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Description/Course Overview:

Each class will begin with a seminar, where participants learn about problems with common practices and explore more transparent and reproducible alternatives. Seminars will be followed by workshops, where participants work on implementing the skills discussed and apply them directly to their own research. After completing the course, participants will be able to apply the skills that they have learned and practiced to other research projects.
This course is designed for researchers working on small sample size studies, including preclinical (animal) research, in vitro research, or human research with small numbers of participants.

Learning Objectives

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the appropriate reporting guideline for their study and use that guideline as a writing guide to prepare a methods section
  2. Determine when blinding and randomization are needed
  3. Compare and contrast common techniques for blinding and randomizing experiments
  4. Design a flow chart to report attrition for a research study
  5. Explain the benefits of using research resource identifiers (RRIDs) and add RRIDs to a manuscript
  6. Discuss best practices for using methodological citation shortcuts
  7. Deposit a protocol on a public repository
  8. Identify and fix common data visualization errors, such as using bar graphs to present continuous data or creating figures that aren’t colorblind accessible
  9. Identify and fix common problems with statistical reporting among studies that use t-tests and ANOVA


This course is open to researchers in the biomedical or biological sciences at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, or Technische Universität Berlin (15 participants). Five additional spaces are available to participants from the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence. NeuroCure participants should email Dr. Bernard to register. All other participants can register through the website. Participants need to be actively working on a research project and have written a methods section, or be prepared to write a methods section, for their research project.

ECTS & Time commitment

We will provide a signed certificate to help participants obtain ECTS credit from their institution or department. You must attend at least 6 of the 7 sessions to receive a certificate. As this course is open for participants from various programs, obtaining formal approval from each program is not feasible. Participants themselves are responsible for ensuring that they will receive credit for the course.


Tracey L. Weissgerber, Ph.D.
Group Leader
Email: tracey.weissgerber@charite.de

Tracey Weissgerber is a meta-researcher at QUEST (Quality | Ethics | Open Science | Translation) in Berlin. She completed her graduate work in physiology at Queen’s University (Canada), a post-doctoral fellowship at the Magee-Women’s Research Institute (USA), and was an Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic (USA). Her 2015 paper on bar graphs has been viewed more than 375,000 times. This paper contributed to policy changes in many journals that encourage authors to replace bar graphs of continuous data with more informative graphics (dot plots, box plots, violin plots).

Dr. René Bernard
Coordinator for Value and Open Science
NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Email: rene.bernard@charite.de

Dr. Bernard is a trained pharmacist, pharmacologist, and currently works as Coordinator for Research Value and Open Science in the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence. In addition to neuroscientific research, he worked for several years in an academica-industry collaboration and helped to develop two quality management systems designed for preclinical research. He is committed to promoting good research practice, as laid out in this open access book Good Research Practice in Non-Clinical Pharmacology and Biomedicine, to which he contributed.

Important information

Date: September 1 to October 13, 2021

Course language: English

Class times: 7 Sessions, Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 pm

In addition to class time, it is estimated that students will spend, on average, 1.5 hours per week working on course activities.

Attendance requirements: This is an intensive course with limited enrollment. Participants will be permitted to miss one session. Those who miss more than one session will not be eligible for a certificate of completion.

The course outline can you find here!

Registration closed

This is a joint course from BIH-QUEST Center and NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence.

NeuroCure is funded within the Excellence Strategy by the GERMAN FEDERAL and BERLIN STATE GOVERNMENTS through DFG Grant EXC 2049 / project number: 390688087.