M10 - Mastering R Skills: Selected Topics for Successful Programming

Target audience

This course is aimed at R users with previous experience who want to optimize their workflow. The tools offered are useful both in research and in more commercial applications.


R is a powerful and extensive language, and in recent years a lot of useful additions have been made. This also makes it confusing at times to link the different paradigms together and find the most optimal workflow.

This course is aimed at giving you more insight in how to work more efficiently with R and RStudio. We focus on some more challenging data types, and give an overview of the necessary building tools to optimize your workflow.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Working with text: text comparison and editing with help of regular expressions
  • Working with dates and times
  • Working with files, folders and projects to organise your work
  • Automating using functions for standard R, tidyverse and ggplot2

Course prerequisites

Participants need previous experience with R and RStudio. They should have a good insight in how to work with vectors, matrices, data frames and lists. They also need to have a good basic understanding of the tidyverse data wrangling packages (dplyr and tidyr) and ggplot2. The topics covered in Module 1, Module 7 and Module 8 of this year's program are considered as known.

Exam / Certificate

There is no exam connected to this module. If you attend all four classes you will receive a certificate of attendance via e-mail at the end of the course.

Type of course

This is an on campus course. We offer blended learning options if, exceptionally, you can't attend on campus in person.


Four evenings during the Easter Holiday: April 3, 6, 11 and 13, 2023, from 5.30 pm tot 9 pm.


Faculty of Science, Campus Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, building S9, 9000 Gent


Joris Meys is statistical consultant in the Biostatistics Department at the University of Ghent. He is the co-author (with Andrie de Vries) of 'R for Dummies' (Wiley, 2015). Joris Meys is an accomplished R programmer, and produces R packages both for specific research projects and, via R-Forge, for more general application. His statistical expertise is in the areas of ecotoxicology, analysis of environmental data, clinical research and meta analysis. 

Course material

  • Exercises and slides provided by the instructor
  • Cheat sheets and online manuals provided by the instructor


Different prices apply, depending on your main type of employment.

Employment Course fee (€)
Industry, private sector, profession* 560
Nonprofit, government, higher education staff 420
(Doctoral) student, unemployed 190

*If two or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 20% on the module price is taken into account starting from the second enrolment.


Register for this course

UGent PhD students

As UGent PhD student you can incorporate this 'transferable skills seminar: research & valorization' in your Doctoral Training Program (DTP). To get a refund of the registration fee from your Doctoral School (DS) please follow these strict rules and take the necessary action in time. The deadline to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Registration) for this course is March 3, 2023.

Opening a dossier with your DS does not mean that you are enrolled for the course with our academy. You still need to enrol via the registration form on this site.
It is you or your department that pays the fee first to our academy. The Doctoral School refunds that fee to you or your department once the course has ended.