Reminders for Department Faculty and Staff

Effort Reporting

  1. At all times know the sources of your salary support and the percent efforts from each source. You are responsible for your effort and you should consult your supervisor immediately if you have questions or concerns.
  2. Electronic certification is required each time there is a change to a Federal project, i.e. effort or cost center change. You are certifying that your effort is accurate from the last effort certification to the current certification.
  3. Notify Frank Harrell, Audrey Carvajal and your supervisor if the average effort devoted to a project over any 6-month period is not concordant with the funded % effort.
  4. Ask Chun Li or Audrey Carvajal if you have a question about how effort reporting is done.
  5. An individualized effort certification training has been added to the Department's new employee orientation.
  6. If your effort is below the current level of funding support, work in the following important activities.
    • Read relevant grant materials and background research to gain a complete understanding of the project.
    • Study the clinical areas and current research related to your projects.
    • While you are waiting on data collection, develop test datasets that capture possible outcomes of the project. Write the analysis code and test it on these simulated datasets.
    • Develop your skill with the statistical applications used in your projects.
    • Develop your R and LaTeX skills that pertain to your research projects.
    • Attend the relevant Journal clubs and research conferences, and participate in teaching that pertains to your research projects.
  7. ePAC Effort Certification Tip Sheet
  8. Effort Certification FAQs
  9. Certification Documentation
  10. VU Policy on Effort Reporting - Office of Grant and Contract Accounting

Grant Proposals

  1. Faculty biostatisticians should request the PI to list them as a co-investigator if your involvement in the proposed research warrants this designation. You should determine how fundamental your participation is in the project. Senior/key personnel are defined as individuals who contribute in a substantive measurable way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not a salary is requested. Typically Key Study Personnel (KSP) are co-investigators.
  2. A department member may only be named as a consultant on a grant if the PI on the grant is not at Vanderbilt. Per department policy, faculty (with the exception of full professors) cannot serve as a consultant on a grant unless the grant does not involve VU. K awards are an exception as well.
  3. Negotiate percent effort for PhD/MS team on new grant applications. In many grants it makes sense for % efforts to be moderately high at the beginning, low in the middle, and high at the end of the grant.
  4. Your signature on the conflict of interest provides the approval for Biostatistics to sign off in COEUS; at that time, you should add that proposal to your list of pending projects
  5. See Grant Policies for other policies related to grant proposals such as our limit on the number of grants in which you can become involved that pay for small % efforts
  6. Refer to the Grant Policies page for direction on including IT support and travel funding in grants.
  7. Biosketches are the responsibility of faculty and should be kept up-to-date; administrators are available to assist with Part C. Please see guidelines for NIH related publications.
  8. List grant proposals arising from Collaboration Plans on Collaboration Plan Grants.

Statistical Practice and Scientific Conduct

  1. Use a rigorous scientific approach to observational research
  2. Use a formal analysis plan and follow these guidelines.

Presentations, Announcements, and Advertisements

  1. When presenting your work or posting an announcement or job ad, remember that our affiliation is Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt School of Medicine and not Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  2. For presentations consider using our BeamerTemplate which uses our department logo (downloadable from the template page)

Data to Collect and Reports to Submit

  1. See DataToCollect; especially note data to be kept current in dbconnect
  2. Supervisors include in their yearly evaluations a consideration of how well their staff or faculty supervisee has attended department meetings. Biostatisticians are expected to attend almost all Wednesday seminars, several clinics per month, some R clinics, and all staff are expected to attend monthly Linux workshops. It is up to each staff member to keep their own attendance records to share with their supervisor, using the template found at ContEdDoc.
  3. All biostatisticians writing statistical reports must periodically submit reports for review

Authorship and Submission of Manuscripts

  1. Department members are not to be named under Acknowledgements in a published paper except in special circumstances
  2. See ManuscriptPolicies
  3. See Presentations above for the correct affiliation wording
  4. Depositing manuscripts
    • Beginning Feb 2008, if you or any of your co-authors had any NIH grant support remotely related to the manuscript, you must submit a PDF copy of the manuscript to Pubmed Central upon acceptance of the manuscript in a journal
    • Most but not all journals do this automatically; check with the journal to be sure
    • If you do not deposit the paper, you will not be able to reference it in any NIH grant progress reports

Information Privacy and Security

  • Protecting privacy and security of certain information in the wiki is very important. In order to set it up; please see Access Control. Please click the following link for more information related to protection of Personal Information VUMC Information Privacy and Security.

Wiki Use and IT

  1. Organize your hard disk directories and E-mailbox folders in a logical hierarchical fashion as in FolderOrg
  2. Think hard when naming a new wiki topic you create. See HowToNameATwikiTopic for pointers. Especially note the following:
    1. It is seldom a good idea to have planned obsolescence in the name of a topic, e.g., a topic name that includes a date.
    2. Don't use generic topic names (e.g. AnalysisSummary) that others in the department might have wished to use in the future.
    3. Try to organize notes from multiple meetings (clinics, etc.) into a single topic to avoid creating a separate topic for each occurrence of the meeting.
    4. Organize your page in reverse chronological order so that the most recent headings appear at the top.
    5. See WikiUsage for more information and for the wiki philosophy.
  3. Use wiki pages instead of separate documents when
    1. the information is not sensitive
    2. you expect more than one person to read it
    3. you ever expect anyone to update the document

Teaching Income

  1. At least 55% of income for teaching must be used directly for salary support
    • This does not apply to certain program directors


  1. Be sure to notify April Cribbs if you undertake new internal consulting projects that are considered part of your normal Vanderbilt work activity. The department will need to initiate a consulting contract or services agreement for hourly charges via the Biostatistics Collaboration Center (BCC). It is very important for the business team to be informed in advance so that work can proceed in the prescribed manner to avoid any miscommunication or misunderstanding with our collaborators.
  2. With regard to hourly consulting, both new and ongoing, it is necessary for you and your staff to report hours in dbconnect or CORES in order to execute monthly invoicing. Hourly rates for services are available at ConsultingProcedures.
  3. For faculty who choose to pursue consulting opportunities outside the department within the 40 days allowed per year, you will manage that process separately from your Vanderbilt work and you must be paid directly by the consultee. Such consulting cannot involve other Vanderbilt personnel either inside or outside our department, or use Vanderbilt resources.

Meetings for Biostatisticians

  • Master Biostatistician Meetings (Thursdays at 9 am)
  • Biostatistics Seminars (Wednesdays at 1:30)
  • Biostatistics Clinics (Weekdays at noon)
  • Department of Medicine Grand Rounds (Thursdays 8 am)
  • CRC Research Skills Workshops (Fridays at 8 am)
  • Collaborating Department Meetings, seminars
  • Faculty Meetings (1st Wednesday at 3 pm)
  • Tenure Track Faculty Meetings
  • Non-Tenure Track Faculty Meetings

Meetings for All Department Members

  • IT Workshops
  • Computing Clinics
  • All-Department Meetings


Biostatisticians should attend 2-4 clinics per month


  1. Wear your ID badge at all times. It is Vanderbilt policy plus it's the best way for collaborators and new department members to get to know your name.
  2. How to forward your office phone to another phone
  3. Keep your main wiki page up to date (this is the page whose topic name is your WikiName). It should be a rather complete biographical sketch and should have a professional appearance. Information and pictures of a personal nature are fine to have on the wiki but should not appear on your main page. A link to them from your main page is fine.
Topic revision: r55 - 21 Aug 2017, DalePlummer

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