Research Design and Analysis Core

The Research Design and Analysis Core (RDAC) provides consultative and collaborative support within the realms of research design, data collection and management, and state-of-the-art quantitative methods for clinical and preclinical experimental studies. The RDAC guides KIDDRC investigators in implementing optimal research design, efficient data collection and management, and state-of-the-art analytical methods to ensure the highest standards of rigor, transparency, and reproducibility. 

To accomplish this, RDAC offers the following services: 

Planning and designing experiments

RDAC supports KIDDRC researchers in all aspects of study planning to ensure that the research design is optimally rigorous, testable research questions are properly articulated, that the methods and analyses proposed will yield the evidence necessary to answer the research questions. RDAC staff help investigators translate research questions into specific aims, construct experimental designs and sampling plans, provide advice on blinding and randomization, determine appropriate sample sizes, select measurement instruments, and develop a comprehensive and tailored plan for analysis. 

Support for Data Collection and Management

The RDAC team helps the investigator adjust the research plan as necessary and prepare for data collection. This may include developing new survey instruments, adapting instruments for use with new technology or new populations, establishing reliable data collection protocols, and assigning FTP or other secure access to data files. Additionally, the RDAC provides key assistance in all aspects of data management. 
Support for Commercial and Open Source Software. Advances in software create a constantly evolving environment for data collection, management, and analysis. KIDDRC investigators can rely on RDAC scientists to keep abreast of improvements in statistical methods and remain fluent in their associated software packages. 

Custom-Created Software for Data Collection and Management

In addition to providing support for commercial software, the RDAC members are skilled in providing customized software solutions for KIDDRC investigators. RDAC database and research engineer, Lisa Hallberg, creates custom applications for data collection, access, validation, and scoring. These solutions are provided in a wide range of programming languages.

Support for Established and Emerging Researchers

The most widely-used RDAC support is in statistical analysis and interpretation. Through their training and wealth of real-data experience, RDAC scientists are skilled in helping investigators find the statistical model(s) that best match their data types and research questions, implement those models in statistical software, and disseminate detailed and relatable interpretations of the results. Specific services include: 

  • Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Ongoing Interpretation and Preparation for Dissemination
  • Bioinformatics Analyses
  • Data Archiving
  • Support for Cross-project Learning and Collaboration
  • Support and Methodology Mentoring for Emerging Researchers