Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: November 3, 2022


About the workshops

Do I need to know R before coming to a workshop?

It depends! The workshop series includes very basic workshops that offer a comprehensive introduction to R, but also more advanced ones that will require some basic knowledge in R. We recommend that you participate in (or get comfortable with the content of) the first two workshops (WK-01: Introduction to R and WK-02: Loading and manipulating data in R) before coming to the more advanced workshops.

What can I expect from these workshops?

The R Workshop Series strives to give participants the statistical, programming, and tools necessary to carry out analyses in R that are commonly used in ecology, evolutionary biology, and biodiversity science. The workshops primarily aim to give enough theoretical and statistical background information to understand when and how to apply the methods that are covered in each workshop, how to implement them in R, and to be able to interpret their outputs. However, it is not possible to cover each of the 10 topics in great detail within a typical workshop session. These workshops are therefore not intended to replace a formal training in statistics that is needed to understand and apply the selected methods in depth. They will, however, supply some of the vocabulary and useful building blocks in R which can be explored further in the context of your research or work.

In terms of structure, workshops typically run for three hours, split into two hour-and-a-half sections separated by a longer break of one hour. Workshop instructors will generally follow the same structure as the slides, answering questions along the way, with the option to show additional materials if they wish. We encourage participants to comment the supplied script as they follow the workshop, or to write the presented code in a blank script as they follow along, according to the learning style that best suits the participant. Each workshop contains several “challenges”, which are designed to enable the participants to practice the tools and concepts that are presented during the workshop. These are typically done in breakout room groups, and the solutions are discussed with the larger group.

I am unable to be present during a workshop I am interested in. Are the workshops recorded?

The R Workshops are not recorded. However, the slides, script, and books that accompany each workshop are open and free to access in both English and French. You can find links to the materials of each workshop by accessing the workshops page, or by navigating to the workshop’s repository on our GitHub.

Schedule & Registration

When is the next workshop?

The schedule for the QCBS R Workshop Series is available within the Schedule section, under the Registration menu. At the bottom of that page, you will find subscription links that will automatically sync your Google Calendar with the one of the workshop series.

We will also announce the opening of registration for these workshops via the QCBS email list and the QCBS Facebook group.

Can I register for a workshop if I am not a QCBS member?

Yes, you can register for a workshop if you are not a QCBS member. You can find the registration cost for non-QCBS members on our registration page.

I registered for a workshop, but did not receive a link for the Zoom meeting. How can I access the workshop?

You will receive a link for the Zoom meeting within the week for the workshop. Make sure to look into the Spam folder of your email provider. If you have not received a link before three days prior to your workshop, send a message to the presenter responsible for the workshop you are attending.


I registered for a workshop, but can no longer attend. What should I do?

Cancellations for the QCBS R Workshop Series strictly follow the policies you agree with when registering to a workshop.

All cancellations notices and refund requests must be received by e-mail at least 5 days before the workshop date. Exceptions can be made for unpredictable circumstances. To cancel your registration, notify the lead presenter of the workshop (listed on the Schedule page), and carbon-copy (CC) your message to Philippe Auzel (QCBS Executive Coordinator, [email protected]) and Helen Elina (QCBS Administrative Assistant, [email protected]).

If you are a QCBS member:

If you cancel your participation at least 5 days before the workshop, there will be no penalties. If you fail to attend a workshop or did not cancel your registration at least 5 days before the workshop date, you will be penalized for $50, which will be directly deducted from your principal investigator’s account.

If you are not a QCBS member:

If you cancel your participation at least 5 days before the workshop, you will receive 80% refund of your registration fee. If you fail to attend a workshop or did not cancel your registration at least 5 days before, your registration fee will not be refunded. Refunds are provided directly to the credit card used during the registration.

If a workshop is canceled, the organizers will inform the participants and all registration fees will be reimbursed.

Feedback & Contributions

How can I give feedback about a workshop I attended?

There are several ways of giving feedback about a workshop you attended! We use this feedback to improve the workshops every year, so we greatly encourage you to provide feedback.

First, the lead instructor of the workshop will send a follow-up email about the workshop containing a link to a survey requesting your feedback. If you do not have this link, feel free to contact the lead presenter for the link.

If you have specific feedback about the presentation slides or the book content such as mistakes or inconsistencies, or if you would like to make any other suggestions about the workshop form or content, you are invited to open an issue on the GitHub repository for the workshop in question. If you do not have a GitHub account, or are not comfortable with GitHub, please contact the workshop coordinators directly with your feedback.

How can I contribute in the development of workshops for the QCBS R Workshop Series?

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the workshop series!

We regularly send messages and make Facebook and Twitter posts inviting QCBS members to get involved as developers to improve the workshops.

All invited contributors to the series are eligible to receive a Learning and Development Award from the QCBS!

How can I sign up to instruct a workshop for the QCBS R Workshop Series?

Workshops are currently instructed during the Fall and during the Winter. We regularly send messages and make Facebook and Twitter posts inviting QCBS members to instruct one or more workshops for the R Workshop Series. If you are an active member of the QCBS, you will receive a message around September and October for the Fall workshops, and around December and January for the Winter workshops. Stay tuned! All instructors for the QCBS R Workshop Series are eligible to receive a Learning and Development Award from the QCBS.

I instructed or developed content for the QCBS R Workshop Series, but have not yet received my Learning and Development Award (LeaDA). What should I do?

LeaDA are processed according to several steps outlined in our Presenter and Developer Protocol. Please ensure that you have completed all the steps required for your institution and affiliation status. If you do not receive any notification that your payment is being processed within a maximum of 45 days, please contact the administrative and financial manager of the QCBS ([email protected]), to follow up on your award request.

Who can I contact if I have suggestions, concerns, or more questions?

Please, tell us about your concerns, suggestions and other questions by clicking on this link to send a message to all the coordinators of the QCBS R Workshop Series.