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Biostatistics Essentials: a blackboard approach

National course open for PhD students, postdocs, researchers and other employees in need of biostatistical skills within all Swedish universities.  The course is geared towards life scientists wanting to be able to understand and use basic statistical methods. It would also suit those already applying biostatistical methods but have never got a chance to reflect on and truly grasp the basic statistical concepts, such as the commonly misinterpreted p-value!

Important dates

Application open: Click here for registration

Application closes: 2019-03-31

Confirmation to accepted students:  2019-04-16

Responsible teachers:  Olga Dethlefsen, Eva Freyhult

If you do not receive information according to the above dates please contact,

Course content

  • Basic statistical theory and concepts incl. stochastic variables, density and distribution functions, central limit theorem, confidence intervals
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Resampling
  • Linear and logistic regression methods
  • Model selection and regularization
  • Unsupervised learning, incl. clustering and dimension reduction methods


In this course we focus on active learning approach. The course participants are expected to do some pre-course reading and exercises, corresponding up to 16h studying. The education consists of teaching blocks alternating between mini-lectures, group discussions, live coding sessions etc. A special focus is put on understanding basic concepts by solving problems with pen and paper. We believe in less-is-more principle, so be ready to say no to digital exhaustion to truly learn something with our modern “blackboard approach”.


  • An Introduction to Statistical Learning, Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani (.pdf freely available)
  • Additional teachers’ choice

Entry requirements

  • No prior knowledge is assumed
  • BYOL (bring your own laptop) with R and RStudio installed
  • Prior experience using R and RStudio is welcome; pre-course exercises will be available for those new to R/RStudio

Due to limited space the course can accommodate maximum of 25 participants. If we receive more applications, participants will be selected based on several criteria. Selection criteria include correct entry requirements, motivation to attend the course as well as gender and geographical balance.

Course fee

A course fee* of 1700 SEK will be invoiced to accepted participants.

The fee includes lunches, coffee and snacks.

*Please note that NBIS cannot invoice individuals