Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core



The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core is available to help investigators with grant preparation, study design, statistical and bioinformatics analyses, and statistical education.  Help with grant preparation for both junior and senior investigators is generally free; statistical help with design and analysis for junior investigators is generally free.  The initial meeting with bioinformaticians is free; in this meeting a time estimate and deliverables will be discussed.  The bioinformatics part of the core generally charges an hourly rate (currently set at $125 per hour), but services may be provided free or at a discount to CFAR-associated junior investigators.

Lead Time Guidelines:

Grant Preparation: at least two months before the grant is due at NIH or other funding source.
Analysis for Abstract: at least one month before the abstract deadline


Grant submissions: All Harvard CFAR-affiliated senior and junior investigators are eligible to request Core help for external (NIH and foundation) grants in which at least one aim explicitly involves HIV research.  Anyone who is eligible to submit a Harvard CFAR internal grant proposal is eligible to request Core help on it. 
Design, analysis, and training:  All Harvard CFAR-affiliated junior investigators (those who have never been a PI on an NIH R01 or higher grant on an HIV-related topic) are eligible to request Core help.  In some circumstances, Harvard CFAR-affiliated senior investigators are eligible for some training services.


  • Grant submissions:   
    • Help with formulating aims and hypotheses
    • Analysis of pilot data
    • Design of new studies
    • Statistical analysis methods
    • Justification of sample size
    • Help with listing possible limitations and developing alternative approaches to mitigate the limitations
    • General review of logic of proposal 
    • Assistance in understanding and answering grant critiques 
  • Design: 
    • Formulation of hypotheses
    • Sampling schemes
    • Consideration of stratification and random ordering
    • Variability of various possible endpoints
    • Reliability and validity of questionnaires
    • Choice of statistical tests
    • Advice on choice of high through-put technologies
    • Power and sample size for fixed or sequential experiments
    • Advice on data items to be collected in  laboratory, animal, clinical, outcomes, and epidemiologic studies 
  •  Statistical Analysis:
    • Logical checks of data
    • Tests of hypotheses
    • Development of statistical models
    • Testing of statistical assumptions for tests and models
    • Plots illustrating the results of analyses
    • Help with drafting abstracts, talks, posters, and manuscripts
  •  Bioinformatics Analysis 
    • RNA-seq, single cell RNA-seq, small RNA-seq, and ChIP-seq analysis
    • Whole genome sequencing, resequencing, exome-seq, and copy number variation studies for human and viral samples.
  • Training:  
    • Reviews of statistical methods and analyses in relevant literature
    • Education in statistical methods
    • Statistical computer packages.(e.g., STATA and R)