The Biostatistics Student Consulting Center

About Us

The Biostatistics Student Consulting Center (BSCC) is a free statistical consulting service provided by doctoral students in the Department of Biostatistics. The center is open to any student in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health or the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS) federation for statistical questions that arise outside of coursework. This may include guidance on study design, analysis planning, statistical programming, and more. The BSCC was made possible by a grant from the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching and is currently funded by the Department of Biostatistics.

How to Access the BSCC

Office Hours

Starting February 3, 2020, we have walk-in group office hours on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:00-1:50pm in HSPH Building 2 Room 428.  We will not hold office hours on any holidays observed by the HSPH academic calendar. Office hours are a quick and easy way to meet with student consultants in a shared space. This option is best for short or very time-sensitive inquiries.

Online Inquiries

Follow this link to submit an online inquiry. After submitting an online inquiry, you will be matched with a student consultant who can work with you one-on-one. We suggest using this option for more involved inquiries.

Please direct any questions about the BSCC to bscc@hsph.harvard.edu.

FAQs

Who is eligible to access BSCC services?


We are open to any current Harvard student enrolled in a program at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) or through the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences Program (HILS). If you are unsure as to whether you qualify, please email us at bscc@hsph.harvard.edu

What kinds of services does the BSCC provide?


We provide guidance to HSPH and HILS students on questions related to statistics, study design, analysis planning, coding, data visualization, and more. The main role of BSCC consultants is to provide advice, teach, and connect you with additional resources. We do not do data analysis, hands-on coding or extended computations on behalf of clients. Questions related to coursework or for paid research conducted at a different institution are not eligible for a BSCC consult.

Should I go to office hours or submit an online inquiry?


We recommend attending office hours for short, general, or time-sensitive questions, and we recommend submitting an online inquiry to get one-on-one consultation for a specific question or one that may require additional follow-up. Please choose either method for your initial inquiry (office hours or online submission), but do not do both. If you attend office hours and find that your question requires additional follow-up, this can be arranged by the office hour consultant.

What happens after I submit an online inquiry?


After you submit your online inquiry, someone from the BSCC will reach out to you via email to initiate a consultation. If more than five business days have passed and you have not heard from us, please send us an email at bscc@hsph.harvard.edu.

I have a follow-up question about a previous inquiry I submitted. What should I do?


You should email your past consultant directly with any follow-up questions. If you do not know your consultant’s email address or you would like a different consultant, please email us at bscc@hsph.harvard.edu.

What can I expect from a one-on-one BSCC consultation?


After you have connected with your BSCC consultant via email, you will likely set up a time for a face-to-face meeting. The BSCC consultant will guide the initial discussion with questions about your inquiry. We recommend coming prepared with any materials you need to explain your problem.  We have found that BSCC consultations are most productive when the client approaches the consult with a specific issue or question they wish to discuss.

Sometimes one consultation is enough. When necessary, the consultant will do some further research and think about your question before proposing a solution or providing you with additional resources. This might be followed by a second or third meeting. Please also see “what kind of time commitment can I expect from my BSCC consultant”.

What kind of time commitment can I expect from my BSCC consultant?


We aim for completed consultations (beginning from your initial inquiry and ending when the case is closed) to consume no more than five hours, often less, of the consultant’s time, including meetings and offline research. If your question is very broad or challenging, you may wish to try and narrow or refine it before your first meeting in order to get the most out of your BSCC experience.

I am a postdoc, research scientist, faculty member, visiting scholar, alumna/alumnus, student not affiliated with HSPH or HILS, etc. Can I access BSCC services?


No. Please see “who is eligible to access BSCC services” for a list of eligible clients. As an alternative, Harvard Catalyst offers a biostatistics consulting service which may be available to you.

I am looking to hire a biostatistics graduate student as a research assistant. Can the BSCC help?


The BSCC is a free service for students enrolled in HSPH and HILS programs and hence this is outside the scope of our organization. If you require an extended or professional consultation, you could consider contacting Harvard Catalyst.

Thanks for your interest in the BSCC!
– The BSCC Team