Grant Preparation

Policies and Guidelines for Including Biostatistics Support on Grants


This document lays out policies and guidelines for inclusion of Biostatistics personnel in grant applications. The guidelines lay out common scenarios and are meant to serve as a starting point for discussion for planning and budgeting purposes. In all cases, discussion with Biostatistics faculty early in the grant preparation process is necessary to ensure that the appropriate level of support is provided.

PhD faculty and master’s statisticians can participate in grant development in numerous ways including

If Biostatistics effort in proposal development is not covered by funded projects, time spent on proposal development will be billed at the current hourly rate or MOU.


Inclusion of Biostatistics Personnel in Project Budgets

PhD faculty effort

Biostatistics faculty should be included as named co-investigators (typically as key personnel) on collaborative applications. While effort may vary from year to year, an average of 10% effort (1.2 calendar months per year) over the project period is suggested as a guideline for most clinical projects and more complex basic science projects (see effort allocation guidelines below). Faculty may not be included on budgets for less than 5% effort without the approval of the Chair of the Department of Biostatistics.

For projects with limited statistical needs or limited budgets (e.g., R03 applications), provision for support of faculty time on a fee for service basis may be made through CCORDA. In these cases, the CCORDA will provide a letter of support, but no biosketch will be provided.

Master’s statistician effort

Master’s statisticians and data management personnel provide assistance with data management, statistical programming, and preparation of reports and manuscripts. Master’s statisticians have experience developing REDCap and Access databases and using SAS, R, Stata, and other statistical packages. 

For most funded projects, master’s statistician should be coupled with PhD faculty effort. Master’s statisticians are not named, but support is included as a percentage of charge per FTE.


Effort Allocation Guidelines

These guidelines provide suggested levels of support for projects of varying complexity and need of statistical expertise.


Large or complex projects (e.g. multi-site clinical trials, cores for program projects or SPORES): Total biostatistics annual effort 50–100+% per year, such as 20% or more of PhD faculty time plus 30–100%  master’s statistician FTE:


Regular Projects (e.g., R01 involving clinical data, basic science project with complex analysis (eg. Omics data)): Total biostatistics annual effort 20–50%, such as 10–15% PhD faculty time plus 10–35% master’s statistician FTE.

This effort profile is suitable for straightforward projects with uncomplicated analyses and includes:


Simple Projects (e.g., project under 250K direct per year): Total biostatistics effort 5–20% per year, such as 5-10% PhD faculty time plus 5-10% master’s statistician FTE.

This effort profile is suitable for simple projects requiring minimal PhD faculty collaboration and straightforward statistical analyses performed by the biostatisticians (for about one manuscript per year).


Limited Scope projects: Total biostatistics effort <5% per year

In rare occasions, a limited amount of funding may be justified, for example, for assistance with small-scale Phase I trials, straightforward animal studies, or simple cell-based experiments. In these cases, some statistical analysis will be needed, but the scope is limited. Such small projects may budget for faculty biostatistics services through CCORDA using the hourly rate in place of effort.


Other Budgetary Considerations



Effort allocation guidelines were modified from those of the University of California Davis School of Medicine, Jefferson University and University of Kansas Medical Center.