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Newsletter | Summer 2021 | South Central MIRECC

Using MIDAS – A Golden Methodologic Resource for South Central MIRECC Investigators

By the MIDAS Consultation Team

The South Central MIRECC Implementation, Design and Analysis Support (MIDAS) team has been providing methodologic consultation, at no cost, to SCMIRECC core and affiliated investigators since 2007. MIDAS team members have a broad range of expertise in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research; in data extraction and management, and in problem-solving around study logistics. Over the past 14 years, MIDAS has served over 100 investigators at all levels (fellows, new investigators, and senior researchers), many of whom have requested and received support several times.

Even small pilot studies tend to take a long and winding road from the germ of an idea to dissemination and implementation of results. MIDAS consultation can be useful at many stages along the road from study design to dissemination of findings. Although the MIDAS team cannot generate the research question or idea, once you know where you want to go and more or less how you want to get there, there are multiple times and ways in which MIDAS may be of service. The figure below highlights the many phases of the research trajectory in which we think MIDAS can be helpful.

Figure of how MIDAS consultation fits into the research process
Figure of how MIDAS consultation fits into the research process.

Select to view larger MIDAS process figure

What does that mean in practical terms? When you say “yes” to questions like the ones below, it may be time to reach out to MIDAS (as the quotations from MIDAS evaluations attest):

Do you need “fresh eyes” to review and offer feedback and suggestions on your draft research proposal?
“Throughout my research career,… I have received feedback from mentors, colleagues, reviewers, and editors. The feedback I received from [MIDAS team member] regarding my two most recent grant applications is the most thoughtful and thorough feedback I have received to date. I will most certainly use the MIDAS again for future consultation.”

Do you need help developing an analytic plan and doing a power analysis?
“This project would not have been possible without [MIDAS team member]’s contributions methodologically and in terms of analyses.”

Did your funded research project run into unanticipated challenges that your team is not sure how to address?
“MIDAS helped me gather a group of biostatisticians for a one-time brainstorming session. They came up with an ingenious, multi-stage process that allowed us to generate the representative sampling frame we needed.”

Does your team need to include a qualitative methodologist to be able to carry out your proposed SC MIRECC pilot study?
“[MIDAS team member] is a fantastic consultant. She provided helpful feedback on my projects and continues to be available for check in. Her expertise is apparent and extremely helpful. She is an asset to MIDAS and I am grateful to have access to her through MIDAS.”

Does your team need to include a quantitative methodologist to be able to carry out the proposed SC MIRECC pilot study?
“[MIDAS team member] was great to work with and he really helped us shape our analyses for the psychometrics work. He also helped greatly with planning a R01 submission.”

Do you need someone to pull a list of eligible Veterans from CDW for a SC MIRECC pilot?
“I will use MIDAS again because I get expert assistance in a very timely and effective manner.”

Did journal editors ask for new, unplanned analyses after your project funding ran out?
“[MIDAS team member] went above and beyond to help me in a difficult situation. They were incredibly helpful and patient."

Whatever your methodologic question, whatever your level of research experience, it is never too early to reach out to MIDAS – don’t be bashful!

If you have questions or want to request a MIDAS consultation, please contact Ellen Fischer, PhD, at A copy of the MIDAS brochure is available on the SCMIRECC website at

Last updated: July 28, 2021