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Introduction to the statistical software R

medRSD Workshop
Target group Doctoral students in medicine (Members of medRSD)
Supervisors and Postdocs
Scientific researchers
Language English, German
Length of the workshop Three days
Places 13
Costs 650 € for external participants
Free for doctoral students and researchers at the Medical Faculty of HHU
Registration medRSD: See below how to register

In the training program of medRSD:
3 event days in the area of core competencies
In the basic curriculum of the PhD program:
3 event days after consultation with Dr. Gätjens

Dr. Katherine Ogurtsova
Dr. Ogurtsova is working in the Institute for Health Services Research and Health Economics in German Diabetes Center. Her primary qualification includes statistical methods in medicine, epidemiology, and public health with the main focus on R-programming and methodological issues.

Dr. Ralf Schäfer
Dr. Schäfer is a psychologist and a head of Psychological laboratory at Clinical Institute for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at University Clinic in the Heinrich Heine University. Dr. Schäfer’s research interest are psycho-physiological questions related to processing emotions and an investigation into the effectiveness of special psychotherapeutic therapies such as the effects of stress management training.

Lotte Wagner-Douglas
Lotte Wagner-Douglas is in the master's program in psychology at Heinrich Heine University and has been part of Dr. Schäfer's team for several years. Due to many years of programming experience with a focus on R as well as a broad knowledge of statistical methods, her main focus is on the processing and statistical analysis of data using R as well as active participation in current research topics.


  • Good general PC knowledge
  • Programming skills is an advantage
  • Basic statistical knowledge is an advantage

Concept of the course

 „R“  (https://www.r-project.org/) is a programming language and application environment for statistical analyses and graphics. R is a free GNU project software and can be installed and used free of charge. Unlike many commercial systems (e.g. SPSS, SAS), the R-project is constantly developed by leading scientists and the wide statistical community. All procedures and functions are visible, i.e. the source code can be called up and checked at any time. There are a lot of packages that cover literally all statistical questions and methods.

The seminar gives a first impression of the R functionality and how to deal with a scripting language. The workshop is application-oriented. Standard procedures in R are shown and trained by means of examples and own calculations on a learning dataset. During the first two days the basic knowledge of R is given. The third day could be interesting for advanced users as well.

Learning aims

  • Operate with objects, vectors and matrices. Import and export from/to SPSS and Excel sheets. Basic data management and data types.
  • Making simple and complex graphics, running simple and sophisticated descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
  • Understanding how the complex statistical analysis can be performed in R (regressions, multilevel analysis, survival analysis)

Course content

  • Brief introduction to R, the concept of R and the basic functions and conventions
  • Practical exercises with simple calculations and application procedures
  • Getting to know simple basic vocabulary of the script language
  • Reading complex data records
  • Data sorting and data retrieval
  • Explorative data analysis
  • Creating graphics
  • Creating descriptive and inferential statistical procedures.
  • Basic regression analysis in R, diagnostic techniques for the quality of regressions, statistical testing, diagrams.
  • Multi-level analysis in R and graphs (ggplots)
  • Survival analysis in R and graphs.
  • Working with RStudio


Please, install the following software before the course on your own laptop.

R: https://cran.uni-muenster.de/

RStudio: https://rstudio.com/products/rstudio/download/

YouTube how-to-do for Windows 10:

YouTube how-to-do for Mac OS:

MS Teams: https://www.microsoft.com/en/microsoft-teams/download-app

Please install R first and then RStudio. The programs must be granted administrator rights in Windows 7 or higher operating system versions. Installation on Mac OS is also possible.


Descriptive statistics:

Inference statistics:

Survival Analysis:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1QqpG0rR1k&list=PLTNMv857s9WUclZLm6OFUW3QcXgRa97jx
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-_sblQZ5rE&list=PLTNMv857s9WUclZLm6OFUW3QcXgRa97jx&index=2
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfe59glNXAQ&list=PLTNMv857s9WUclZLm6OFUW3QcXgRa97jx&index=3
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxoWsVco_iM&list=PLTNMv857s9WUclZLm6OFUW3QcXgRa97jx&index=4


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3gFT0-C4s
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTp_ONVVrh8
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