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Do you want a career that is exciting and varied? Do you want to make a real difference to the lives of people all over the world? How about using your mathematics or statistical knowledge to help develop and trial lifesaving medicines?

Then working as a statistician or programmer in medical research could be for you! Click on the tiles below to find out more…

Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Industry


The scope of medical research is vast and is also a successful and growing professional environment. It rises to the varying challenges of the health care industry, not just research, development and manufacturing of new treatments and devices, but also improving the effectiveness of medicines in a broader way.

Statisticians and statistical programmers work on designing, analysing and interpreting clinical trials which are conducted to progress the research, development, manufacture and marketing of products for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

The medical research industry is made up of a wide range of companies - large and small, local, national and international, some with manufacturing and marketing facilities, others concentrating solely on research and development - as well as Contract Research Organisations (CROs) and specialised Clinical Trials Units (CTUs).

CROs frequently provide their research and development services to pharmaceutical companies and they often work in tandem with the manufacturing companies to achieve product approval from the regulatory authorities around the world. There are strong links between CROs and pharmaceutical companies and many within the industry work on cross-functional and cross-company teams that encompass both Pharmaceutical and CRO colleagues working in partnership with one another.

CTUs are also an essential component of medical research, by designing, conducting and analysing clinical trials, in order to determine whether a particular therapy warrants further investigation. They often work in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, academic partners and charity organisations.

To learn more about clinical trials and the basic statistical concepts involved, please visit our Schools/Education page.

EventsFuture Events


  • A PSI Training Course on Improving Influence and Increasing Impact: Communication Skills for Industry Statisticians - Dates: 16 – 16 Sep, 2019

    This 1-day course will lead participants, in a non-threatening and encouraging atmosphere through steps to focus on improving the key skills of making impactful verbal and written communications.
  • PSI Webinar: Adaptive design: updated draft FDA guidance and its implications - Dates: 04 – 04 Jul, 2019

    In September 2018 the FDA published a guidance on adaptive design for clinical trials of drugs and biologics, updating (not finalizing) its initial draft from February 2010. The main focus of the webinar will be to provide an overview of its main contents, which will be presented by Jürgen Hummel (PPD). In addition, Kaspar Rufibach (Roche) will introduce an open-source statistical software for adaptive designs, RPACT (an R package that enables the design and analysis of confirmatory adaptive clinical trials). Kit Roes will also comment on the guidance from a European Regulatory perspective, which will be followed by a brief panel discussion.
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Statistics and Statistical Programming Opportunities at MSD

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Statistics at Costello Medical

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Pharm Research Associates

Principal Biostatistician

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Autolus Therapeutics

Head of Statistical and Data Innovation as Head of Biometrics

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Statistician Opportunities in the UK

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