Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD)


The Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) program is committed to providing investigators with ready access to research methods support.  As such, BERD provides free 1-hour consultative services to all CCTST investigators who desire methodologic guidance regarding their research projects.  Information to be discussed during the consultation may include developing and refining study hypotheses, guidance regarding a statistical analysis plan, guidance regarding data management needs.  BERD will refer investigators who require additional support beyond the 1 hour consultation (e.g., conducting a statistical analysis, building a research database) to the appropriate services.

For faculty members who are developing an extramural grant application, BERD provides a wide-range of support services towards the grant submission.  These services include (but not limited to) help refining hypotheses, study design, creating the statistical analysis plan (including power/sample size calculations), and assisting with preliminary data analysis.  For faculty members who hold K-equivalent career development awards (e.g., KL2, K08, K25), BERD supports these services as well as provides statistical analysis and data management services. Vouchers are available to eligible faculty investigators for these services (see details below).

It is strongly recommended that investigators work with BERD from the inception of a research idea. BERD can identify new ways to ask or answer a question that makes the research more cost-effective, identify and fix flaws, or suggest approaches that overcome typical criticisms of research in the area. Getting BERD involved up front will help you collect data that will result in the right answer to your research question.



Consultations: The BERD has provided a total of 648 FREE 1-hour consultations, with an average of 15 consultations per month.

Vouchers: The BERD has awarded a total of 113 vouchers; including the support of 19 K awardees. On average about 3 vouchers are awarded in each month, and the success rate of winning an award is over 80%.

Extramural Grants: Since 2016, 18 grants awarded for $22 million.  




BERD offers 1-hour consultations for investigators to meet with a methodologist to discuss research questions and data management assistance. If assistance is needed after the 1-hour consultation, investigators will be either connected to the appropriate program or core for support or referred to the BERD voucher program (see details in VOUCHERS section).

Consultations are available to all faculty at UC and CCHMC. Trainees (clinical and research fellows) are eligible as long as their mentors are present. The 1-hour consultation is free of charge.

Request a Consultation: Use Research Central to request a 1-hour consultation with a BERD Methodologist.



If assistance is needed that exceeds the 1-hour consultation, BERD vouchers can be awarded to supplement the cost of BERD methodologist and services*.  The voucher system can only be used for the purpose of an extramural grant application. Services covered by the voucher system include:

  • Study design
  • Development of a statistical analysis plan
  • Statistical analysis of preliminary data 

*Vouchers are for $2,000. Work conducted through the UC Center for Biostatistical Services or the CCHMC Data Management and Analysis Center are charged using a fee-for-service model (hourly rates apply).



Research Study Design

  • Refining hypotheses and study designs (including project implementation and data collection methods)
  • Calculating power or sample size for usual designs
  • Creating data collection instruments, including surveys and questionnaires
  • Creating randomization plans


Statistical Analysis

  • Writing of statistical plans
  • Providing guidance on appropriate statistical methods for individual situations
  • Analyzing existing datasets
  • Developing new statistical methods for studies with unusual or difficult designs
  • Providing methods and/or statistical support to defined research projects


Data Management

  • Assistance with the development of case report forms and data dictionaries
  • Provides guidance on database development


Useful Links



BERD team members include faculty from both University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), who have years of experience in research development including study design, statistical methods and approaches, and data analysis and management.


BERD Program Director

Jareen Meinzen-Derr, PhD
Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


BERD Methodologist

Maurizio Macaluso, MD, DPH
Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


BERD Methodologist

Katherine Bowers, PhD, MPH
Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


BERD Methodologist

Heidi Kalkwarf
Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


BERD Methodologist

Mekbib Altaye, PhD
Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


BERD Methodologist

Jun Ying, PhD
Department of Environmental Health
University of Cincinnati