India, Future Investment and Data Science

Feb 11, 2019
PSI has another exciting year ahead. The society is in excellent shape, and our membership is growing once more. Read on for my quarterly update:

India

International Reach

India

I met with Mahesh Iyer (Secretary IASCT, Indian Association for Statistics in Clinical Trials) in January. Our associations are looking to collaborate together. IASCT is a society for statisticians and programmers in India. They have many young members who are eager to learn, and we have significant resources to share. IASCT members will be welcomed to join PSI, and to join our conferences. We are also looking to organize joint webinars. Genevieve Wills (UCL) and External Affairs has been assigned to develop this relationship further. 

Germany

We met with Frank Langer (APF, Lilly) in January. We are looking at setting up a joint Careers and Academic Committee in Germany, passing on our expertise, and looking at ways of encouraging students into Medical Statistics in Germany. We are currently forming the committee. If you would like to lead or join the committee, please let me know. Once set up, we will look to provide industry presentations at the leading MSc Universities in Germany, as a starting point. 

Canada

A director from a large pharma company, based in Canada, approached us recently. She is planning to join PSI together with her department of 25 biostatisticians.

Finances, Investment and Membership Fee

I am pleased to announce that on the back of another successful conference, and a growing membership, we made a surplus (profit) of £58,818 in 2018. We have healthy financial reserves following profits in recent years. We therefore plan to reinvest in 2019, and make a loss of £22,000. We also plan not to increase the membership fee in 2019 or 2020. 

New Website and Video-on-Demand

Regarding future investments, we plan to upgrade our website. We wish to make it easier to navigate, and give it a more modern and professional feel. We also plan to upgrade to our Video on Demand site. This has been a great success, and we wish to make further improvements to provide easier and quicker access video content.

MSc Funding in UK

I am pleased to announce that NIHR has extended its studentships for one more year (2019-2020). However, the future beyond this point remains uncertain. CALC (Careers and Academic Liaison Committee) is looking into this matter to see how PSI can help. In the meantime, I encourage statistical leaders to reconsider company sponsored MScs, and follow Amgen’s lead, who recently reintroduced theirs. Thank you Amgen.

Medical Statistician Apprenticeship

Jim Saul (Covance) has also agreed to lead the Medical Statistician Apprenticeship Initiative. We plan to liaise with industry and academia to develop an apprenticeship scheme. Here BSc level students will be employed in the industry and supported through an apprenticeship to study for an MSc Part-time. If you are interested in supporting Jim, please contact him on Jim.Saul@covance.com

Medical Statistics Careers Event 2019

More than 100 students have already registered for PSI’s Annual Medical Statistics Career Event, which will be held at the De Montfort University in Leicester (UK) on Wednesday 20th February 2019. They will be joined by 14 companies (pharma and CROs), 6 universities and 7 clinical trial units, who will be exhibiting. It should be a great event and I look forward to attending. 

 Data Science – Special Interest Group

I am pleased to announce that the Data Science SIG has been formed, and they are already looking to organize their first meetings. The group is jointly led by Michelle and Steve Jones (Covance). If you wish to join, please contact Michelle at michelle.jones-modeling@covance.com.

That is all.

Kind regards
Nigel