The Statistical and Data Services Core (SDSC) will serve as the primary source of biostatistical consulting, analysis, and data management support for the proposed 2011-2015 National Alcohol Research Center. Continuing the SDSC component from the 2006-2010 Center. The core component provides an organized system for consolidating biostatistical and data management services, together with a formal departmental structure for handling requests for biostatistical support from within the Center as well as from within ARG in general. The current SDSC component has 3 biostatistical support personnel, with varying areas of expertise. The SDSC will continue to bring as consultants leaders in several areas of statistical analysis including the analysis of longitudinal data, item response theory, and the analysis of statistical mediation. Through the efficient consolidation of biostatistical and data management resources, the SDSC component proposes to support the Center's research goals in the following 3 ways. First, the biostatistical personnel in the SDSC will provide cutting-edge biostatistical and analysis support services to each of the Center's research components. This support will be provided throughout the process of survey design, analysis formulation and implementation, and finally to preparation of technical documentation, and aims to Improve Center-related grant quality. Second, a continuing training aim is proposed to further the goal of increasing the methodological sophistication of Center researchers through the development and implementation of a series of statistical courses that strengthen scientists practical understanding of the motivation, theory, and implementation of needed new biostatistical methods of high relevance to epidemiological alcohol research. In addition, Center researchers will be trained in the use of several statistical packages that Implement these state-of-the-art-methods. Courses previously offered by biostatistical personnel and consultants the current Center period were evaluated to be extremely valuable in raising the technical proficiency of Center researchers and will continue to keep staff up to date in this evolving field. Third, the SDSC will serve to provide database management to the Center projects such as the National Alcohol Survey. Services will include support for data security and training for data analysts In proper programming syntax and protocols.
The Statistical and Data Services Core (SDSC) component provides biostatistical support that is vital to carry out the public health research proposed in each of the Center's research components and in the National Alcohol Survey Resources Core. In addition to supporting Center-related analyses, the SDSC will implement an ongoing series of statistical training modules for researchers, targeted at the appropriate use of cutting-edge statistical techniques, disseminating these widely to improve public health research competencies.
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