – Noon, Aug. 3 to Dec. 28, in room FB3C.2. Investigators are encouraged to drop-in with statistical questions concerning their study, e.g. to discuss study design possibilities, framing of scientific questions in a statistically testable manner, choice of statistical models / analysis techniques, and sample size considerations.  If more time is needed, such as for data analysis or extensive grant preparation and sample size calculations, investigators are encouraged to submit an official request (see below).        

Fee-Based Support

While The Research Institute subsidizes some of BRANCH’s costs, to help defray these costs several avenues to support our group are available:

Hourly Charges: The core charges an hourly rate for biostatistical support and analysis that depends on who conducts the work:  $110/hour for biostatisticians, $140/hour for research scientists, and $200/hour for faculty. Projects directed by Nationwide Children's trainees, such as postdoctoral and subspecialty fellows and residents, will be discounted by 50 percent.  These fees can be paid by any type of funding support (e.g. grants, startup funds, departmental funding).  An estimate of the number of hours of biostatistics support required will be provided to the investigator prior to the start of any work.

Percent Effort on Grant:  Biostatistical support related to a grant should be captured if possible by dedicating a percent effort of the biostatistician on a grant application.  The percent effort allotted by the individual to the grant should be commensurate with the anticipated work load.  Discussions regarding reasonable effort levels should be conducted well in advance and may involve the BRANCH director.   

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):  Another mechanism for supporting biostatistics effort is to sponsor them on an MOU for an annual dedicated percent effort.  This route is suggested for groups that anticipate working with BRANCH biostatisticians on a consistent and regular basis, to ensure that rapport is built between the biostatistician and the group and to allow the biostatistician to participate in weekly meetings, journal clubs, and other activities in addition to biostatistical anlayses.


Authorship: Regardless of how the costs of biostatistics work are covered, consideration of authorship must be given to any biostatistics staff member who makes an intellectual contribution to a publication or otherwise meets the authorship guidelines for a given journal.  This includes most analysis work on projects.

Timeframe: We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible concerning data analytic tasks.  Although we will make our best effort, because we provide support to a large number of investigators we cannot promise completion by your grant or abstract deadline unless we are given adequate time.  Typically the minimum advance notice for a grant application is one month, with 2-3 months being strongly preferred.

Consultation Requests: A request form is required prior to scheduling an initial consultation with us.

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