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Advanced Courses on Life Sciences

Course – 1st Edition

R without Fear: Applied R for Biologists

July 17th-21st, 2017, Barcelona (Spain)

Statistics and Bioinformatics

Statistics and Bioinformatics


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Course R without Fear- Applied R for BiologistsCourse Overview

This 5-day course will introduce students to the R statistical programming environment. The main learning objective of the course is to give students a basic skill set and familiarity with several of the most used packages in the biological sciences. It is intended primarily for users who have no experience in R, or who have performed a few basic functions but wish to develop their skills. This course is not aimed at students with extensive experience in R and it will not cover the theory behind the analyses implemented.

The typical day of the course will include step-by-step examination of pre-worked code examples as well as hands-on live-coding, so that students develop their skills through interacting with R directly. Students will learn to read in data, conduct common analyses, and produce publication-quality plots and reports. The students will also work independently on conducting analyses in order to produce a final project using available data provided by the course organisers.


It is intended primarily for users who have no experience in R, or who have performed a few basic functions but wish to develop their skills. This course is not aimed at students with extensive experience in R and it will not cover the theory behind the analyses implemented.

All participants must bring their own personal laptop.





March 9th-13th, 2020




30 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 15 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Oriol Verdeny-Vilalta instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Oriol Verdeny-Vilalta

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno Transmitting Science coordinator

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

Transmitting Science

Ana Rosa Gomez-Cano coordinator at Transmitting Science

Dr. Ana Rosa Gómez Cano
Transmitting Science


Monday, July 17th, 2017. Intro to R.

  • Introduction to the R statistical programming environment.
  • Introduction to R Studio.
  • Interacting with the console.
  • Working with variables.
  • Basic plots using qplot.
  • Reading data files.
  • Writing data files.
  • Working with tables, data frames, and lists.

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017. Improving workflow and organization.

  • Scripts.
  • Commenting your code.
  • Functions.
  • Control flow.
  • What to do when your code isn’t working.

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. Taking R to the next level.

  • R packages.
  • Project organization.
  • Version control.
  • R Markdown.

Thursday, July 20th, 2017. Making it pretty.

  • Introduction to ggplot2.
  • What’s in a ggplot object.
  • Basic plot types.
  • Customizing your plot.
  • Creating and using themes.
  • Using extensions.

Friday, July 21st, 2017. Problem solving / final project.

  • T-test and linear models.
  • Looking for help online.
  • Bringing it all together in a final project.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until December 31st, 2019):
  • 492 € *
    (393.60 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after December 31st, 2019):
  • 620 € *
    (476 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


  • Monday to Friday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.

The class schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


The course will take place in the city of Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). Take a look at the venue.

You may stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. You will find information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here. It takes about 45 minutes by public transport to arrive to Sabadell from the centre of Barcelona city. The place of the course is about 15 minutes walking from the train stop.


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.