New Sections

At the 2017 NIHR Statistics Group Annual Conference, delegates proposed a number of new groups. These groups are currently under development and you can find out a little more about them below. If you are interested in joining in with the groups activities, you are encouraged to contact the Group Lead.

Routine data collection

This Section is intended to address the issues encountered by statisticians working on fairly complex, routine datasets. We aim to provide a networking group for statistical researchers involved in the analysis of either established databases or routine data that has not been pre-processed. Our Routine Data Collection Section plans to run events and provide resources for statisticians to share experience on issues such as routine data access and linkage, coding, and analysis.

There will be a round-table meeting to discuss the scope of the groups work on Monday 23rd April 2018 at King’s College London.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the group leaders at

  • Jessica Harris University of Bristol
  • Jianhua Wu University of Leeds
  • Kathryn Richardson University of East Anglia
  • Janet Peacock King’s College London

Development of diagnostic/prognostic tests

Interested parties should contact Sue Mallett (University of Birmingham) at

Improving statistical literacy

This section is intended to bring together resources targeted towards improved statistical literacy throughout the NIHR.  There is much already on the internet targeted towards better understanding of statistics but efforts within this group will focus upon bringing these together in a readily located place.

Students 4 Best Evidence has a website with a library of resources that you may find of interest (one general, and one with nursing resources).  You can find the libraries here and here.

These learning resources haven’t been formally evaluated (with the exception of Know Your Chances, which has been shown in two randomized trials to improve peoples’ understanding of risk in the context of health care choices). However, you will see a comment attached to most of the resources, where one of the S4BE students has reviewed the resource and given their personal thoughts.


  • An Introduction to Medical Statistics by Martin Bland

“Good introductory text – accompanying workbook is great and contains answers.”

  • Essential Medical Statistics (Second edition), by Betty Kirkwood and Jonathan A.C. Sterne

“Good introductory text – helpful for those who don’t like mathematical formulas.”

  • Oxford Handbook of Medical Statistics by Janet Peacock and Philip Peacock

“Excellent book covering a wide variety of topics. It’s always the first book I pick up when I want to double check something.”

  • Statistical Questions in Evidence Based Medicine by Janet Peacock and Martin Bland

“Excellent book that encourages the reader to critically appraise published papers and contains answers to the questions. It’s also a good revision tool.”

  • Practical Statistics for Medical Research by Doug Altman
  • Medical Statistics at a Glance, Second edition by Aviva Petrie and Caroline Sabin

“Good introductory text and the flowchart at the back of the book is very helpful!”

  • Multilevel and longitudinal modelling using Stata (Volumes I and II, Third Edition) – by Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal

“A great text for explaining hierarchical modelling theory, as well as thorough interpretation of the code and output.”

  • Negative Binomial Regression (Second edition), by Joseph M. Hilbe

“Best text for negative binomial regression it includes detailed appendices which contain excellent interpretation of interactions.”

  • Discovering Structural Equation Modeling Using Stata, by Alan C. Acock

“A good first guide into the world of Structural equation Modelling. Should ideally be used in conjunction with another introductory text as its main focus is applying the techniques.”

Other helpful links

“A book about how to understand medical health information through statistics.”

  • Cochrane Training website. Features a range of learning resources and workshops on statistics (among many other topics). A simple search e.g. ‘statistics’ should bring up relevant materials. A number of these are open access.

“For researchers in eyes and vision, there is the series that has been put together by the Ophthalmic Statistics group (please look at the Ophthalmology Research section).”

“I finally understand the difference between MCAR and MAR after reading this paper! The layout is different to anything I’ve seen in the published literature which makes it very easy to read and approachable.”

“Explains latent class trajectory analysis from first principles and includes relevant published examples.”

“Contains excellent annotated output, along with the relevant code, for various statistical techniques. The annotated output comes from a variety of statistical analysis software such as Stata, SAS, SPSS, Mplus and R.”

If you have come across a particularly helpful statistical resource, please do get in touch and if you would like to participate in these endeavours please contact Catey Bunce (King’s College London) at

Career development for applied statisticians/Opportunities for statisticians to be a PI

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 Section aims to run events and provide resources for applied statisticians at various stages of their career.

Our Section’s first planned activities will be to (i) to run a workshop aimed at mid-career researchers to cover topics related to statisticians as PIs, and (ii) provide biographies of NIHR Statistics Group Steering Committee members as a resource for people at various stages of their career.

The Career Development Group held their first meeting in Bristol on 9th March 2018, a short report can be found here.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the group leaders at

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

New Sections Events

January 21 2019

Second Meeting of the Routine Data Section

Botnar Research Centre, CSM, NDORMS, University of Oxford, Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LD

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