Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Service

The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Service (BECS) is embedded in the Milken Institute School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and provides biostatistical, epidemiological, and study design support for health-related research projects. The mission of the BECS is “To improve the quality of health related research at the George Washington University, as well as affiliated research groups at other institutions, through consultations, extended collaborative relationships, communication about best practices, and providing broad-based services in research design, statistical analysis, data management, and dissemination of findings.”




The priority services of the BECS are:

  • pre-award consultation on best practices for biostatistical methods, sample size selection, and study design for health-related grant proposals; and
  • pre-award statistical analysis assistance (by faculty and/or graduate students in biostatistics and in epidemiology) of preliminary data to support a grant application.

Initially there will be no fee for these pre-award services, although it is envisioned that charge-back mechanisms will be developed over time.

For post-award services and analysis, typically the consulting biostatistician or epidemiologist would be included in the grant application as a co-investigator, and receive a negotiated percent effort to support their ongoing participation in the study should the grant application be successful. The BECS will assist investigators with developing appropriate work scopes and budget justifications as well as standard descriptions of available resources and facilities.

Non-grant related services and consultation are also available and will be provided based on faculty availability.

Please note that the department also houses Biostatistics Core services for the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR), and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National (CTSI-CN). The BECS will assist investigators to determine when one of these services is the most appropriate support option for specific grant applications.

BECS faculty also work with students enrolled in the Milken Institute School of Public Health Biostatistics MS and PhD programs, as well as the Epidemiology MS and PhD programs. Students in these programs are generally required to have supervised experience in biostatistical consultation on GW health-related research projects. The BECS director as well as other faculty identify those projects and provide supervision for this excellent learning experience.


The core BECS faculty includes Drs. Sam Simmens (Director), Naji Younes (Co-Director), Heather Hoffman, Angelo Elmi, Heather Young, Yan Ma, and Senior Research Assistant, Maya Shimony; with other department faculty providing support as needed. To access BECS services, please contact Maya Shimony by email at or by phone at 202-994-0261. She will help assess the nature and priority of the request and work to connect the investigator to an appropriate BECS biostatistician or epidemiologist.

As of March 1, 2014, the BECS has implemented a new web-based application for submitting and managing requests for biostatistical support. This new system is called SPARC Request and is being used institution-wide for a variety of research support needs.

Access SPARC Request.

• The first time you attempt to access the SPARC Request portal, you will need to request a log-in. It may take a day or so for your log-in request to be approved by the system.

• If you are doing translational science research, you may be eligible to receive a limited amount of biostatistical support fully-subsidized by the CTSI-CN. If you believe you are eligible for this subsidy, please submit your request for support by clicking the links under “Design, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics” (which can be found by clicking on the blue CTSI-CN icon on the SPARC Request website). Someone in our Division will be able to add the subsidy on the back end (this isn’t something that you can add yourself). Projects that are not eligible for the CTSI-CN subsidy must be logged separately under the orange Cores & Facilities icon on the SPARC Request website.

• If you are not sure whether or not your project will qualify for some subsidized time, please ask us by sending an email to

• If you are not sure about the type of support that you are seeking, you may begin by requesting an initial consultation with our team. There is no charge for the initial consultation.

• If you are seeking to work with a specific biostatistician, please indicate this when you get to “Step 3: Additional Notes & Information” in the SPARC Request portal.

• For all other questions about SPARC Request, please contact Maya Shimony at