Using R in UV photobiology research: A training school, Helsinki, February 2014


Place: University of Helsinki, Viikki Campus, Gardenia Helsinki. Location on a map.

Time: Monday 17 February to Wednesday 19 February, 9:00-17:00, plus evening discussions/homework.

Arrival: Sunday 16 February.

Departure: Thursday 20 February.

Teachers: Pedro J. Aphalo, T. Matthew Robson. Our research groups: SenPEP and CanSEE.

Number of participants:  15 participants from outside Helsinki, and 5 from Helsinki have been accepted, and on-line pre-registration is now closed. If you have pre-registered and have not received and e-mail from us by 12 January, please, let us know, by leaving a comment at the end of this page AND sending us an e-mail.

Contents: Concise introduction to experimental design and data analysis, and their interrelations. Why use R? R as a replacement for a calculator, R as a statistical analysis system, R as a scripting language, R as a full-fledged programming language. How to use R? Using RStudio as a front-end. Other alternatives. R and the data analysis workflow. From experimental design to data displays and conclusions. Reproducible science. How can R and RStudio help? R and photobiology.  The photobiology suite of R packages (more details at

Approach: The training school will consist in lectures, guided practical exercises with R, and exercises based on evaluation of both hypothetical experimental designs, and critical analysis of experiments and data analysis methods in the scientific literature. There will be some work and study to be completed by participants beforehand, so that all participants will familiarize with R before arriving in Helsinki.

Practical requirements: All participants will need to bring with them a laptop computer (Windows, O.S. X, or Linux) with R and RStudio preinstalled. Laptops should have wifi connectivity. (If you find this impossible, please, mention it when registering.)

Evaluation: Take-home exam, plus participation in class.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of statistical principles and some familiarity with research in UV photobiology. Target audience is PhD students, and early-stage researchers. M.Sc. students and senior researchers will be also accepted as participants if they fulfil the prerequisites and demonstrate a need for this type of training (or are willing to help with the teaching).

Registration: Applications for participation in the training school were accepted on-line from 16 December until 10 January. There will be a registration fee, covering for the expenses of lunches, coffees and teas, and print-outs. The amount will be set as soon as possible, but will be at most 100 € per participant.

Refunding of travel and accommodation expenses: COST will partly refund these expenses, based on lists of signatures, and total amount of money available. Those participants sharing a twin room, will be more likely to have a high percentage of their accommodation expenses reimbursed.

Accommodation: Scandic Hotel Grand Marina near down town Helsinki. We strongly encourage all participants to stay at the same hotel to facilitate logistics. To save money, sharing twin rooms, would be best. This is a very good hotel, with relatively cheap prices (for Helsinki) at moment. There are two booking possibilities, in both cases, directly to the hotel: 1) to book a room from a block of pre-booked rooms (before 2 February), at a reduced price, not requiring prepayment or deposit, and allowing cancellations up to 6 pm on the day of planned arrival, or 2) to book at the currently slightly lower price through the hotel’s web pages, which requires immediate prepayment, without possibility of refund in case of cancellation. I think option 1) is best, as in case of cancellation for any reason COST will not refund expenses, and the only chance recovering your money would be through an insurance, if you have a policy that covers this.

Further details on how to book were sent on the e-mail notifying acceptance of registration for the training school.


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