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Biostatistics courses

Keywords Statistics

The Basic Medical Statistics course in SPSS will no longer be given.
NEW COURSES: The Biostatistics courses in R will be organized in June (online) and October 2020 (online), and in June and November in 2021. 

Courses outline

  1. WA Course - basic statistics- 2 day course : registration at WA or leerportaal - only for NKI and AVL employees. Send an email to for more information and registration.
  2. Introduction to R
  3. Medical Statistics in R

 Dates 2020:

  1. September 28 and 29, 2020 WA course
  2. June 15, 16 and 18, 2020 - Introduction to R (online)
  3. October 2020, dates will follow soon - Medical Statistics in R (NOW online)
  4. next course dates not known yet. In AUMC-VUmc (advanced) -  fee 320 Euro.

Dates in 2021 : look at Schedule and Registration 


Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Amsterdam, in June 2020 online via ZOOM. Other courses will be in one of our meeting rooms. 

Language: English

More Information

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Introduction to R

Any researcher is welcome to follow this course. No previous knowledge of R is required.

Medical Statistics in R

In this course an introduction to basic statistical methods useful for biomedical data analysis will be given. It is for any professional involved in research that requires using statistical methods.

During the course we will alternate between lectures and practicals, allowing for plenty of interaction and illustration with examples of practical interest.

We will use R ( for all practicals. Participants with no experience in R are strongly advised to follow an introductory R course prior to following this course (see pre-requisites  for suggestions).

Link to pdf or book

What is R?

R is an open-source, free environment for statistical computing and graphics. It provides a large repository of statistical analysis methods, both classic and new. However, R has a steep learning curve, due partly to its using a command-line type of user interface, rather than the usual pull-down menus. This 3-day course aims at helping researchers climb this curve, enabling them to perform basic data analysis and graphic displays at the end of the course, as well as giving a platform from which they can deepen their R knowledge later on if necessary.

Goals & Topics

After the course you will be able to:

  • understand and write simple R programs
  • use R to perform basic statistical analyses of your own data tables
  • generate analysis reports from your own data in html or pdf formats, using RMarkdown

We will cover the following topics:

  • R expressions and formula objects
  • R data objects (vectors (arrays), data frames (tables), lists, matrices) creation and usage
  • R functions for descriptive statistics and linear model fitting
  • installing additional libraries
  • histograms, scatter plots, boxplots (in pure R )

Course lectures
Renee X. de Menezes
Renaud Tissier


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Course Organization and Material
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Course Organization and Material

The course will be given by alternating short lectures and practicals. This allows for plenty of opportunity for solidifying concepts in a concrete manner.

We will give solutions to all exercises via R scripts in RMarkdown files. These can be used as reference material by the students after completing the course, for example to run their own analyses.

All course material will be made available from this page.


Basic material will be provided during our lectures. The lectures largely coincide with the content of Peter Dalgaard's book:

which is also an excellent reference for basic R.

For a more advanced treatment that includes introductions to bootstrap, robust regression and clustering, as well as more advanced R functions, which will not be covered during this course, we refer interested students to Bill Venables and Brian Ripley's book:

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The course requires elementary statistics knowledge, but assumes no prior programming knowledge.

Participants must bring their own laptops capable of running R and RStudio. Please install R (from the Comprehensive R Archive Network-CRAN, for example from this mirror) and download and install RStudio before the course. Optionally, you may additionally download and install a console version of R.

Participants are entitled to ECTs after following our courses, so long as they complete the final assignment. This is typically a RMarkdown report, completed by each participant.
No accreditation for Medical Doctors available.

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Schedule and Registration
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Schedule 2020 and 2021 - Registration

The schedule for 2020:

Introduction to R (Online)
Monday June 15 - 9.00-16.30 hrs
Tuesday June 16 - 9.00 - 16.30 hrs
Thursday June 18 - 9.00 - 16.30 hrs

Medical Statistics in R (online)
Monday October 5 - October 9 (total of 5 days) - CONCEPT - not sure yet
9.00-16.00 hrs

For both courses, 30 people can join.

The next courses will be organised in June (June 7 until 25) and November (November 8 until 26) 2021. 

You can register by filling in this form (use Edge, Firefox or Chrome). Please always register; even if you have done this before. This way we know you are interested in the R-courses.

For questions, mail Patty Lagerweij : 


The course is free of charge for employees of the NKI-AvL and for Ph.D. students of the OOA (Onderzoeksschool Oncologie Amsterdam).
For all others, the fee is :
Introduction to R (3 days) - 150 EUR academia / 300 EUR outside academia
Medical Statistics in R (5 days) - 250 EUR academia / 500 EUR outside academia

  • Registration Form
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Group Menezes

Use this link to see information about Rene Menezes on the NKI website.


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