R is a powerful, flexible and open-source software package for statistical data analysis and graphical data representation. In some research domains, such as bioinformatics and biostatistics, R is the most often used program for statistical analysis. Increasingly, implementations of new statistical methodology first appear in R as an add-on package.

The R online workshop is offered through the electronic environment Blackboard/VICE, and consists of a starters package followed by 2 livestream sessions. The starters package is an online self-study introduction supported by instruction videos, guided exercises and feedback video's. Participants can interact with each other and with the instructor through a discussion forum on Blackboard/VICE. The starters package should be completed before the first livestream session. See the tab 'Course structure and time schedule' for the timing of the sessions.

We offer the possibility to take an exam via a take-home assignment. All participants can take part, but PhD students from the IOB and BE faculties need to pass this exam to obtain their credit.  If you are interested in taking the exam, check the wants-to-take-exam-box in the registration form. Participating in the exam costs 10€, which is deduced automatically from your educational credit.

Course contents

At the end of the course, the student will be able to 

  • correctly read in data into R, 
  • distinguish the different data structures and types of variables in R,
  • perform elementary data manipulations includins subsetting and merging,
  • generate graphs via the basic graphics packages, 
  • can carry out elementary statistical analysis and save the output 
  • automate repetitive operations through for-loops and custom-made functions,
  • search the internet for help on using R 

Target audience / prerequisites

This course is aimed at pre- and post doctoral researchers who are already familiar with elementary statistical data analysis, but who were using different software up to now.

*2 important remarks*

-This is not a statistics course. The lessons about statistical techniques will focus on how to perform these techniques in R, but the theory behind the techniques is assumed to be known. The statistical techniques themselves are not subject of this course.

-The course is offered by online course material (instruction videos plus online exercises), that will be made available before the onset of the course. By the time of the first Q&A session, participants should have completed the first part of the online course. By the time of the second Q&A session, participants should have completed the second part of the online material. 


Erik Fransen

Ella Roelant


PhD student UAntwerpen : € 50 

UA-affiliated : € 90

Academic non-UA : € 160

Publicand non-profit sector : € 250

Private sector : € 500

Course structure and time schedule

Starters package :

Released on January 12 offered through online video's + discussion forum on BB/VICE

  • R language essentials
    • data import, export and manipulation
    • different types of data and data structures
    • downloading packages
  • Graphical representation of data

*** Complete the starters package by the first livestream session ***

Livestream 1 :

January 18, 9.30am - 12.30pm

  • Online Q&A session on starters package
  • Statistical analysis
    • exploratory data analysis
    • hypothesis testing
    • linear regression and ANOVA
  • Assignment : watch video on reshaping data

Livestream 2 :

January 21, 9:30am - 12:30pm

  • Q&A on reshaping data
  • Automation 
    • writing custom functions
    • programming structures