PSI Strategy and Increasing Membership

Nov 14, 2018
We held our PSI Strategy Meeting on 31st October. We had 30 attendees at the meeting and there was some excellent discussion.

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Thank you to Sara Hughes and GSK for kindly hosting the meeting at GSK’s Stockley Park Office and dinner. I have provided a summary of the day below:

Increasing Membership

Whilst other professional membership bodies are experiencing falling membership, PSI’s has increased to 1074. We have not seen these levels for many years. Our continental European strategy, steps to make the society more open and introduction of a Membership director (Tim Rolfe, GSK) have all been very successful. In particular, the introduction of the free student/teacher membership has been well received and we now have 98 student/teacher members. We also have a much better understanding of our membership. Tim and MCI have cleaned the membership database and have developed some informative membership reports.

Moving forward, we plan to increase the membership by at least 5% in the next two years. We also aim for a renewal rate of at least 90% in 2019 and 2020. We will form a small membership committee led by Tim Rolfe and will employ membership targeting to achieve this goal.

Data Science

Andy Garrett (ICON) gave an excellent presentation on Data Science. He shared his learnings from RSS, where he helped to setup the Data Science Section. PSI is looking into setting up a Special Interest Group in Data Science and has formed a working group of Data Scientists to move this forward. We will also continue to include content that will be of interest to Data Scientists in our conference and webinars. Indeed, we are helping to organize a meeting on Machine Learning in 2019. You will hear more about our overall strategy on this in the coming months.

European Strategy

The conferences in Berlin and Amsterdam have both been well attended and very successful. Membership in Continental Europe has increased to 28%, and we now have two board members from continental Europe, Anna Berglind (Sweden) and Alexander Schacht (Germany).

Moving forward, we have decided to hold more annual conferences in Continental Europe (CE) and both the 2020 and 2021 conferences will be held there. We will also recruit more board and committee members from CE.

PSI has developed great expertise within CALC (Careers and Academic Liaison Committee). We plan to share this expertise and work with national professional groups and European Universities to ensure that we continue to get a good intake of postgraduate candidates across Europe.  

Video on Demand Part 2

The Video on Demand Platform has been a huge success. We have loaded 145 videos and there have been 2937 plays across 52 different countries. The PSI Conference content has been very popular with 1485 plays. We plan to provide even more content in 2019, and of course this will continue to be free to members. This will include scientific meetings, training courses, conference content, journal clubs and webinars. The video interface will also be further improved.

MSc Funding in UK

The UK government has moved funding from MSc to PhDs. NHIR studentships in Medical Statistics will disappear in the academic year of 2019-2020. To fill this gap PSI will look at developing a Medical Statistician Apprenticeship, liaising with industry and academia. Here BSc level students are employed in the industry and are supported through an apprenticeship to study for an MSc Part-time. We will also look into funding a small number of scholarships in the academic year of 2019-2020. However, our members and companies can help too. For instance, we could reintroduce company sponsored MScs. We could employ high potential BSc students, and sponsor them to study for an MSc part-time. I have sponsored a BSc student myself, and it has been very successful.  You will hear more on the funding issue in the coming months.

External relationships

We also reviewed our external relationships. What we achieve through our relationships and how the relationships can be further improved.

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We have accomplished a great deal in the last two years. I would like to thank my fellow board directors, committee members and MCI for all their support. We have an exciting future ahead of us. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to me (nigel.howitt@covance.com).

Kind regards

Nigel