Experimental Design, cancelled

Experimental Design, cancelled

Ghent, Bio-Accelerator

23 & 24 March 2020

General context

Due to Coronavirus spreading in Belgium and Europe, VIB has made the difficult decision to cancel the Training on Experimental Design. We will reschedule the training to a later date and reinvite your for this rescheduled training in due time.

More info and recommendations can be found here.


The mission of this course is to explain the underlying principles and concepts of experimental design what will allow the course takers to understand why well-designed experiments are more efficient. We will apply these concepts and use R tools to design or improve concrete and typical biotech research experiments.

We welcome experimental design questions from the audience.

This training is organised in collaboration with the Helis Academy. More information see https://helisacademy.com/

Event intended for

Researchers with some experience in designing experiments, but that would like to better understand the statistical principles behind it with the aim to improve the relevance and efficiency of their experiments. 

Required skills

A basic knowledge of R is required to follow this course.

Extra information
  • This course if free for VIB participants
  • Non-VIB participants pay a fee of 100 euro
  • This course is not open for industry
  • Note that upon no-show without valid justification you will be blacklisted for the VIB training program for 1 year and a fee of €100 will be charged. Click here for more information


Joris De Wolf

Joris De Wolf has a long track record in biostatistics. He worked at Crop-Design, later BASF, as team leader of the biostatistics group. He was involved in the experimental design and start-up of the high-throughput phenotyping system TraitMill, design of the databases and streamlining of statistical analyses. Furthermore, he was research responsible for the field testing pipeline and statistics on transgenic yield improvement. In 2016, he joined GSK vaccines and currently he also works as a biostatistics consultant. 


DAY 1: 23 March 2020

  •  Introduction
  • Why do we do experiments?
    • Difference between experiments and observations
    • Causation and correlation        
  •  Think twice before you start: importance of careful design
    • Get the reseach question clear
    • Context and inference space
    • Desired and undesired sources of variability
    • Selecting the measurements
    • Plenty rough or a few accurate observations        
  • Important concepts:
    • Orthogonality
    • Randomization and blocking
    • Replication and power
    • Independence
    • Fixed and random effects        
  • First simple case: a design to determine a regression        
  • Power studies
    • Intro
    • Hands-on in R via traditional methods and via simulations
    • Apply it to the regression problem


 DAY 2: 24 March 2020

  • One-factor-at-a-time vs factorial designs
    • Interactions
    • Factor screening vs optimisation
    • Fractional designs (standard designs, optimal designs)
  • Finding good design and power study for factorial experiment with R
  • Randomisation schemes
    • Completely randomized design
    • Complete block design
    • Incomplete block design
    • Splitplot design
  • Case studies
    • Group discussion of existing case
    • Group work: design best experiment based on available material and info
  • Recapitulate
  • Closure

Practical info

23 March 2020 - 24 March 2020

Bio-Accelerator Meeting Center Ghent

Technologiepark 21
9052 Zwijnaarde

23 March 2020 - 24 March 2020

Bio-Accelerator Meeting Center Ghent
Public transport


At Gent St Pieters station you can take the following city buses: Buses 70, 71 and 72 ("Tramstraat"). You get off at the stop marked "Bollebergen" (on the Grote Steenweg Noord). The Technology Park is straight in front of you on the other side of the soft verge.

There is also a shuttle bus from Gent-Sint-Pieters, more information can be found here.


23 March 2020 - 24 March 2020

Bio-Accelerator Meeting Center Ghent

Route description

There is free parking available in front of the building.

23 March 2020 - 24 March 2020

Bio-Accelerator Meeting Center Ghent
Location contact

+32 9 328 19 02



VIB training
Tel: +32 9 244 66 11
Mail: training@vib.be