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Advisory Service

The Statistics Advisory Service

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology offers a free of charge Statistics Advisory Service to support research carried out by all Open University members of staff and registered PhD/Mphil students.

A major aim of the Statistics Advisory Service is to encourage staff and postgraduate students to learn to deal with the statistical aspects of their research effectively and efficiently, by providing statistical advice both at the planning and at the data analysis stages of research.

At the planning stage, statistical advice can help to:
  • Ensure that the research study is designed to address the research objectives as efficiently as possible;
  • Identify best practices for data management prior to the start of data collection.

At the data analysis stage, the service can help to:
  • Identify suitable statistical methods to properly address the research objectives;
  • Understand outputs from statistical computing software;
  • Ensure that evidence based conclusions can be drawn from the analysis.

The Statistics Advisory Service also welcomes the opportunity for collaborative research projects having a researchable statistical component. (Please see the Statistics Group website for further details of expertise and interests of our staff. However, please direct all enquiries to the Statistical Advisory Service in the first instance.)

Type of advice given
  • Input to the design of your research study and data collection;
  • On how to approach the analysis of collected data;
  • On the interpretation of statistical results of your analysis;
  • In solving more complex statistical problems associated with your research.

The Drop-In Service
The service is provided throughout the year (except when the University is closed) via "drop-in" sessions twice a week:
  • Thursdays from 10:30am - 12:30pm.

This may vary on occasion so please contact us beforehand if you can. Appointments at other times may be arranged by agreement with the advisor via email. The advisory sessions are usually held at rooms 204 or 226 in the Alan Turing Building on the main campus.

We would appreciate if you could submit a brief summary of your project or problem by email in advance of your first advisory session or appointment. Please include your name, your research topic/title and department or affiliation within the University.

Our users
The Statistics Advisory Service has provided help to researchers from a wide range of disciplines across the University (and accredited institutions) including

Quotes from our users:
  • “I am sending this group e-mail to thank those whose names appear in my acknowledgments section in my PhD dissertation. As some of you already know, the viva took place on Friday, 24th March. It lasted a bit over 2 hours and I have now passed with a few very minor corrections. I'd like to thank every single one of you for helping me in one way or the other during my PhD."
  • “Just gone over all your comments. I am so grateful to you. I now feel much more at ease. I was very puzzled about the use of the large N formula and I have now recalculated using the original one. All your comments are very helpful and useful. I think you will be inundated with queries as your reputation spreads! ... ”
  • “I would like to acknowledge my debt to my Open University Colleagues ... for their various contributions in the collection, analysis and discussion of the data on which this paper is based; and to ..., in the Open University's Faculty of Mathematics and Computing, for his generous support and for undertaking much of the statistical analysis.”

Contact us
Coordinator: Álvaro Faria

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Faculty of Mathematics. Computing and Technology
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes