'Start using R' for health scientists 2020-2021

Target group

Engaged researchers and students, willing to learn the R programming language. Students who are interested in performing reproducible research through automatic reporting and in creating high quality graphs.


Beginners level. Participants will be asked to engage in self-study (2 hours/week).


Roos Colman, Biostatistics Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University,  statcel@ugent.be

Format & Content

All sessions will be highly interactive. The sessions will start with a short introduction, followed by exercises where students are encouraged to write their own code, with the support of the lecturers.  Participants will be asked to engage in self-study (using the book “R for dummies”). Exercises related to health sciences will be discussed.

Programming in R will be learned progressively through a combination of intense guidance by statistical experts and by self-study.  
During the first sessions, we will learn to import and manipulate data and to perform some basic statistical analyses.  Once we have mastered the basics, we will use the ggplot2 package to discover the excellent graphical capabilities of R. Moreover we will see some introductory applications of RMarkdown to set our first steps in automatic reporting, a key ingredient for reproducible research.
Examples will be largely from health sciences.


Roos Colman

  • Roos Colman obtained a “Master in Biomedical Sciences” and a” Master of Statistical Data Analysis”, both at Ghent University. Since 2012 she has been working at the Biostatistics Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences as a statistical consultant. She provides statistical advice and support to researchers and students and is involved in several statistical trainings.


    The specialist course will take place from 9:30h till 12h00 on

    Fri 5 March + Mon 15 + 29 March + Mon 19 + 26 April 2021

    Participants will be asked to engage in self-study (2 hours/week) + 1 assignment to be made during the Easter holidays that will take 3 hours.


    Partly on campus or fully digital.


    Registration link: https://eventmanager.ugent.be/usingrhealthsc

    Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

    Participants are required to participate actively during all sessions.

    Registration fee

    The course is free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools of UGent.

    Number of participants

    Maximum 18 participants.