First steps with R in Life Sciences

Date 19 - 20 April 2018
Speaker(s) Diana Marek, Walid Gharib
ECTS 0.5
Fees 120 CHF
Cancellation deadline 9 Apr 2018
Application Open
City Bern

The course is full but you can still aply to be added to the mailing list. You will only be recontacted if a seat becomes vacant.


R is a complete, flexible and open source system for statistical analysis and graphics, which has become a tool of choice for biologists and biomedical scientists who need to analyse and visualise large amounts of data. Due to its popularity, R is continuously updated and extended with the latest libraries for data manipulation, modelling and visualisation. This course will give an introduction to R and Rstudio (an integrated development environment for R) in an interactive manner. Participants will use some datasets to practise data manipulation and graphical exploration, as well as some statistical hypothesis testing and modelling with R.


This "First Steps with R" two-day course is addressed to beginners wanting to become familiar with the R syntax, environment, and the most common commands to start using R to explore and interpret their data.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, participants should be comfortable with the R environment and be able to read, understand and write R commands, allowing them to implement and interpret a workflow for their data analysis:

  • interact with the R environment
  • import data, explore it and summarise it
  • explore data with graphs
  • define several statistical hypothesis tests and judge the outcomes
  • build a simple linear regression and analyse the outcomes


Knowledge / competencies

As it is a course for beginners, no background in R or any programming language is required. However, you are encouraged to go through some of the R documentation available here. Please also note this course is NOT a training on statistics but rather a training on how to use R to perform different tasks, statistics being one of them.


A Wi-Fi enabled laptop with latest R and RStudio versions installed. There will be access to the eduroam and guest-unil networks.


The course is full but you can still aply to be added to the mailing list. You will only be recontacted if a seat becomes vacant.

The application process is open.

Registration fees are 120 CHF for academics and 600 CHF for for-profit companies. This includes course content material and coffee breaks.

Deadline for registration and free-of-charge cancellation is set is set to 09 April 2018. Cancellation after this date will not be reimbursed. Please note that participation to SIB courses is subject to our general conditions.

You will be informed by email of your registration confirmation.

Venue and Time

University of Bern, room 331 / 3. OG West, Hochschulstrasse 4.

The course will start at 9:00 and end around 17:00. Precise information will be provided to the participants on due time.

Additional information

Coordination: SIB Training group

We will recommend 0.5 ECTS credits for this course (given a passed exam at the end of the course).

You are welcome to register to the SIB courses mailing list to be informed of all future courses and workshops, as well as all important deadlines using the form here.

For more information, please contact