Stats Central Launch

Posted 30 May 2016

Facility: Stats Central

The UNSW statistical consulting unit, Stats Central, is now open for business!  The guest speaker at our official launch 15th June Wednesday evening is Prof Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW, on his experiences using statistics and collaborating with statisticians for his cancer research.


To register for the launch fill out the form at


For the first time, UNSW has a university-wide statistical consulting unit open to all UNSW researchers.   Called Stats Central, the unit provides design and analysis advice, statistical support for grant writing, a short course program on core statistical skills, and central support for statistical consultants around campus.  Operations started in 2016 using $1M of start-up funding for 2016-17 from the Research Division and a suite of partner schools and units.  The unit sits in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, traditionally known as the centralised UNSW unit for research infrastructure.  “The establishment of Stats Central inside the Research Division is important recognition that people with specialist expertise are a valued form of research infrastructure” says Grainne Moran, UNSW Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research Infrastructure.


Stats Central activities are all subsidised by the Research Division, in fact consulting advice is free for HDR students, and study design advice and grant review are free for all UNSW researchers.  “In the last two months we have had a lot of demand, including over 70 researchers from seven Faculties” says Dr Nancy Briggs, Senior Consultant.  She leads Stats Central operations and came to the unit with experience in a similar role at the University of Adelaide.


The free statistical review of grant proposal service helped 47 proposals and addresses a significant strategic gap.  “Communicating an appropriate study design and analysis plan is a key bottleneck in the grant process, and in the past unsuccessful applications have been criticised more commonly for study design than for track record” say Prof Sue Wilson,  internationally renowned biostatistician, who led the grant review program.  “We plan to change this at UNSW.”


The official launch of Stats Central is coming up next Wednesday, 15th June 4-6pm, and the special guest speaker will be our very own President and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ian Jacobs, talking about his experience collaborating in teams with statisticians on his cancer research.  Stats Central is part of the UNSW 2025 Strategy spearheaded by Prof Jacobs.  The launch will also be an opportunity to meet some of the team of Stats Central consultants (five members and growing fast), and find out more about their expertise and services.


Register to attend the Stats Central Launch now.