The Research Design and Statistical Support (RDSS) service provides one-on-one consultation to help with the statistical design of research studies and with the statistical analysis of data and the use of statistics packages such as SPSS and R.


The purpose of the service is to assist Masters and doctoral students with their research, not coursework. Graduate Diploma and Honours students are generally not eligible for the service.

Postgraduate students who have more than two thirds research component in their degree may apply for up to 5 hours of free assistance in their first year of candidature, and up to 5 hours of free assistance in their remaining candidature.

Staff can also apply for up to 3 hours of free assistance each year.

Before you book an appointment

An appointment is necessary due to the large demands for consulting time. If it is a student consultation, at least one supervisor should also be present at the first meeting (attendance can be via phone).

Researchers should send a summary of the background of research problem(s) and research questions, at least one week before the first meeting. Consultation queries will not be answered via email, except as part of a continuing consultation, where necessary and possible.

Researchers are encouraged to consult early in the formulation of a research project so that data are specified and collected in a format that is both manage-able and conducive to the appropriate analysis.

Responsibility for how you use our advice rests with the research team (student, supervisors, researchers).

Conditions of use

When booking, students and staff who wish to use this service are asked to confirm in an email that they have read, understood and fully accept the conditions outlined on this page.

By using this service, the student acknowledges that at least one supervisor has approved their use of the service and accepts these conditions, and this supervisor must be named in an email to RDSS or the consultant.

You will implement the University’s policy on joint authorship in relation to our contribution, as specified in the VU Research Integrity Policy, as well as the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Specifically, authorship must be offered if we have a substantial scholarly contribution to the (a) conception and design of the publication or research project; or (b) analysis and interpretation of research data, (c) drafting of significant parts of the work, and (d) critically revising the work so as to contribute to its interpretation. In addition, we reserve the right to provide consent to authorship and acknowledgment.

Additional support

If you need help beyond the 10 hours (or 3 for staff), this will be on a fee-paying basis at $150-$165 per hour for students, and $200-$220 per hour for staff (these fees apply for 2014). GST is applicable/extra, unless paid by a University Department.

We will assist you by giving advice about statistical design and data analysis, and sometimes by doing actual analysis for a fee, where appropriate. The intention at all times will be to educate the researcher(s) on correct and appropriate statistical methodologies for their problem.

If you require data entry to be done, this will be quoted and charged for separately.

Contact us & bookings

Book a research consultation

To book a one-hour consultation appointment:

  1. Choose the correct consultation level (from one to five: Design, Method, Data handling, Anaylsis, or Interpretation and presentation).
  2. Choose your preferred time and date (Wednesdays: 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm).
  3. Send an email to that includes your consultation level and preferred appointment time.

We will then send a calendar invite confirming your appointment.

More information

For more information: