Medical Statistics

Our group focuses on research in areas of clinical trials, screening and diagnosis, biomarker discovery, risk assessment and personalised medicine.

We have strong links with national and international research groups that have provided us with an unique platform for large scale research projects and we also offer support and advice to local NHS staff based in Plymouth.

We actively encourage and support career development in applied statistics and offer opportunities for visiting placements, training posts and postgraduate study. 

Our services

Stats clinic for NHS staff

We offer a weekly stats clinic to NHS staff based in Plymouth. This is funded by Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Plymouth Teaching Primary Care Trust for the Plymouth NHS research community.

The clinics run every Thursday and second Tuesday in the month from 9:30am to 12:30pm and provide advice to NHS staff in the following areas: 

  • study design - including sample size and power calculations
  • data management - the development of data entry protocols and the organisation of databases
  • statistical analysis - advice and assistance in any area of statistics
  • statistical reporting - help with the preparation of reports and papers for academic and professional journals.

To book a place please email plh-tr.ResearchAndInnovation@nhs.net. You'll be asked to fill out a booking form to enable us to allocate the right member of staff to your query.

Our people

​Summer internship scheme

The aim of our internship scheme is to encourage students to pursue a career or postgraduate study in statistics. We offer two places every year and they are available to second year undergraduate students or recently qualified graduates in statistics or mathematics with statistics.

Students work at the group for four weeks and are assigned specific tasks, which form an ideal basis for a final year project and provide excellent experience for a career in statistics.

Student testimonials

Previous interns have found their work experience in the centre extremely rewarding.

Andy Bailey: “My internship with the group gave me an opportunity to use and develop my stats, R-programming and research skills, while undertaking two real projects. It provided me with a valuable insight into the real world of statistical work and I would highly recommend this kind of placement to any mathematics or statistics student.”

David Gould and Ian Ratcliffe: “We worked on a clinical neurology research project as well as taking part in the statistics clinics where statistical support is provided to local NHS groups conducting research. Our computer programming skills have increased greatly and this will put us in good stead for our final year.”

The help that David gave one of the clinicians during a group stats clinic helped them win third prize for a poster presentation at the Society of Acute Medicine, 4th International Conference.

David Jenkins: "I've really enjoyed my time working at the group. The work I have been doing looking at multiple sclerosis patient feedback has been really interesting, and given me a real opportunity to improve my R skills. I hope that the report I have produced will provide useful interim feedback on how the project is progressing so far."

Max Hitchings: "During my internship at the group I analysed a database of patients who had undergone liver surgery. Using a range of pre and post operative variables I created models and established links and/or patterns between them. My placement was invaluable as I met some great people, and not only did this experience help me gain insight into the real world of statistics, but it also expanded my programming knowledge of R. This enabled me to grow in confidence seeing how I've been able to apply my course learnings to date working with real data and was very satisfying to play a part in this worthwhile research".