Consulting service

Main content

The Seminar for Statistics (SfS) at the ETH Zurich offers a statistical consulting service, contractual data analysis, as well as statistics and software courses. For more information, please see:  

Statistical consulting

Many scientific studies are based on the interpretation of measurements or observations, thereby including statistical analysis. The Seminar for Statistics offers advice on experimental design, the choice of the stastistical method, the choice of an appropriate computer software for your statistical problem, as well as help for the interpretation of the results. Please contact us already while designing your experiments or field study.

General information

Usually, this will take place in a single one-hour meeting with one or a few follow-ups if needed. The goal of our meeting is to give you some guidance on how you can perform an appropriate statistical analysis on your own. We have a broad knowledge in statistics but we are not necessarily experts in your field. Moreover, we don't have the capacity to do the analysis for you. Think of us as statisticians who can give you a second opinion, discuss the problem with you, give you some hints, and point you in a direction of further reading. A large part of our first meeting consists of understanding your study. This part is very important for choosing an appropriate statistical method.

This service is free of charge for students and members of ETH, and for federal research stations (ETH Domain). Links to other statistical consulting groups can be found here.

Appointments for statistical consulting can be arranged with the consulting team, using the contact form with an attached short description of the study (see here for an example (PDF, 163 KB)).


For more involved requests, we offer two options. The first one is a paid project, which means that one or more members of the consulting service perform the analysis. Due to our limited resources, we cannot always offer this service.

The second option that we offer for free is that a student in the master of statistics program runs the analysis under supervision in the framework of the "Statistics Lab" seminar, which takes place in the Spring semester.

Contractual data analysis

Analysis of data (for ETH-institutes and external companies) can be carried out in terms of a project. After a cost estimate the collaboration will be contractually regulated. In most of the cases the minimum effort for processing a project equals a working week. A detailed report can be provided, if requested.

Examples of topics of concluded studies:

  • Measurements of radiation have been collected from 40 samples of a chemically polluted site. How can the average radiation for the whole site be estimated, including a precision of this estimate?
  • A device for measuring blood sugar continuously, without taking blood samples, is under development. It is attached to the skin and measures electrical impedance signals as well as temperature and optical signals. The challenge is to develop a model that relates these signals to blood sugar and allows for predicting the latter with sufficient precision.
  • Manufactoring plastic material used for bottles is protected by a patent if a certain property exceeds a given threshold. A sample is used for verifying whether this is the case. Depending on the way of summarizing the data, the conclusion ranges for "clearly violated" to "clearly not violated". Which analysis is adequate?

Prospective clients should contact the consulting team for a non-committal discussion.

Consulting and data analysis by master students or PhDs

Do you have data which should have been analysed long ago, but haven't had the spare time to do so? Do you need more assistance for the analysis of your data than what a single hour of consulting can offer?

If you wish your data to be analysed, you may submit your data and questions to our "Statistics Lab" seminar that takes place every spring semester. If your problem is suitable and is selected by a team of master-level students in statistics, this team will run the analysis tailored to your questions of interest and will provide a final report, all under the supervision of a regular member of the Seminar for Statistics.

In return, we ask for willingness to exchange information/data with the students, and 2-3 hours of time for meetings and answering students' questions. It is important that you are not under time pressure for the results of the analysis.

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact the consulting team at .

Support for statistical software

We also offer support for several statistical software, in particular R. To arrange a personal appointment or ask questions directly, write an email to . An overview of the statistical software used at the ETH Zurich can be found here.

Statistics and Software courses

We offer introductory and intermediate courses for R on a regular basis.

On we offer introductory and intermediate R courses as well as introductory, intermediate and advanced statistics courses, for instance in-house courses for companies. These courses are custom-tailored to the needs and objectives of our clients.

Zurich R Courses offer a series of introductory and advanced courses on statistical data analysis with R on a regular basis.


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