M13 - Building Interactive Apps with Shiny© in R

Target audience

Are you a researcher, data manager or related professional from the academic world or the industry? Are you an experienced R user who wants to provide interfaces to your code? Then this course is for you.


Shiny offers the ability to implement interactive interfaces to R code. The framework gained a lot of traction in recent years, and is used to create a wild variety of dashboards.

While many shiny applications run on servers, recent additions make it possible to include interactivity in R notebooks and R Markdown documents, build interfaces into packages or distribute them as github repositories.

In this course we cover the basics of Shiny and reactive programming, the paradigm on which shiny is built.

We cover the following topics:

  • The basics of shiny applications
  • Controlling the layout (front end)
  • Reactive programming (back end)
  • Deployment of shiny apps in different formats
  • Debugging and profiling your code for speed
  • Use of modules (if time allows)

Participants will have ample opportunity to practice hands-on the concepts learnt.

Course prerequisites

The participants are expected to be fluent in R, including the use of functions and visualisation using ggplot. The material covered in Module 10 of this year's program is considered known.

Exam / Certificate

There is no exam connected to this module. Participants who attend in all five classes 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 a session on campus.


Five Tuesday evenings in April and May 2023: April 18 and 25, May 2, 9 and 16, 2023, from 5.30 pm to 9 pm


Faculty of Science, Campus Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, Building S9, Ghent


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 cheets and online manuals provided by the instructor


A different price applies, depending on your main type of employment.

Employment Course fee (€)
Industry, private sector, profession* 700
Nonprofit, government, higher education staff 525
(Doctoral) student, unemployed 235

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


Register for this course

UGent PhD students

As UGent PhD student you can incorporate this 'specialist course' 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 17, 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.