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Statistical Consulting (Statistical Science)

Course 2016-2017

Admission Requirements

One should have obtained at least 45 ECTS from the compulsory courses of the program of the Statistical Science master.


Consulting is an integral part of an applied statistician’s life, whether working in academia, government or industry. Statistical and methodological consultation may involve brief interactions to respond to very specific technical questions of a single client, or long term associations as a member of research projects. It always involves a form of ‘reverse reasoning’, that is, figuring out the conclusion you want to come to, and finding a way to get there. Specifically, the consultant’s problem is: What statistical procedure(s) could provide an appropriate answer to the client’s research question, within all practical constraints?

The goal of this course is to develop some consultancy skills, such as how to effectively communicate with researchers and practitioners. Emphasis will be given to issues of recognizing the client’s problem, within a consultation setting. Every two students will carry out a statistical consultance project with an actual client and write a report.

Course objectives

Develop statistical consultancy skills.


For the course days, course location and class hours check the Time Table under the
tab “Statsci Students —> Program Schedule” at

The date of handing in the report, and the dates when each student will receive a client with a statistical problem will be agreed upon during the first lecture.

Mode of Instruction

A combination of lectures, client meetings (intake, progress, and final advice), and student presentations. For the client meetings, the students will be divided into two groups (i.e., morning and afternoon group). The exact program will be announced on the first lecture day at September 5, 2016.
h3. Registration

Assessment Method

Final client report (70%); final presentation (10%); reflection report (10%); active participation during the meetings and student presentations (10%).
Lecture attendance and meeting attendance is obligatory in the whole course.

Course material

Various articles and book chapters on a) how to perform statistical consulting; b) the profession of an applied statistician; c) how to report statistical methods and results to non-statistical readers, and d) meta-scientific issues. The titles will be announced on Blackboard.

Contact information

Dr. E. Dusseldorp and Dr.Ir. N. van Geloven
elise [dot] dusseldorp [at] fsw [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl and N [dot] van [underscore] Geloven [at] lumc [dot] nl