How to Hire a Freelance Medical Statistician

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Natasha Beeton, a scientific consultant on Kolabtree, provides a quick guide on how to hire a freelance medical statistician, how much it costs to hire an expert, and tips for creating an effective job post.

Medical statisticians are in growing demand due to the ever-increasing levels of data being generated by public health surveillance programs, medical and clinical research, drug and medical device development, and during patient management. Some data is being generated specifically because we now have the expertise and sophisticated tools required to harness the full power of big data.

What does a medical statistician do?

Medical statistics is the application of statistics to medicine and other health sciences, such as epidemiology, forensic science, public health, and laboratory research.

There are several roles and responsibilities of medical statisticians depending on their field of specialization. These can include the following:

  • Performing applied research and assisting in clinical trials aimed at developing new drugs and other treatments, e.g., through assisting with clinical trial design and analyzing data regarding efficacy and risk.
  • Facilitating research in hospitals, research institutes,universities, and private laboratories aimed at improving patient outcomes, the design of new medical interventions, etc., by helping researchers to plan their studies and interpret their data.
  • Working in public health for government and organizations that employ medical statisticians to collect and analyze epidemiological and other medical data.
  • Working in academia as statistical researchers and lecturers.
  • Designing experiments, entire research studies, and clinical trials to ensure that sufficient sample numbers and appropriate methods of analysis are used to extract meaningful data, and to save costs and time by not making studies larger than necessary.
  • Designing interviews, surveys, disease surveillance tools, and other sampling methods.
  • Using computers and statistical software such as SPSS for modeling and analysis.
  • Analyzing medical imaging data or developing tools for this purpose.
  • Drawing up reports and recommendations.
  • Publishing articles in medical journals.
  • Working as freelance statistical consultants in medical device development, clinical trial design, etc.

Experts in medical statistics will typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in statistics, applied mathematics, or an allied field, and will be experienced in computer science. However, most careers in medical statistics require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Medical statisticians work for pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, hospitals, consulting agencies, research institutes, colleges and universities, government, and national health services. Others work independently as medical statistics consultants.

The job titles of medical statistics experts vary according to the nature of their roles and specializations. These can include Applied Statistician, Biostatistician, Survey Methodologist, Clinical & Medical Affairs Statistician, Medical Statistician, Statistical Analyst, Biomedical Statistician, and Senior Infectious Disease Modeler

How much does it cost to hire a freelance medical statistician?

To hire freelance medical statistics consultants, the fee generally ranges from 40−150 USD per hour depending on the specialization and level of experience required. For example, a medical statistician with a master’s degree and working in public health would typically charge less than a medical statistician with a Ph.D. and working in the pharmaceutical industry. Similarly if you need a statistician to perform analysis from scratch, hourly rates might start at USD 60-80 an hour, whereas a quick review of data might cost upwards of USD 40 per hour.

The hourly fee can be negotiated before initiating the project or a flat fee can be discussed for projects of a defined scope and duration. Kolabtree provides a platform to readily collaborate with the top freelance medical statisticians online.

Tips on writing a job post for a medical statistics expert

To attract the best freelance medical statistician online,ensure that your project description is informative and the scope is well defined. You will need to provide information on the following:

  • Skills required (e.g., clinical research statistician)
  • What the project area is (e.g., clinical evaluation statistics of a new therapeutic)
  • What the project entails (e.g., consulting as a second opinion regarding CER statistics; i.e., for drawing up a clinical evaluation report)
  • What the deliverables are (be specific about what you need the outputs to be)
  • Duration of the project (provide an estimate of how many hours of work you will need per week/by when you need the project to be completed)
  • By when you need to hire (having more leeway on this will give you more time to choose the best expert for your needs)
  • Your budget (per hour or fixed fee)

If you are unsure what exactly is required, providing as much detail as possible will allow the medical statistics experts to still make an informed bid for your project and suggest the best routes forward.

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