Career development

Career development for applied statisticians

Career development for applied statisticians can be problematic. They don’t usually work in dedicated statistics units which means that training opportunities can be limited, and academic development can be difficult as there is little scope for taking leadership roles. Our Career Development Group aims to run events and provide resources for applied statisticians at various stages of their career.

Our Group’s first event was a workshop, “Applied Statisticians as Principal Investigators”, held in Bristol in March 2018; a short report can be found here.  A second event, aimed at early career researchers, is being planned as part of the NIHR Statistics Group annual meeting to be held in Sheffield in June 2019.  We have also provided biographies of NIHR Statistics Group Steering Committee members as a resource for people at various stages of their career.

A mentoring scheme facilitated by the NIHR Statistics Group could be beneficial, particularly to those working as isolated statisticians in applied settings.  This could provide support for issues such as career progression, continuing professional development, work-life balance, short-term contracts, and diversity in leadership roles.  We are launching a pilot scheme at our annual conference in June, with the aim of facilitating initial meetings of mentor-mentee pairs; if mentees wish to have further meetings with their mentor after the conference it will be their responsibility to organise them.  As this is a pilot scheme, we will be collecting feedback immediately after, and six months after the conference, and will use it to refine the scheme for the future.  This pilot is being led by Sam Leary (University of Bristol) and Jamie Sergeant (University of Manchester).  

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the group leaders at

  • Group Lead: Sam Leary University of Bristol
  • Gordon Prescott University of Central Lancashire
  • Laura Flight University of Sheffield
  • Janet Peacock King’s College London

Section leaders

Sam Leary

Working Group Co-ordinator, Group Lead Career Development

University of Bristol

Working group members

University of Central Lancashire

Laura Flight

University of Sheffield

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