Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design

College of Nursing Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (CONBERD) assists college faculty, staff and students with research and program evaluation data management services, including:

  1. development of experimental designs, sample size estimations and data analysis plans for grants, dissertations and capstone projects;
  2. data collection, management and archiving; 
  3. data analysis, including training in and support for conducting appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics; 
  4. interpretation of results; and
  5. collaboration on all quantitative aspects of papers, presentations and reports.

The team is prepared to assist with survey design, data collection/management and analysis needs. There is significant redundancy in the skills and knowledge among CONBERD team members so that data management and analysis services can be provided efficiently and effectively. 

The Team

Kathy Begley Rademacher
Data Management Coordinator
Ms. Rademacher joined the grant and research development group on a part-time basis in 2015 to provide support with survey development and the use of Qualtrics and REDCap Web-based survey tools. She has over eight years of experience in research survey development and database management. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Thomas Kelly
Associate Dean for Research
(859) 323-8076
As the associate dean for research (ADR), Dr. Kelly has administrative responsibility for CONBERD and provides research design and grant development support for faculty.

Dr. Mary Kay Rayens
(859) 323-6172
Dr. Rayens oversees CONBERD services and is the primary contact for faculty grant and manuscript development. 

Dr. Amanda Wiggins
(859) 323-6105
Dr. Wiggins supports the biostatistical needs of College of Nursing faculty and students.


How do I request support?
There are two options. First, you can contact CONBERD team members directly based on point of contact recommendations or prior service experience. Second, you can email a message describing your service request directly to You will be contacted by one of our team members.

In the process of conducting my research, when should I request support?
You can request support an any time; however, it is highly recommended that you contact CONBERD for consultation and/or critical review of research design and data collection proposals PRIOR to the start of a study. Problems with research designs and data management strategies are very difficult, if not impossible, to fix after the data have been collected.

How much time will it take for service?
While the CONBERD team strives to provide service in a timely manner, the length of time required will depend on the volume of requests at any given time. When you request service, the CONBERD team will provide an estimation of when the service will be initiated and how much time will be required. If you know that you will need services at a particular time (e.g., to meet grant deadlines or for professional presentations), advanced scheduling is permitted and encouraged. If you have a particular deadline (for abstract, paper or grant submission, for example), please include that in your service request so we can develop a written list of deadlines to be met.

Should I include CONBERD services in my grant budget?
The College of Nursing provides financial support for CONBERD services for its students, staff and faculty who are conducting research in conjunction with their College of Nursing employment. It is expected that faculty conducting extramurally sponsored research that will require CONBERD services will include salary support for CONBERD staff that is commensurate with the anticipated effort that will be required. Faculty should consult with the Grant Development Team in matters of budget preparation.  ​​