Consulting Information

The Statistics, Measurement, And Research design Techniques in Educational Research (SMARTER) consulting office provides support for College of Education faculty and graduate students’ research design and quantitative analysis needs.

The SMARTER consulting service contains five components:

Email Consulting

We will attempt to answer short questions about quantitative methods, statistics and research design by email within two working days. Note that questions deemed too methodologically complex may be deferred to in-person consultation. Please email your question to smarterconsulting@utexas.edu.

Consulting Meetings

For college faculty, we offer one-hour meetings with Dr. Adam Sales to consult about SMARTER issues and questions. To schedule an appointment, go to SMARTER Consulting for Faculty. Faculty consulting meetings are held in Dr. Adam Sales office Rm SZB 536C on the 5th floor of the Sanchez Building.

For college graduate students, we offer half-hour meetings with Quantitative Methods PhD students Daniel Gonzalez and Danny Swan. Note that we do not provide SMARTER consulting to support graduate students’ class assignments. To schedule an appointment, go to SMARTER Consulting for Students. All student consulting meetings are held in rooms 536-537 of the 5th floor of the Sanchez Building (SZB 537-537).

We can help by discussing any aspect of a quantitative study, from the specific, such as choosing a statistical model to address a research question, interpreting the results of an analysis, conducting a power analysis, or suggesting or critiquing a research design, to the general, such as assisting with formulation of research questions and statistical hypotheses or serving as a sounding board for research ideas.

NEW: Data Analysis Tutorial Meetings

Free for all College of Education graduate students. 

We offer one-hour meetings to help graduate students implement advanced statistical methods with their data. The procedure is as follows:

  • Start with one or more 30-minute consulting appointments to discuss the research question and data analysis plan, and decide on an appropriate statistical method.
  • With the GRA, schedule a 1-hour data analysis tutorial appointment, to conduct some of the data analysis. The student will provide the dataset to the GRA at the time of the meeting. The goal will be for you to understand the method and be able to expand or modify the analysis with minimal additional help. The GRA will provide you with any code from the meeting.
  • After the tutorial meeting, you may request additional help via email or a followup 30 minute consulting meeting.

The SMARTER GRAs are experts in most common techniques in quantitative education research, and in the R and Mplus statistical software packages. Advanced analyses will be conducted under Dr. Sales' supervison. GRAs will not write up the analysis, though they will review and comment on a write-up, and they will not help with qualifying exams or papers. GRAs need at least a week between an initial consulting appointment and a data analysis tutorial, to allow for preparation. In times of high demand, students may be limited to one analysis appointment or follow-up appointment. Please acknowledge GRAs with co-authorship, when appropriate, in resulting publications.

Grant Proposal Preparation

We will conduct and write up power analyses and will help with designing and writing up of the research plan (data analysis, sampling, psychometric plan, etc.). 

While this service is free for grant proposals, we request that the SMARTER group (or affiliated consultants) be included as consultants or Co-Investigators on the grant should the proposal be funded. This is necessary to ensure that the SMARTER group becomes financially self-sustaining. Please book a meeting using the relevant faculty and student appointment links.

Data Analysis and Collaboration

For more involved participation in a research project, such as for performing actual data analyses, a SMARTER consultant can be included as a co-Investigator or co-PI on a grant proposal or can work on a contract with a per-hour fee. Please book a meeting or email us at smarterconsulting@utexas.edu if interested in discussing this further.

Methods Workshops

The SMARTER consulting staff conducts workshops on quantitative methods for education research.

Upcoming Workshops

Date/Time Description Location
TBD Plots and Graphs in R: Learn how to make beautiful and informative publication-quality graphics with R and ggplot2 TBD
TBD Causality in Ed Research: How to think and write about cause and effect in your research. TBD
TBD Cost-Benefit Analysis: How cost-effective is your intervention? Funders now want to know. TBD

Past Workshops

Social Network Data Analysis
Power Analysis
An Introduction to R Software
Mediation Analysis: Beyond Baron and Kenny
Propensity Score Matching

Contact Information

Email smarterconsulting@utexas.edu.