CAPS Methods Core


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

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

Core investigators may also be available to serve as collaborators on research projects needing more extensive technical support.

Example Consultation Topics

  • Grant proposal development, including collaborating on drafting sample size justifications and data analysis plans
  • Mixed methods study design, implementation, and analysis
  • Computational methods (i.e., Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, etc.) and data sources selection (i.e., Electronic Health Records, Clinical Notes, Geographical Data, Social Media, etc.)
  • Survey measure selection, questionnaire design, and cognitive interviewing
  • Focus group and interview guide development
  • Recommendations for manuscript and conference presentation data analyses
  • Statistical consultation on analyses being conducted for conference abstracts and for manuscript submissions
  • Assistance in responding to methods-related reviewer comments for grant proposals or manuscript submissions

To request assistance, contact Dr. Tor Neilands. 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 Workshops

The Qualitative Working Group (QWG) hosts an annual seminar series and has an electronic forum to share ideas, tips, and mutual support, and is open to all. Contact Dr. Kim Koester for information regarding upcoming workshops and for information about joining the online networking forum.

We also organize study design and analysis seminars and workshops for CAPS and affiliated scientists to learn about recent developments in study design and quantitative analytical methods. Past quantitative seminars and workshop materials are archived. Contact Dr. Tor Neilands for information regarding upcoming workshops.

Methods Core Staff and Areas of Expertise

  • Tor Neilands, Ph.D., Director: Behavioral statistics, questionnaire validation, latent variable modeling, regression models, analysis of clustered data, and the SAS, Stata, and Mplus statistical software packages
  • Edwin Charlebois, Ph.D., MPH, Co-Director: Epidemiology, biomedical measurement, complex study designs, data management
  • Kim Koester, Ph.D.Co-Director: Qualitative research methods, mixed methods, applied policy research, cognitive interviewing, Dedose
  • 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., MPH: 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


UCSF CAPS Methods Core YouTube playlist