Reading and Writing Statistics in Clinical Publications


Course description

This course familiarizes participants with the essential statistical principles clinical publications are commonly based on.

Participants disentangle the reported statistics in a number of high-ranking publications from both experimental and observational medical studies. By learning to understand the statistical principles that underlie these diverse publications, participants acquire the skills to critically evaluate a wide diversity of statistical results that they may encounter in the clinical literature.

At the same time, the gained statistical knowledge will aid participants to plan statistical analyses for their own future studies, to interpret the results of these analyses, and to present the statistical results in a way that is correct and convincing.

Course structure

This course requires participants to attend one afternoon session a week during 12 weeks. Each session typically consists of approximately one hour of lecture and one hour for assignments, both performed individually and in groups.

Recommended reading

Will be announced in time before each session. 

Course dates

12x Mondays, 14.00 - 16.00h starting 15. January 2024. (The course won't take place on 19 February and  April 1st). 


Sitzungszimmer Spitalstrasse 8, raised ground floor (right), Department of Clinical Research, Spitalstrasse 8, 4031 Basel 

Target audience/prerequisites for attending

PhD students of all PhD subject enrolled at the University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine; 

Early career clinical researchers and other researchers from the University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine (Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Ethics, Medicines Development, Nursing Science, Public Health/ Epidemiology or Sport Science) are eligible to register for the course. 

Maximum 15 registered participants. Priority will be given to early career clinical researchers aiming for a habilitation. 

Learning objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to 

  1. Understand the different levels of evidence.  

  2. Formulate scientifically sound hypotheses. 

  3. Choose appropriate study designs. 

  4. Understand the importance of statistical analysis plans and selection of appropriate measurements. 

  5. Understand hypothesis testing, its specific techniques, and underlying assumptions. 


Work load and credits

Approximately 60 hours of workload distributed over 18 weeks.  

The crediting of 2 ECTS requires: 

  1. Completed pre-assignments. 

  2. Active participation in weekly discussions. 

  3. Completed homework assignments. 

Attendance to all but two sessions and full completion of assignments is required for acquiring a certificate of attendance. 

Assessment format

To add this course to your academic record, please create a Learning Contract on MOnA, choosing: 

  • your supervisor as the assessor 

  • pass/fail as assessment 

before the start day of the course and follow the instructions of your respective faculty. 

Study direction

Andrea Kiemen, PhD
Training and Education, Department of Clinical Research 

Teaching staff

Marco Cattaneo, PhD, Senior Statistician, Department of Clinical Research 
Gilles Dutilh, PhD, Senior Statistician, Department of Clinical Research 
Mirjam Laager, PhD, Statistician, Department of Clinical Research 


Mareike Gräter
Training and Education, Department of Clinical Research


1500 CHF

The Department of Clinical Research (DKF) offers training grants for members of DKF clinical research groups. Applications for training grants can be submitted when registering for the program.
Please note, that training grants can only be offered to DKF clinical research group members, who are working at the group leaders’ local study center.


Course language is English.
Certificate of attendance will be issued after successful course completion


Please click on the following link to register for the course: Registration