Course Retire statistical significance: a world beyond p<0.05

ECTS: 1.5

Course leader: Morten Schmidt

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Graduate program: ClinFO

Course fee: 1,800.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2024

Application deadline: 01/04/2024

Cancellation deadline: 15/04/2024

Course type: Classroom teaching

Start date: 01/05/2024

Administrator: Lena Melchior Villadsen

The course C312/04 Retire statistical significance: a world beyond p<0.05 is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, 2024.

Criteria for participation: University degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, or Master’s degree in other fields and/or postgraduate research fellows (PhD students and research-year medical students).

Requirements for participation: Basic biostatistical knowledge is assumed.

Aim: To avoid misuse and misinterpretations of statistical significance testing

Learning outcomes: Learn to interpret and report effect estimates considering random error.

Workload: The full workload of the course is expected to be 20 hours (incl. 5 hours pre-course reading)


Review of statistical and epidemiological concepts

  • Statistical inference
  • Internal validity: systematic vs. random errors
  • Hypothesis testing, p-value, point estimates, and confidence intervals
  • Interpretation of effect estimates

The clinical context

  • Clinical vs. statistical significance
  • The Null result
  • Clinical trial considerations
  • Sample size calculations

Misinterpretations of significance testing

  • The epidemiologist’s perspective
  • The statistician’s perspective
  • Key papers, persons, and arguments in the debate

Advanced topics

  • Type 1 vs. type 2 errors: which is worst?
  • 99% CI vs. 95% CI: which is best?
  • Confidence Limit Ratios
  • P-value functions
  • Multiple comparisons: A place for p-values?
  • Is Bayesian inference the solution?

Expert panel debate (online): Pro et cons*

When Peer Reviewers Push for P-values:

  • The role of editors and reviewers
  • How to reply, resist, and refuse

The content is relevant for all health researchers, but the examples provided during the course will relate to clinical and epidemiological research and not basic (experimental) research.

*Previous members of the panel:
2023 (Fall): Prof. Mathew Fox (Boston University); Prof. Valen Johnson (Texas A&M University); Erik Parner (Aarhus University).
2023 (Spring): Valentin Amrhein (University of Basel); John Ioannidis (Stanford University); Erik Parner (Aarhus University).
2022: Kenneth Rothman (Boston University); Timothy Lash (Emory University); Andreas Stang (University Hospital Essen).

Venue: Aarhus University, Aarhus

Participation in the course is without cost for:
PhD students, Health Research Year students from Aarhus University
PhD students enrolled at partner universities of the Nordoc collaboration
PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses

Course dates:

  • 01 May 2024 08:00 - 15:30
  • 02 May 2024 08:00 - 15:30