Consulting Services

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Our consulting activities are designed to work together to support statistics from the inception of research to the final analysis of research results. We provide expertise in all phases of research projects including planning, analysis, and reporting. CSTAT offers two levels of consulting, basic and enhanced.

Basic Consulting. The focus of basic consulting is on building the client’s capacity to apply statistical methods. Therefore, basic consulting typically involves advising clients on research design (e.g., experimental or quasi-experimental design, planning sample size or sampling designs, designing survey instruments, or other data collection methods), selection and application of appropriate statistical methods, and how to use software to perform their analyses. Occasionally, CSTAT refers clients to other experts on campus who have specialized expertise relevant to the clients’ needs. Clients may be referred to CSTAT Associates (individual faculty experts in specific statistical methods who have an ongoing relationship with CSTAT), other MSU faculty, or units on campus that can provide services that CSTAT does not offer.

Enhanced Consulting & Collaboration. Projects move from basic to enhanced consulting when they require continuous, deeper, or more creative involvement of CSTAT consultants, or when they involve data management or data analysis by CSTAT consultants. Such enhanced activities go beyond advising or instructing the clients on how to conduct their research or data analysis. CSTAT staff may enter and manage data to prepare them for use in analyses; analyze clients’ data; interpret the statistical results; or prepare graphs and tables.
           CSTAT consultants also collaborate with some clients when the project requires enhanced consulting. Such collaboration might involve co-authorship of conference presentations, papers or other types of publications and scholarly products designed to communicate the findings to diverse audiences. It may also include collaboration on grants and contracts, with CSTAT personnel serving as key personnel, consultants, or co-investigators.

Who Are Our Clients
While most of our services are provided to faculty, graduate students, and staff at MSU, we do welcome off-campus consulting clients.

CSTAT clients include researchers – mainly who are:
  • Designing an experiment or survey
  • Preparing grant applications
  • Deciding which statistical software to use
  • Planning or implementing statistical analysis
  • Analyzing or interpreting results
  • Documenting statistical results
  • Responding to reviewers
  • Looking for existing sources of systematic data

Fees. We do not charge typical MSU clients any fees for our basic consulting services. Fees may apply when: (1) CSTAT personnel are engaged as co-investigators or consultants on externally funded projects; (2) CSTAT personnel or Associates provide enhanced consulting in the form of intensive or extensive services such as grant writing, data analysis, collaboration, or report writing; or (3) the client is not affiliated with MSU.

           Fees are negotiated with the clients in advance for non-MSU clients or for providing enhanced services to MSU-affiliated clients, based mainly on: (a) the expected amount of consulting effort and the costs associated with employing different types of consultants (graduate RA’s, academic specialists, or faculty); (b) other direct costs (e.g., supplies and materials, transportation); and (c) administrative costs.

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