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Research Methods Unit

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Nova Scotia Healths Research Methods Unit (RMU) strives to increase the quantity and quality of health research in Nova Scotia. We do this by offering research expertise in areas that are commonly needed and used by investigators—including research design and methods, data management, and health economics. The RMU Team is comprised of professionals who provide expertise and support to health professionals and investigators across the province at all stages of a research project through consulting, training, and mentorship.

Supports and Services offered by the RMU

We offer the following supports to investigators:

  • Biostatistical consulting (e.g. sample size, power calculations, data analysis planning, analysis)
  • Study design/Epidemiology/research methods (e.g. review of study design and protocol, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, research question)        
  • Database development and data management support (e.g. database setup, data linkage, data management) (PDF Resource)
  • Health economics consulting (e.g. study design, analysis planning, analysis, economic health technology assessment)

RMU service fees

Recuperating some of the costs of services provided by RMU to investigators (through investigator grants) helps make our resources more sustainable. Therefore, the RMU does request a fee for some of its services to cover a small amount of operational costs.

Consulting—$100/hour

Any (face‐to‐face, phone or video call) project meetings with research team members after principal investigator approves estimate for RMU services. This also includes ongoing project discussions with team via email when extensive enough to merit recording. 

Analysis—$100/hour

Database development and management, data analysis and interpretation, any other project work including time spent post‐analysis on responding to reviewer comments or follow‐up questions.

Complimentary services

RMU consultants provide the following services without charge:

  • Initial one-hour consultationAll preparatory work required for the duration of the project
  • Support for research design (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods)
  • Project management in the context of RMU support (e.g., support for PIA, etc.)
  • Initial support in the context of grant applications (e.g., review of application and feedback/suggested changes/additions)
  • Initial support in the context of developing a Statement of Work and Quote (e.g., review of protocol and feedback/suggested changes/additions, etc.)
  • Mentorship in the context of a project (e.g., explaining statistical methods, data management, etc.)

RMU supports Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health, and Dalhousie University Faculties of Medicine, Health Professions and Dentistry investigators who engage in clinical and health research. We also support trainees (i.e. Fellows, residents, post-docs, graduate students and medical students) with their supervised research projects. We suggest that you contact the RMU to assess how we can help you with your project.

Supports and Services offered by the RMU

We offer the following supports to investigators:

  • Biostatistical consulting (e.g., sample size, power calculations, data analysis planning, analysis)
  • Study design/Epidemiology/research methods (review of study design and protocol, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods, research question)        
  • Database development and data management support (e.g., database setup, data linkage, data management) (PDF Resource)
  • Health economics consulting (e.g., study design, analysis planning, analysis, economic health technology assessment)

When to contact the RMU

We encourage investigators to contact the RMU early in the study process (i.e. draft protocol stage). We have the expertise to assist you in most aspects of your study. If we do not have the expertise or capacity ourselves, we can connect you with investigators and resources.

If you are accessing RMU for a quote in the context of a grant application, please contact us at least 4 weeks in advance of the application deadline.

RMU Consultation Request Form

To help get the consultation process started, we require the submission of a consultation request form along with your most current (draft) research protocol and other relevant document(s).

Other relevant documents include some or all of the following:

  • most current draft of your data collection form(s)
  • most current draft of data dictionary
  • one or two exemplar papers for your methods or content field

Authorship

If our consultants make a significant contribution to a project that warrants authorship, then we would expect that they are listed as co-author(s). The question of authorship is independent of payment for consulting services provided.