First steps in Statistics for Life Sciences

09 - 10 September 2020
Cancellation deadline:
07 September 2020
Sébastien Boyer, Wandrille Duchemin
0.5 credits

No future instance of this course is planned yet


Statistics are an integral aspect of scientific research, particularly for the life sciences which rely heavily on quantitative methodologies. This course is designed to provide researchers in the life sciences with an introduction to statistics and statistical concepts and their application to a variety of biological problems.

The course will combine lectures on statistics, short tutorials and practical exercises on the topics discussed in the class. These practical exercises will be implemented in the widely used Python language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.

Topics covered during the course include:

  • Data manipulation, summarization and plotting : reminder/intro to data mamipulation in Python
  • Hypothesis testing : when to use it and how?
  • Correlation and regression analysis


This course is intended for life scientists from all levels and disciplines who are not experts in statistics.

Although we will provide materials and a reminder on data mamipulation in Python, participants must be comfortable with the Python environment and be able to read, understand and write basic Python commands before attending this course.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, participants should be able to :

  • explore their data, choose the right method to summarize it, graphically and numerically.
  • perform appropriate basic hypothesis tests on a datatest.
  • appraise the results and limitations of these tests, their underlying hypotheses, and multiple testing issues.
  • assess and describe the link between different variables, using correlation and regression analysis.


Knowledge / competencies
  • No prior statistical knowledge is required in order to attend the course
  • Completion of a basic/introductory course on Python

You are required to bring your own laptop with a wifi connection.

Additionally, we ask you ensure the following software is installed on your machine PRIOR to the course:

  • latest python3 distribution, preferably bundled using conda
  • jupyter
  • the scipy library (NB: if you installed conda, then this library is already installed)


The registration fees for academics are 120 CHF and 600 for for-profit companies.

Deadline for registration and free-of-charge cancellation is set to 04/09/2020. 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

This course will be streamed.

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: Patricia Palagi

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.

Please note that participation in SIB courses is subject to our general conditions.

SIB abides by the ELIXIR Code of Conduct. Participants of SIB courses are also required to abide by the same code.

For more information, please contact