Introduction to R for Biologists – online

October 21, 2020 - 10am - 1pm
online via Zoom


Introduction to R for Biologists – online


This workshop has been developed collaboratively by training specialists at Peter MacCallum Cancer Center and Melbourne Bioinformatics. It will be presented by Maria Doyle (Application and Training Specialist, Peter Mac) and Jessica Chung (Melbourne Bioinformatics, University of Melbourne). 

This introduction to R and RStudio will provide beginners with experience with loading, manipulating and visualising biological data using the tidyverse collection of R packages. The example data used is publicly available RNA-seq data, therefore attendees will gain experience in the structure and appearance of RNA-seq data.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

•    load tabular data into R

•    apply tidyverse functions to manipulate data in R

•    produce simple plots such boxplots using ggplot

•    understand and apply data faceting in ggplot

•    modify the aesthetics of a ggplot plot.


The workshop is aimed at bench biologists with no coding/programming skills.

Attendees must use their own computer with RStudio and R installed (installation instructions available at this link). You may need to contact your own IT support for assistance during the installation process and to ensure that you have full permissions to R directories. Therefore, we advise you to begin installation when registering for the workshop, to allow sufficient time to troubleshoot issues with your own IT support such as permissions and sufficient space for installation. 

You will need:

  • a charged laptop
  • Web browser (Firefox or Chrome recommended)
  • R (>= version 3.5) and RStudio installed on your laptop
  • Zoom (Version 5.1 or higher)


Most workshops are FREE for all researchers and students from the University of Melbourne and its affiliated research institutes.


Feedback, 2019

Earlier in October I attended the Introduction to R for Biologists course. With a bit of delay, I wanted to say how much I liked this course! Thank you so much for delivering this fantastic course, it was really valuable for me.