2017 UW-Madison Excellence in Research Award.
Current Endorsements"We have known Roger Brown for approximately two years. In our faculty research role, we often need to consult with biostatisticians to provide consultation and advice related to various components of research grant proposals, such as research design, variable selection and measurement, sampling schemes, sample size determination, and data analysis. Roger was recommended very highly to both of us by others on campus who work with him. Both of us recently consulted with Roger on three federal grant proposals.
Researchers tend to be a bit anxious when consulting with statisticians. The anxiety comes from the fact that you need to communicate specific aims for a project and the background for the aims to the statistician who may not be familiar with the topic area. Further, you need to communicate the research design, variables, sampling ideas, and outline the data analysis. A major source of anxiety is learning from the statistician that what you are proposing to do is not appropriate or simply will not work. We can say confidently that we have never felt this way talking with Roger about our research proposals. Roger Brown is exceptional in his role of supporting research at UW-Madison.
Roger Brown is exceptional for many reasons. First, he has an uncanny way of making you feel comfortable the minute you walk into his office. He is a very warm, genuine person who is always willing to talk with you about your research. Second, he is a good listener, and a true expert. We combined these two characteristics because we can honestly say that Roger knows exactly the right question to ask when he is trying to understand what you are proposing to do. He listens to the initial description, asks the right questions, and carefully listens to the answers. This cycle on listening and asking the perfect question continues until he understands. We really appreciate his ability to cut right to the key points of a study and ask the key question to clarify and improve the project. His expertise is exemplified in the suggestions he makes for the proposals that always make them better. We really appreciate that we have access to his expertise, creativity, and experience.
Third, Roger is very giving of his time. We appreciate very much his patience and his willingness to answer questions, provide advice, and provide text for a grant proposal usually under very short time lines. Because of his expertise and experience, he can anticipate when these short time-line situations are coming and what the subject of the situations will be. He always delivers the exact thing that is needed or delivers a component that will improve the project."
Dr. David Mott, Professor, Chair of Social and Administrative Sciences Division, School of Pharmacy, and Dr. Michelle Chui, Associate Professor, Vice Chair, Social and Administrative Sciences Division, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“To begin, I can say without hesitation that Roger Brown is one of the very smartest, hardest-working, and most capable people that I have ever worked with, .... As background, I am a tenured research Professor and practicing family physician in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Since coming on faculty in year 2000, I have brought in over $10 million in research grants, mostly from the NIH, and have >80 peer-reviewed publications on my CV, the majority first-authored. As such, I have had the privilege of working with quite a few very smart and highly accomplished people here at UW-Madison. Of the many collegial relationships that have helped me on my path, I can say without hesitation that Dr Brown’s support has been the most important to my success. Roger’s input has been crucial in designing research studies, and especially in terms of selecting the best analytic approach, as well as carrying out the statistical evaluation.
As my colleagues will attest, I tend to design complex studies, while attempting to shed light on challenging questions regarding human health. And yet, after a dozen studies totaling more than 2,000 participants, I have yet to meet a data structure for which Roger Brown cannot almost immediately conceive the most appropriate statistical approach. But it is not Roger’s raw intelligence and top notch statistical skills that I value most. Instead, it is his rare combination of creative intellect, excellent communication and team-working skills, and especially the positive “can do” attitude that makes Roger such a pleasure to work with. Here at UW-Madison, and indeed across the nation and world, top statistical talent is much sought-after. People with Roger’s level of experience and analytic know-how are extremely valuable, challenging to recruit, and sometimes difficult to retain.” Dr. Bruce Barrett, Professor Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Dr. Brown is a tremendous research collaborator and has provided critical research support to my colleagues and me at the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement in the College of Engineering.
Dr. Brown has provided his expertise in statistics and research design to multiple proposals, projects and publications. He has been a key member of several of my projects. For instance, he was a co-PI on a project funded by the National Science Foundation to study the work of nurses working in remote intensive care units (also known as tele-ICUs). In this project, Dr. Brown provided unique expertise on multi-level modeling to model and assess the factors that affect tele-ICU nurses’ trust and perceptions toward the ICUs that they monitor. The major paper of this project has recently been accepted for publication in the Journal of Critical Care (“Virtual collaboration, satisfaction and trust between nurses in the tele-ICU and ICUs: Results of a multi-level analysis”). This analysis was a major effort given the complexity of the relationships between tele-ICUs and ICUs; Dr. Brown applied innovative multi-level modeling techniques to this complex analysis.
Dr. Brown has made significant positive impact on research in my discipline of human factors engineering and its application to health care. A few years ago, Dr. Brown collaborated with my colleague, Professor Bentzi Karsh (Bentzi passed away 4 years ago); they proposed a hierarchical multi-level model of patient safety. This research was first presented at the 2005 conference on Organizational Design and Management. Dr. Brown and Professor Karsh then published their formal paper on “Macroergonomics and patient safety: The impact of levels on theory, measurement, analysis and intervention in patient safety research” in Applied Ergonomics, one of the three top journals in my discipline of human factors and ergonomics. A PhD student of Professor Karsh, Richard Holden, and Professor Patrick Waterson of Loughborough University in the UK built on this work and published a major paper on “Crossing levels in systems ergonomics: A framework to support ‘mesoergonomic’ inquiry” in Applied Ergonomics in 2014. This is an example of how Dr. Brown has gone beyond providing research support, and made major scholarly impact in my scientific discipline.
When I face a complex research problem, I often turn to Dr. Brown for feedback, suggestions and advice. I know that I can rely on his technical expertise. His technical expertise in statistics and research design is exceptional. Many of my proposals would not have been funded without his contribution. Dr. Brown has been a key member of most of my research proposals in the past 15 years. The contributions of Dr. Brown go beyond his technical contributions; he just an amazing research collaborator. He is very open to new ideas and approaches; he does not shy away from complexity and ‘messy’ data that come with analyzing complex systems.
Dr. Brown has contributed to the training of many faculty, researchers and graduate students. For instance, a few years when we started to assess multi-level complex systems, Dr. Brown gave a series of seminars to CQPI. Dr. Brown has participated in several committees of my PhD students. The most recent was the PhD dissertation of Yaqiong Li on “Designing Health IT for Teamwork: A Human Factors Study of Hospital Bedside Rounds”. Dr. Brown spent a lot of time with Yaqiong and provided significant support in the design of her data collection as well as the data analysis. Dr. Brown is always available to help with graduate students. A few years ago, he organized a special course on research design that all of my graduate students took. Dr. Brown is very committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with faculty, researchers and students."
Dr. Pascale Carayon, Procter & Gamble Bascom Professor in Total Quality, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Director of the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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