Project design is a critical aspect of research. It is unethical to request
individuals to undergo the risks, inconvenience and expense of a study that is unlikely to
provide a scientifically worthwhile answer. It is also unethical to request sacrifices
from volunteers that are out of keeping with the value of the research being undertaken.
In keeping with this principle, it is important to ensure that
studies do not suffer from substantial design errors or are susceptible to serious bias in
event recording. Sample size should be calculated to include the right number of subjects
to provide an answer to the research question.
The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine,
Monash University provides the services of a biostatistician for researchers
(funded by The Alfred Research Trusts) to consult on
the statistical aspects of research design and analysis. For those who are new to
research, it is advisable to seek assistance from the biostatistician before commencing
The biostatistician, Eldho Paul, is available to Alfred staff for
statistical consultation by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays and can be reached by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.