Design of procedures and projects (level 1)
This module is a pre-requisite for people who will be designing projects (Function B) but it is also be beneficial for scientists who have some involvement in designing the procedures that they carry-out (Function A). The module comprises information about experimental design concepts, possible causes and elimination of bias, statistical analysis and information about where expertise can be found to assist with procedure, design, planning and the interpretation of results.
Trainees should be able to:
10.1. Describe the concepts of fidelity and discrimination (e.g. as discussed by Russell and Burch and others).
10.2. Explain the concept of variability, its causes and methods of reducing it (uses and limitations of isogenic strains, outbred stocks, genetically modified strains, sourcing, stress and the value of habituation, clinical or sub-clinical infections, and basic biology).
10.3. Describe possible causes of bias and ways of alleviating it (e.g. formal randomisation, blind trials and possible actions when randomisation and blinding are not possible).
10.4. Identify the experimental unit and recognise issues of non-independence (pseudo-replication).
10.5. Describe the variables affecting significance, including the meaning of statistical power and “p-values”.
10.6. Identify formal ways of determining sample size (power analysis or the resource equation method).
10.7. List the different types of formal experimental designs (e.g. completely randomised, randomised block, repeated measures [within subject], Latin square and factorial experimental designs).
10.8. Explain how to access expert help in the design of an experiment and the interpretation of experimental results.