Topic outline

  • First Steps with R in Life Sciences

    Bern, 26 November 2015


    R is a complete, flexible and open source 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. Due to its popularity, R is continuously updated and extended with the latest analysis tools that are available in the different research fields. 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" one-day course is addressed to beginners wanting to become familiar with the R syntax and environment as well as with the most common commands to start using R in their daily work.


    At the end of the course, participants should be confortable with the R environment and be able to read, understand and write R commands, that will allow them to:

    • Interact with the R environment
    • Create and manipulate different data structures
    • Import data, perform basic manipulation and export results
    • Generate graphs


    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 documentation available here.

    Technical requirements: a Wi-Fi enabled laptop with latest R and R studio versions 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.

    Deadline for application and free-of-charge cancellation is set to November 16. Cancellation after this date will not be reimbursed. Please note that participation to SIB courses is subject to this and other general conditions, available at

    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.


    Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4 - Seminarraum Nr. 331, Hauptgebäude, University of Bern 

    Additional information

    The course will be taught by Diana Marek and Walid Gharib.

    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