CAPS Methods Core

The Methods Core provides technical support to CAPS researchers in the following areas:

  • Sample size planning, statistical and epidemiological analysis, and study design
  • Design and analysis of qualitative research
  • Biomedical and behavioral measurement selection
  • Data management

Core investigators also serve as collaborators on research projects needing more extensive technical support.


Core statisticians provide help for the following:

  • research proposal development in sample size planning (statistical power calculation)
  • study design
  • questionnaire design
  • choice of analysis methods
  • post-award statistical consultation
  • software recommendations for manuscript and conference presentation data analyses
  • analysis of qualitative data
  • behavioral and biomedical measurement selection and interpretation
  • complex survey design, implementation, and analysis
  • data management: Web-based data entry, choice of data entry and management systems

To request assistance, contact Dr. Tor Neilands (415-476-6337). Please submit requests for assistance at least 4 weeks ahead of when budget and staffing information must be finalized.

Peer Review

Core scientists are available to offer peer review of conference abstracts, manuscripts, and proposals. Send peer review requests to Stuart Gaffney.

Seminars and Working Groups

We organize regular meetings of CAPS statisticians to discuss recent developments in statistical methods, applications of statistical software, and analytic issues arising in particular projects. CAPS researchers facing challenging analysis problems are welcome to present at these meetings.

Quantitative Methods

See the schedule of Quantitative seminars and workshops. Contact Dr. Estie Hudes to schedule a presentation or to receive notices of upcoming presentations.

Qualitative Methods

The Qualitative Working Group (QWG) meets in person periodically, has an electronic forum to share ideas, tips, and mutual support, and is open to all. Contact Dr. Kim Koester (415-476-6303) for more information on attending a QWG presentation or joining the online QWG networking group.

Methods Core Staff and Areas of Expertise

  • Tor Neilands, Ph.D., Director: Behavioral statistics, questionnaire validation, SAS, Stata, and MPlus statistical software packages
  • Edwin Charlebois, Ph.D., MPH, Co-Director: Epidemiology, biomedical measurement, data management
  • Kim Koester, Ph.D.Co-Director: Qualitative research methods, discourse analysis, Atlas.ti computer program, Transana software program
  • William Brown III, Ph.D., DrPH, MA, Co-Director. Biomedical informatics, analysis of large data sets (big data), machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), data standards and integration, data visualization, mHealth, and population and public health (including recruitment)
  • Estie Hudes, Ph.D.: Biostatistics, Stata statistical software
  • Hannah Leslie, Ph.D.: Data management, multilevel analysis, scale validation (item-response methods), analysis reproducibility, Stata and R statistical software
  • Lance Pollack, Ph.D.: Behavioral surveillance methods, complex sampling methods, SPSS statistical software