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, was held as part of the NIHR Statistics Group annual meeting 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 launched a pilot scheme at our annual conference in June, with the aim of facilitating initial meetings of mentor-mentee pairs; if mentees wished to have further meetings with their mentor after the conference it was their responsibility to organise them.  This pilot was led by Sam Leary (University of Bristol) and Jamie Sergeant (University of Manchester), will be refined based on feedback, and run again at the 2021 annual meeting.

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
  • Jen Lewis University of Sheffield

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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