Medical Statistics student opportunities. A man and woman are studying and writing. You can see other students in the background.

Summer internships

The aim of the internship programme is to encourage students to pursue a career or postgraduate study in statistics. These places are available to second year undergraduate students or recently qualified graduates in statistics or mathematics with statistics.
Students work with our group for four to six weeks. They are assigned specific tasks, which can form an ideal basis for their final year projects. Previous interns have found their work experience in the Medical Statistics group extremely rewarding.
Abigail Brown (2019)
“My summer placement with the medical statistics group really helped me develop my statistics and R knowledge further. My main project was to analyse trainee doctor’s response to their daily commute to work/placements and how it affected their perceived level of function. I found it interesting to work with real data and analyse the trends and correlation within the data. The summer placement has already given me a boost for my final year of university.” 
Max Hitchings (2012) 
“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.” 


David Jenkins (2011)
“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.”
David Gould and Ian Ratcliffe (2010)
“We were working on a project relating to multiple sclerosis, as well as taking part in statistics clinics, providing statistical support 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.” 
Andy Bailey (2009)
“My internship 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.” 

Training posts

As part of their professional development, graduates employed in the Medical Statistics group as training grade Research Assistants are encouraged and funded to undertake an MSc in statistics. This is completed by distance learning, over two or three years, usually through the University of Sheffield.
Paul Newell 
“I studied mathematics with some statistics for my first degree. This prepared me for my current job but I am continually learning new things, developing my statistical knowledge and programming skills. This is helped by studying for an MSc in statistics by distance learning. I get time off work to study and I will be able to write a dissertation related to my work. There’s so much more to the job than number-crunching!”
Mayam Gomez Cano 
“I joined the Medical Statistics group at the University of Plymouth in 2010 as a Research Assistant. From the beginning, I was provided with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of medical statistic projects. With a background in pure theoretical mathematics, I needed further training in statistics in order to be fully engaged in projects within the group. I am very grateful as my post gave me the opportunity to study an MSc part-time, while continuing to work and contribute to the Medical Statistics group, applying my increasing statistical knowledge. I believe this was a very effective, enjoyable and fast way of becoming a very active statistician.”
Sue Ball
“My first degree was in mathematics from the University of Plymouth. My work in the Medical Statistics group is very interesting and varied, covering statistical research across a range of areas of medicine. At the same time, I am studying for a masters degree in statistics through the University of Sheffield, which really helps me with my day-to-day work.”
Jade Chynoweth 
“I studied my first degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Plymouth before joining the Medical Statistics group in 2014 as a Research Assistant. In addition to my work on Down’s syndrome screening, I have had the opportunity to work on a range of engaging research projects. I completed my masters degree in statistics with medical applications in 2018 and I am now doing a PhD part-time. In May 2023, I was promoted to Research Fellow.”
Joe Lomax
“I started working with the medical statistics group in July 2017 after completing my undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Plymouth. I have worked mainly on the DQASS project, but have also gained lots of experience working on other research projects. I completed my part-time master’s degree in Statistics with Medical Applications in 2020 and began studying for a PhD in October 2022. The other staff members in the group are all very supportive and willing to offer advice whenever it’s needed. I’ve been able to continue developing my skills, particularly my programming ability in R, in a calm and supportive environment.”
Lauren Stockley
“I started my role with the Medical Statistics group in 2019 after finishing my undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Plymouth. With the help of everyone in the group, in 2020 I put together an application for, and was awarded, a three year NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship. The fellowship funding allows me to study for an MSc in Statistics by distance learning whilst continuing my role here. Currently, my main role within the group is supporting the Down syndrome screening Quality Assurance Support Service, however I have also had the opportunity to get involved in other research projects. Both my work and my MSc studies are allowing me to increase my statistical knowledge and programming in R and put these skills into practice every day.”
Anton Barnett
“I joined the Medical Statistics group in 2021 after completing my first degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Plymouth. The following year, I was successful in attaining the NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship. This opportunity is currently funding my part-time pursuit of an MSc in Statistics, which I have just entered the final year of. Within the group, my work primarily consists of the Down’s Syndrome screening Quality Assurance Support Service, however I have also been able to work on a variety of other research projects, including clinical trials and observational studies. By continuing to work part-time in the Medical Statistics group, I can implement methods from the MSc into projects in real-time, which helps me develop a deeper understanding of the statistical methodology and the accompanying programming in R.”

PhD opportunities

As part of the Faculty of Health, we offer MPhil/PhD degree opportunities, to train you to conduct research of a high academic standard and to make original contributions to medical statistics. As well as having a supervisor within the Medical Statistics group, supervisory teams often include a senior academic from the statistics group within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and/or a senior clinical academic in the Faculty.
Graduation accommodation offers

TMRP DTP recruitment

The MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership (TMRP) aims to improve health by improving trials. Our MRC Doctoral Training Partnership presents an opportunity to undertake training for a PhD in trials methodology.
The TMRP DTP PhD programme offers projects aligned with various areas including: statistics, data analytics and informatics, computer science, health economics, qualitative methods, mixed-methods, clinical medicine and psychology. This year we are offering up to 38 competition funded PhDs with our 12 research organisations.
TMRP studentships for 2024 have now been allocated – opportunities for 2025 will be posted here later in the year.