Topic outline

  • First Steps with R in Life Sciences

    Lausanne, 4 March 2015


    R is a complete and flexible system for statistical analysis which has become a tool of choice for biologists and biomedical scientists, who need to analyze and visualize large amounts of data. One reason for this success is the availability of many contributed packages, which are available freely and can be installed and run directly from R. In bioinformatics, in particular, most published papers include a link to an R package implementing the methods described in the article.


    This "First Steps with R" course is addressed to beginners wanting to become familiar with the R environment and master the most common commands to be able to explore their datasets.


    As it is a course for beginners, no background in R or any programming language is required. However, you are encouraged to go through the R tutorial and take the R self-assessment quizz available here.

    Technical requirements: a Wi-Fi enabled laptop with R (version 3.1.2 ) and R studio (version 0.98.1102) installed.


    The registration fees for academics are 50 CHF. This includes course content material and coffee breaks. Participants from non-academic institutions should contact us before application.

    The course is FULL. There will be another date for this course later on this year.

    Deadline for registration and free-of-charge cancellation is set to February 25. Cancellation after this date will not be reimbursed.

    You will be informed by email of your registration confirmation. Your application will be considered only if you fill the "Comments" field in indicating your background and your current project that could benefit from taking this course.


    Genopode Building

    Additional information

    The course will be taught by Diana Marek and Frédéric Schütz.

    We will recommend 0.25 ECTS credits for this course (given a passed exam at the end of the session).

    You are welcome to register to the SIB courses mailing-list to be informed of all future courses and workshops, as well as all important deadlines using the form here.

    For more information, please contact

  • Topics

    • What is R and why should biologists use it ?
    • The R and RStudio environments
    • Data structures in R
    • Reading data from files and exporting data to files
    • Graphical functions
    • Hypothesis testing functions
    • Statistical models in R
    • (Loops and Conditional statements)