News & Events

Subscribe to email list

Please select the email list(s) to which you wish to subscribe.

You are here

Free Statistical Consultation

The Statistics Department offers two types of free statistical consultation. One is through courses with students mentored by faculty (STAT 551 Term 1, STAT 450 Term 2) and is open to all. The other (SOS—Statistical Opportunity for Students - available only to graduate students at UBC-V), is via a team of a senior consultant and a Statistics graduate student (year-round). One difference between these opportunities is the time commitment from the client and from the Statistics expert. SOS involves the least time—a one-hour meeting with a follow-up one-page report—and has fast turn-around time. STAT 551 students typically spend about a month or two on a project, with about 2 – 4 hours of client face-time. STAT 450 students spend an entire semester and interact regularly with the client.   Another difference between the opportunities is that the client receives advice and a report via STAT 551 and SOS, but does not receive statistical analysis. STAT 450 students carry out data analysis. 

I invite you to submit projects and questions to take advantage of these opportunities via SOS and STAT 551. Details are below. Solicitation of projects for STAT 450 will be before the start of Term 2, with information posted at

Where further work is desired, ASDa, the Statistics Department’s Applied Statistics and Data Science Group (formerly called SCARL), has fee-for-service options. Also available is help through the Short Term Consulting Service, run entirely by the graduate students of the Department of Statistics who have completed the course Stat 550, Techniques of Statistical Consulting. For more information, please check:; or; or

If you know others who might be interested in these consultation services, please pass on this information.  

Thanks in advance for submitting interesting and challenging projects—and do read the appended details.


Nancy Heckman

Professor and Head, Department of Statistics



To take advantage of this unique opportunity to receive free statistical advice through STAT 551or SOS, please submit the required project description to ASDa by e-mail

asda at stat dot ubc dot ca

(as an attached PDF file), with a subject line clearly indicating either STAT 551 or SOS. If you don’t know which one to use, just put both of them. We’ll figure it out!

Please note that a graduate student seeking statistical advice needs the permission of his/her supervisor. An e-mail from the supervisor at the time of project submission suffices, with the name of the student and the project clearly indicated.


Your project description should consist of a concise description of your research problem in non-specialist language, with a clear indication of specific statistical issues on which advice is desired. A description of at most one page is preferred. Please only attach supplementary material if it is absolutely essential. For example, sending a grant proposal, together with a cover note saying you want advice on its statistical aspects, without any attempt to describe the research problem in terms that can be understood by a Statistics graduate student or to

clarify what specific statistical issues are of concern, is not an appropriate submission.

Sample project descriptions can be found at


Students in the consulting practicum, STAT 551, provide free consultation involving 2 – 4 hours of face-time with the client and also provide a written report containing detailed advice and recommendations. STAT 551 is offered in Term 1 each academic year. Students in this course have already completed STAT 550 (Techniques of Statistical Consulting), and will be undertaking this academic activity under the overall supervision of a department faculty member.

Projects from all UBC-affiliated units and all levels of researchers, particularly graduate students, are welcome. Research projects requiring primarily advice on appropriate designs and methods of statistical analysis are ideally suited for STAT 551. To allow each 551 student to be exposed to several projects, the total time spent on each project has to be limited. Thus, smaller projects are particularly suitable.  

As soon as your project is approved, your description will be added to the list from which students will select projects. Thus it is to your advantage to submit a clear description as soon as possible. Students will begin selecting projects at the start of the fall term. The clearer your description, the more likely students are to select your project sooner rather than later and the more productive the initial consultation session is likely to be. Once your project has been selected, the student will contact you to arrange an appointment for an initial consultation session. If, at any time prior to being contacted, you no longer require advice on your project, please let ASDa know so the students do not spend time preparing for "inactive" projects.


SOS runs year-round and involves a one-hour meeting with a senior consultant and a Statistics student, with the client receiving a one page report, with relatively short turn-around time.

SOS is funded by the UBC Office of the Provost and Vice President, Research and International.

See for more information.