Working with BERD

BERD services are available to internal (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and external (non-Illinois) researchers, faculty, and staff. Postdocs and fellows must be affiliated with an Illinois faculty member or lab.

Getting Started with BERD

  1. Review the details on this page about working with the BERD team
  2. Complete the Project Initiation Form
  3. Participate in a 30-60 minute initial consultation
  4. Sign the required agreements and provide documentation as needed
  5. Collaborate with BERD on your research project

two colleagues meeting at table

Timeline and Prioritization of Projects

While all efforts will be made to accommodate deadlines, we strongly urge investigators to allow sufficient time for core members to work effectively with your team and to initiate a project as far in advance of deadlines as possible. Fulfillment of all requests are dependent on availability of biostatistician and related support, scope of work, urgency of the project, and priority level.  

Priority Level Type of Project When to contact BERD core prior to deadline*
1 New health sciences grant applications (to federal agencies and other internal or external funders) At least 8 weeks
2 Funded projects (e.g., analysis of existing data) At least 6 weeks
3 Non-funded projects (e.g., data analysis for manuscripts, abstracts, or internal purposes)  At least 6 weeks

*Allow additional time if the study design has yet to be fully developed

Project Initiation

Form submission

When submitting the Project Initiation Form, please include a copy of your research proposal or manuscript and 1-2 relevant manuscripts/key papers that will help the BERD team better understand your project and biostatistical needs. All efforts will be made to schedule an initial consultation meeting within 2 weeks of project initiation form submission.

Initial consultation

An initial consultation is provided free of charge. During the initial consultation, we will review your project, discuss data security, and assess short-term needs, long-term needs, and project scope. Within a week of the meeting, you will receive a summary outlining the following details: 

  • Description of deliverable(s)
  • Anticipated completion date(s)
  • Estimated total cost of the project (see rates and invoicing)


The BERD team will use the initial consultation summary to generate applicable agreements and circulate for signature(s). Biostatistical work cannot begin before a signed agreement is received. Client will be asked to sign a CFOP authorization (internal investigators) or an agreement (external investigators):

  • CFOP Authorization: Permits IHSI to collect funds from the provided account on a monthly basis, after acceptance of draft invoice
  • External Agreement: Approved by University Counsel and the Office of Business and Financial Services; outlines deliverables, billing specifications, and timelines

New agreements will be generated for resubmissions. If your proposal is successful, the BERD team will work with you to create an agreement that covers the scope of statistical services post award. 

Identifiable data

If biostatisticians will be working with identifiable data, they are required to be added as research team members. The following documentation will also be required prior to beginning biostatistical services:

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval letter
  • Amendment to the IRB protocol naming the biostatistician as a research team member

A data use agreement may also be required if identifiable data sets must be used. See Protection of Health Information and Human Subjects for more information.

Completing the project

The time involved in performing statistical services varies according to the complexity of the research design, the novelty of the field, and the experience BERD statisticians have with the type of analyses involved, among other factors. If the direction of the project changes and additional analyses are required, the estimated costs will be reassessed and discussed with the client. If necessary, new agreement(s) may be generated and circulated for signature.  

Sample of time commitment for BERD services in proposal development

Service Number of hours
Review of research proposal 3
Sample size and power calculations 3
Writing the statistical analysis plan 4


The initial consultation meeting is provided free of charge for every client. BERD will also provide up to ten hours of grant proposal work free of charge for internal research teams. If the scope of work exceeds ten hours, the research team will then be charged using the CFOP provided in the signed agreement. 

Projects are billed at an internal or external rate for three different levels of service:

  • Expert: PhD-level work; utilizes expertise in advanced biostatistical and epidemiologic methods
  • Intermediate: Masters-level work; utilizes expertise in advanced biostatistical and epidemiologic methods, data management, and programming
  • Basic: Masters-level work; utilizes expertise in commonly-used statistical methods, data management, and programming

Fee-for-service rates (per hour)*

Internal Investigators Basic: $50 
Intermediate: $80 
Expert: $125 
External Investigators

Basic: $70
Intermediate: $100
Expert: $150

* Rates effective 3/15/20. Rates are evaluated regularly and are subject to change.

A cost estimate will be provided for each project. The Senior Research Biostatistician will evaluate the complexity of each project and determine the appropriate distribution of expert and basic services required for completion.

Because it is unlawful to subsidize services provided to private companies, biostatistical services provided to Illinois investigators for private start-up companies will be billed at the external investigator rate. However, if the start-up company is an EnterpriseWorks tenant, the project may be eligible for the internal investigator rate.

Some collaborations between Illinois investigators and external partners may qualify for the internal investigator rate. These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on the level of Illinois involvement in the project(s).


Invoices are emailed to one or more contacts specified by the client. Invoices reflect only hours worked by the biostatisticians. Biostatistician time spent to correct errors in the deliverable(s) will not be billable to the client.

Upon receipt and review of the invoice, internal clients are requested to respond with approval to the IHSI billing contact noted on the invoice so the funds may be deducted from the provided CFOP.

Payment from external clients is expected net 30 each month.

Contacting BERD

Please email us at