R for Biologists (online course)

4 April, 2022 - 6 April, 2022

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General Information

The aim of this course is to introduce participants to the statistical computing language ‘R’ using examples and skills relevant to biological data science. This online workshop is taught by experienced Edinburgh Genomics trainers. By the end of the workshop, you will be comfortable with the basics of the R and R Studio environments, learning about the rules of the language and how R works with different data types and structures. We then move on to using functions, introducing a selection of packages for biological data science including the ‘Tidyverse’ family of packages. Finally, we will learn how to visualise your data to generate publication-ready plots using the package ggplot2.

Workshop format

The workshop consists of presentations and hands-on tutorials.

Who should attend

Graduates, postgraduates, and PIs, who are using, or planning to use, the statistical software R to manipulate and analyse NGS and other data in their research. This is an introductory level course: no prior experience of R is necessary before starting the workshop.

Covered topics

See tentative timetable below:

Day 1

  • Intro to R
  • Rstudio, R markdown
  • R object, variable and data types (character, integer etc)
  • R resources: cheat sheets, help
  • Data Importing and cleaning
  • Data structures
  • Data manipulation and subsetting

Day 2

  • More data Importing and cleaning
  • An introduction to the Tidyverse
  • Another dataset to play with
  • Intro to basic plotting and to ggplot2

Day 3

  • Data viz with ggplot2
  • Interactive plots
  • Discussion/data clinic

Meeting organisers:

Edinburgh Genomics



  • Nathan Medd (Training Manager)
  • Donald Dunbar (Bioinformatics Team Lead)