“Do you have a question about your study design, protocol, or statistical analyses? Fill out a service request or stop by a drop-in session. Our epidemiologists and biostatisticians would be happy to assist you.”

Norma Terrin, PhD
Scientific Director, BERD Center

Grant and Protocol Development
Consulting and Collaborative Research
Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis (CCES)
BERD Center Team


The Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Center is a joint program between Tufts CTSI and the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies (ICRHPS). Statisticians and Epidemiologists in the BERD Center collaborate with clinical, health services, and basic science researchers throughout Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center and its affiliates. We promote innovation and excellence across the spectrum of translational and patient-oriented research by working with our collaborators to select the optimal study design and plan, and perform the most suitable analysis for the aims of each study. Pre-award proposal development services are available at no charge for Tufts CTSI partners and can be requested here.

The BERD Center has a broad range of expertise in standard and cutting-edge methods, as well as a history of developing and evaluating new methodology. We also provide training, education, and study design support.

View a table of available services (PDF).

Free assistance from BERD Center faculty and staff is available at Virtual Research Help Drop-in Sessions.

Please email BERDDropIn@tuftsmedicalcenter.org to request an appointment. One of our experts will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Who is eligible?

Some pre-award BERD Center services are offered at no cost to investigators and trainees at institutions affiliated with Tufts CTSI; other services (post-award) are offered for a feeand are available to anyone.

Drop-in Sessions are open to anyone at an institution affiliated with Tufts CTSI, especially faculty members, fellows, residents, and graduate students.

Student projects are not eligible for these free services, but students engaged in faculty-led projects may receive free consultations if the Principal Investigator is a faculty member at a Tufts CTSI-affiliated organization and the faculty member participates in the consultation.

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Grant and Protocol Development

The BERD Center’s staff provides guidance in framing research questions, developing study designs, selecting statistical analyses appropriate for research aims, calculating and justifying sample size, evaluating threats to study validity, and addressing human subject concerns.

Grant and protocol development assistance is offered at no cost to faculty members and trainees at Tufts CTSI academic and hospital partner institutions and members of community partner institutions. For assistance, please submit a service request.

Student projects are not eligible for these free services, but students engaged in faculty-led projects may receive free consultations if the Principal Investigator is a faculty member at at Tufts CTSI-affiliated institution and the faculty member participates in the consultation.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-award Study Design and Development (PDF).

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Consulting and Collaborative Research

BERD Center staff provide study design and statistical support for many different areas of clinical research. Our projects span the spectrum of translational science, ranging from pre-clinical animal studies to clinical research, health services research, quality improvement programs, and community-based research.

Many of the consulting and collaborative projects BERD Center staff members work on result in the development of grants and/or publications in peer-reviewed journals. Our statisticians and epidemiologists work with investigators typically through (1) funded effort through grants or other institutions, or (2) fee-for-service consulting.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Statistical Consulting (PDF).

To find a statistician for collaboration on a grant or funded project, or to learn about fee-for-service consulting, please submit a service request.

Drop-in Sessions are free of charge and open to everyone, with preference for faculty members, fellows, residents, and graduate students, for short (30-minute) statistical or study design consultations.

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Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis (CCES)

The Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis (CCES) promotes the application of evidence-based methods to health care research and the development of new approaches to evidence synthesis.

Evidence-based medicine is a core component of high quality health care. Accurate and unbiased summaries of best available evidence for outcomes that patients care about are critical to inform clinical decision-making and ensure high quality care. CCES members are recognized leaders in systematic reviews, meta-analysis, clinical data synthesis and appraisal, clinical practice guideline creation, health services effectiveness and outcomes research, and stakeholder engagement. Domain expertise covers a wide range of topics across the spectrum of human health and nutrition with particular expertise in treatment alternatives, medical devices, diagnostic tests, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, genetic tests, nutrition, and women’s health. The Center is situated in a diverse clinical research environment within the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and actively collaborates with public and private partners in clinical care, clinical care research, and the wider health care community.


  • Conducts clinical research and evidence synthesis projects that inform clinical practice
  • Conducts targeted literature reviews and meta-analysis
  • Conducts clinical practice guideline development and evidence translation
  • Engages patients, technical experts, and other stakeholders in research synthesis
  • Uses evidence synthesis and comparative effectiveness research methods to evaluate devices
  • Provides education in evidence-based medicine.

The CCES Team is:

  • Gowri Raman, MBBS, MS, Project Director, Special & Scientific Staff
  • Jeffrey Chan, BS, Research Associate
  • Esther Avendano, MS, Research Associate and Project Manager
  • Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, Adjunct faculty
  • Nirmala Nanguneri, PhD, Adjunct faculty

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BERD Center Team

BERD Center members hold faculty and scientific staff appointments at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. They provide statistical and computational instruction and mentoring to students in the Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program within the Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Our team members also serve nationally as consultants to institutions, foundations, federal agencies, and corporations as well as on grant proposal review panels of the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies, as members of Data Safety and Monitoring Boards, and as reviewers and editors for a variety of scientific journals.

View our bios and contact information.

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To contact us, please submit a service request.

Theodora Cohen, PhD, Director, BERD Center

Norma Terrin, PhD, Scientific Director, BERD Center

Janis L. Breeze, MPH, Associate Director, BERD Center

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