In this blog-interview series, we present the Radboudumc Technology Centers (RTCs) – your gateway to technological expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and invaluable resources. In each part we spotlight one of the 19 RTCs housed within our organization.
Today, we talk with Scott Maurits. He is consultant & teacher Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Radboudumc, and will introduce us two of our RTCs: RTC Biostatistics and RTC Health economics. Both RTCs are part of the department Health Evidence (soon IQ Health).
Thank you for joining us, Scott. We're here to learn more about the valuable methodological support available to our researchers. To start, can you tell us what the two RTCs are all about?
"Choosing the right design for your research project or experiment is essential. If you go wrong, no sophisticated statistical analysis can make up for that. In addition, using these sophisticated analyses can also lead to new problems.
We are there to advise you whenever you are stuck struggling with that difficult methodology part in a grant proposal or when you are in doubt about where to start with your analysis."
Very nice. Could you introduce us to the teams that provide this methodological support at Radboudumc?
"Certainly. We have two teams dedicated to offering methodological support. The first is RTC Biostatistics, comprised of experts who can advise you on research design and statistical analyses. Our expertise covers various aspects, including clinical trials, prediction modeling, sample size calculations, and more. We're here to help researchers at all levels, from PhD candidates to professors, across all departments within Radboudumc."
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That's a wide range of expertise. What about the second team?
"The second team is RTC Health economics. This team provides advice in health technology assessment and health economics, particularly in cost-effectiveness analysis, both empirical and modeling studies. We also assist in writing cost-effectiveness paragraphs for project proposals aimed at funding bodies like ZonMw, EU, KWF, and others."
It's great to have both teams available. Can you share how these RTCs can assist researchers in their projects?
"The best time to seek advice from these RTCs is preferably at the design stage of your study. Involving our expertise at this early stage often results in a better fitting methodology for your research questions. Ultimately, this can increase your chances of securing funding and getting your research published. However, we recommend not waiting until the last minute for our support, as we receive many requests, and waiting times may be a few weeks."
It's clear that early engagement is key. How do both RTCs work together, and where can researchers access their services?
"Both RTCs are situated within the department for Health Evidence, soon to become IQ Health, and collaborate on a day-to-day basis. We've established a shared entry point for methodological questions, facilitating collaborations and access to experts from both teams. Radboudumc researchers can directly apply for methodological support through the webform available on the Statistical Support intranet page (external interested researchers or parties can contact via e-mail through this address). If you're affiliated with Radboudumc and have public funding, you may receive up to 4 hours of free support. For most other cases, there is an hourly cost. After submitting your application through the contactform, a statistician or health economist will reach out to you in about two weeks' time, subject to expert availability, to plan a meeting or provide advice. You can find more information about our services and expertise on our respective websites, Biostatistics and Health economics. And of course, you can always contact the coordinators for any general questions; they're here to help."
That's incredibly helpful information for our researchers at Radboudumc. Thank you for shedding light on the valuable support these RTCs provide.
"You're welcome. We're here to support the research community, and we look forward to assisting researchers with their methodological needs."
Picture: Study Center Medical Sciences
Interview by Hasan Erkan
Editor Radboudumc Research Newsletter
You can find all editions of our blog series on this page