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Statistical Consulting and Advice for OSU Graduate Students

Statistical Consulting and Advice for OSU Graduate Students

Statistical advice to currently enrolled OSU graduate students on an OSU-related research project is offered without charge in weeks 2 through 10 of fall, winter and spring term. Unfortunately, we are not available during the summer months or between terms.


Short-format consulting is provided in one 30 minute appointment with an advanced Statistics Ph.D. student.

Long-format consulting for more complex questions takes 6-8 weeks to complete (see below for details) and is provided by graduate students and faculty from the Statistics department.

Consultants can advise on many aspects of statistical design and analysis, including but not limited to, designing a study, database management, data exploration, formulating a statistical model, determining the type of analysis that should be done, advising on appropriate statistical software, and interpretation of analyses. Consultants will not do data entry or statistical analyses. This service is not to be used for homework problems or class projects.

Short format consulting

30 minute short format appointments handle quick questions or cases where an immediate response is needed. Advanced Statistics PhD students serve as short format consultants.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment you must submit both the intake form and schedule with our calendar. Scheduling is only available during weeks 2–10 of the fall, winter and spring terms. It is not available between terms or during the first week of each term.

  1. Fill out the Intake Form on Qualtrics AND
  2. Schedule your appointment through our Bookings page. Appointments are only available beginning on the Wednesday of the first full week of fall, winter or spring terms. There are no short term appointments during breaks or in the summer.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please email the consultant ASAP. The consulting service often fills up, and your time slot can then be used by another student if you are unable to make it.  

Attending your appointment

Appointments are held in the Graduate Student Commons on the 6th floor of the Valley Library.

Preparing for your appointment

  • Be ready to briefly summarize the research goals of your project and explain how the data were collected. The GTAs will ask about the background of your project, which is essential to understand to provide statistical advice.
  • If there are pictures/plots/graphs that may be helpful to explain your research or statistical questions, have them ready to be shared with the consultant.
  • If you are requesting help interpreting computer output or understanding a code bug, be ready to show the relevant material.
  • Please do not invite your faculty advisor to the meeting. We have found meetings are most successful when they are between graduate students.

Long format consulting

A 5-7 week process during the fall, winter or spring academic term whereby statistical advice can be provided by a statistical consulting team (a Ph.D. student, an M.S. student and a faculty advisor) for in-depth questions that require background context. Long format consulting is not offered during summer term.

Long format process

Clients will meet with the consulting team during an initial meeting during the first half of the term and then again for a recommendations/advice meeting later in the term. Between these meetings the consulting team will present the project to other students and faculty advisors in the department’s consulting practicum for additional review and suggested advice. Following that presentation, the consulting team will prepare any recommendations for the client. Occasionally additional meetings may be required.

Make an appointment

To request assistance, please fill out the Intake Form on Qualtrics.

Teams are assigned to consulting projects at the beginning of each academic term on a first-come-first-served basis. If you submit a request later in the term your team will probably be assigned at the beginning of the next term. Thus, your request may wait a few weeks before it is assigned to a team. If you are not contacted within 2 weeks of the beginning of a term by a consultant, contact Lisa Ganio (

Attending your appointment

Consulting teams meet with clients beginning in weeks 2-3 and finish during weeks 6-8 of fall, winter or spring terms. Meetings are scheduled by the teams and held in a meeting room in the Statistics Department.

Preparing for your long-format appointment

Prior to the initial meeting the consultant will contact you and will request background information on your problem for review before the first meeting. The most helpful information will be a written summary of your problem (including your primary research questions/objective). Examples of additional information that could make the initial meeting more productive include:

  • A copy of a research proposal, particularly sections that define the objectives of your research and the study design).
  • A diagram of the experimental layout and/or a map of areas to be sampled.
  • Possible limitations in materials or time.
  • Scatter plots of the data.
  • Tables of summary statistics.
  • Computer output from statistical software.

During your meetings

At the initial meeting, the consultant will ask you many questions about your investigation in order to have a good understanding of your project (this is necessary before any advice can be offered). In order to avoid giving you incorrect advice, the consultant will likely ask about more details about your study then you may think are needed.

See Information to Obtain at First Meeting for a list of topics to be covered at this meeting. A statistics faculty member will oversee this first meeting, however it will be led by the student consultant. We kindly ask that your faculty advisor does not attend the meeting, so that the communication is more directly between students. Please be patient as the consultant works to understand the details prior to providing you advice.

Advice is not given in the initial meeting. Once the consultant fully understands your description of your project they will ask you to describe the specific advice you need. The consultant will follow up on this initial meeting with a written document that describes your project and the advice you’re seeking.

Once the consulting team has reviewed your project and presented it to the Consulting Practicum, the consultant will schedule a recommendations meeting with the client to review the recommended advice. The recommendations meeting usually happens during the latter half of the academic term.

Please recognize that once your project is completed or the quarter ends or the academic term ends, the statistics graduate student consultant is no longer responsible for providing advice through this service. If you need additional assistance in subsequent terms, please submit a new request to the consulting service.