Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers expert advising services free to the Penn State community.

If you do not know what type of consultation you need, complete the service request form with as much information as you have available. A member of our staff will contact you to discuss your request in more detail and connect you with the appropriate service.

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Types of Consultations

Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Expand answer

BERD consultations pool Penn State resources across campuses to offer training in biostatistical and epidemiological methodologies and assistance to investigators in study design, data management and analysis. BERD provides for free up to four hours of consultation per project for the development of clinical and translational science external grant proposals and consultations for institute-funded pilot projects. K and T scholars receive free consultations. Up to 10 free hours of support for database development and data management are provided for designing a study database in REDCap.

Consultations include:

  • Design and analysis strategies for research proposals
  • Sample size and power calculations for research proposals
  • Advice on the selection and implementation of appropriate statistical methods for research data
  • Statistical review of grant proposals, protocols and manuscripts
  • Advice on data management and REDCap database development for research studies


Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.


Generally, up to four hours of consultation can be provided free of charge, after which the faculty or staff handling your project can discuss the billing rates for additional collaboration.

Request a Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design consultation


For those interested in learning more on this topic, the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) Recent Topics in Research Methods seminar series takes place during the academic year. Lectures on fundamental research methods are given in the fall semester, with more advanced topics presented in the spring semester. Statisticians and methodologists from multiple Penn State departments present these seminars.

Upcoming seminars are listed here. Click any event to register or add it to your Outlook calendar.

Community Engagement Expand answer

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides community-centered translational science infrastructure that builds on existing networks of community engagement already in place at Penn State, including the Penn State Cooperative Extension and Outreach system, and focuses on the development, implementation, evaluation and diffusion of evidence-based interventions.

Penn State views the community as our principal “customer and partner,” whose needs we strive to meet and whose collective capabilities we seek to engage. The community is where health problems arise, disease-promoting conditions prevail, and disease can be predicted, prevented and treated. Therefore, it is critical that we establish and nurture trust among people, organizations and the translational research community through transparency, utmost ethical conduct and demonstrated commitment toward the common good.

Consultations include:

  • Assistance establishing a research project in the community
  • Assistance to identify stakeholders who can provide input at all stages of research, from conceptualization and discovery to dissemination
  • Guidance in selection of approaches for community-engaged health research (CEHR) that promote trust and benefit all parties

  • Research project design involving interdisciplinary teams and community partners
  • Community-based research approaches and protocols that effectively engage stakeholders in urban and rural settings
  • Support coordination among community members, health care providers and research scientists
  • Identification of needs and priorities for health-related research in Central Pennsylvania communities
  • Tools for increasing diversity of community member participation in health research through awareness and involving community members in the development of effective recruitment, retention and dissemination strategies
  • Assistance with patient and stakeholder engagement for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute – also known as PCORI – applications


Consultations are open to members of the Penn State community. Consultations are required for all CTSI pilot funding recipients.


Community engagement consultations are free.

Request a Community Engagement consultation

Informatics Expand answer

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute is engaged in standardizing and integrating disparate data sets that include electronic health records, environmental, socioeconomic and other data to develop novel methods and artifacts for predictive analytics that solve real-world health problems.

Consultations include:

  • Integration of informatics in translational research activities
  • User training and education
  • Integration of electronic health records with genomic, contextual (environmental and socioeconomic) and wearable sensor data, etc.
  • Design, implementation and deployment of advanced data analytics


Informatics consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.


Informatics consultations are free.

Request an Informatics consultation

Regulatory and Ethics Expand answer

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute helps to facilitate the process by which novel research ideas are transformed into scientifically and ethically sound research study protocols that are in compliance with regulatory requirements. We involve both investigators and regulators into a partnership where values of efficiency, appropriate attention to ethical research conduct and regulatory compliance are continuously balanced.

Consultations include:

  • Education and mentorship on the regulatory and ethical research
  • Considerations of the regulatory and ethics implications of a research project
  • Promotion of scholarship in ethical research
  • Obtaining informed consent
  • Addressing privacy issues in data-driven research
  • Development of research questions related to specific regulatory or ethical concerns to incorporate in study design


Regulatory and ethics consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.


Regulatory and ethics consultations are free.

Request a regulatory and ethics consultation

Teams and Collaboration Expand answer

If you are looking to collaborate, begin by searching the University’s research networking tool, Pure. Further assistance is available through consultations with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Consultations include:

  • Assistance identifying potential collaborators
  • Techniques to grow and develop effective teams
  • Effective integration of knowledge, coordination and communication in team environment
  • Effective management of interpersonal dynamics
  • Assistance motivating a team to meet milestones
  • Guidance on the science of team science
  • Tracking and evaluation of team effectiveness and and team science outcomes
    mentorship for team leaders and education on the role individual factors in effective multidisciplinary research
  • Assistance with team-level processes including establishing common language and conflict resolution
  • Techniques to effectively manage multisite teams


Teams and collaboration consultations are open to members of the Penn State community.


Teams and collaboration consultations are free.

Request a teams and collaboration consultation