Advice and support


To provide an overview of the organizations and people who can advice and support researchers at the APH Research Institute.
Information from AMC is not added to this page yet.


Executing researcher: To ask for expertise when necessary.
Project leaders: To inform the executing researcher about the advice and support that is available.
Research assistant: N.a.

How To

This guideline provides an overview of the organisations and people researchers at the APH Research Institute can turn to for advice and support. A distinction is made here on the basis of the research topic for which support is required.
Privacy and WMO issues
The Privacy officers of AMC, VUmc and VU offer advice on the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming) and the Human subject act (WMO Wet Mensgebonden Onderzoek). To meet the latest requirements to be allowed to carry out scientific research in the Netherlands the University Medical Centers in the Netherlands developed a Basic Course Organization Clinical scientific research (‘Basiscursus Organisatie Klinisch wetenschappelijk onderzoek’; BROK course). Click here for information about the BROK course.
Data management support
Data management support at the VUmc side of the APH Research Institute is provided by the Data Management Department of VUmc, of which Wim Kraan is the head. This support is aimed at both the design of (data entry) systems for storing and processing research data, as well as activities in the data processing phase of a project (file organisation, data cleaning, processing and archiving data). The department’s work consists primarily of guiding researchers and research assistants, and providing advice. The department can also carry out the implementation of systems. This is not a free service; contact Wim Kraan for detailed information.
Choice of adequate measurement instruments
At VUmc, the Clinimetrics group can be approached for help with the choice of adequate (e.g. well validated) measurement instruments. This group also undertakes research in this field. Contact Caroline Terwee or Riekie de Vet regarding questions about the measurement properties of instruments. Caroline offers also support for selecting questionnaires.
Statistical/methodological support and support for data analysis
EpidM offers a lot of methodological and statistical courses. In addition, the APH Research Institute collaborates closely with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (E&B). Methodological/statistical support from the Epidemiology & Biostatistics Department can be requested through their E&B Xpert service. (for Dutch click here; for English click here).
The contact at the E&B can be approached for questions regarding:
  • Research design, including power and sample size calculations;
  • Statistics, including statistical modelling and data analysis, more specific questions about the use of statistical software, such as SPSS and S-Plus, multilevel analysis (MLwiN and GEE), (confirmative) factor analysis, etc.;
  • Help in interpreting output and reporting output in articles.
Cost-effectiveness analysis
The APH Research Institute and the Institute of Health Sciences at the VU University contribute to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) unit, which provides support in cost-effectiveness analyses. Maurits van Tulder is the head, who has a joint appointment with the the APH Research Institute and Health Sciences. There is also collaboration in the methodological field with the E&B department.
Maurits van Tulder can be approached for formulating and planning cost-effectiveness analyses for grant applications (particularly ZONMW). In addition, this unit offers support in cost calculations, (statistical) cost comparisons between groups, calculating confidence intervals for cost-effectiveness ratios and acceptability curves. This HTA support is in principal not free of costs and should be included in the project’s budget.
Systematic review
There is no special unit that can be approached for advice regarding this topic. Refer to the Systematic review guideline for the design and creation of systematic reviews. Maurits van Tulder can also be approached for advice about the Cochrane collaboration.
Furthermore, EpidM and the library of the VU University provide a course in conducting systematic reviews. Click here for the EpidM course. Click here for the library course.
Literature search
At the University Library, search specialists support database searches and optimal use of databases, such as PubMed (Medline), Embase, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library and Psycinfo. Contact person for VU is Hans Ket. You can contact the medical information specialist at
For more information about advice and support regarding literature search for (medical) research and patient care see this document.
Useful course at the website of the University Library (VU) are:
This support is in principle not free of costs and should be included in the project’s budget.
Qualitative research
EpidM offers a basic course on qualitative research for researchers with little to no experience in qualitative research (in Dutch): ‘Cursus K78, Kwalitatief onderzoek in de praktijk van de gezondheidszorg’.
Scientific integrity
For questions around scientific integrity consult the guideline: Scientific misconduct and calamities. Furthermore, the VU University Medical Center offers a course in research integrity. Click here for a description of this course.

Audit questions

  1. Have you used the expertise at the APH Research Institute in any of the following:
    1. Research design/power calculations;
    2. Data entry options;
    3. Databases and data logistics;
    4. Data cleaning;
    5. Data transformation;
    6. Statistics/Data analyses;
    7. Validity of questionnaires/instruments;
    8. Systematic review;
    9. Literature search;
    10. Other topics?
  2. If not, why not? If so: In which phases of your research was this support essential?

V4.0: 8 Feb 2018: Revision EMGO+ to APH and minor textual adjustments
V3.1: 16 Dec 2016: Revision guideline
V3.0: 9 Dec 2016: Revision guideline
V2.0: 12 May 2015: Revision format
V1.4: 28 Jan 2013: Scientific integrity added and updated
V1.3: 1 Dec 2011: Library fees added
V1.2: 22 Feb 2010: Addition of search course
V1.1: 1 Jan 2010: Translated into English and updated
V1.0: 11 Dec 2008