young statisticians section

The YSS is one of the Sections of the Royal Statistical Society

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Catch-up with the YSS Bulletin!


Committee… Competitions… Volunteering… Events…

We’ve just released Issue #6 of the YSS Bulletin – our short summary of what the Young Statisticians Section are planning and promoting!

For example, did you know that the 2018 Young Statisticians Writing Competition – organised jointly with Significance magazine – has now gone live?

Or that you could have the opportunity to teach in Africa with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences?

Check out the Bulletin to find out more!

The YSS Committee 2018

Committee 2018

The YSS committee for 2018 is made up of a group of 12 volunteers who give their time to organise events for young statisticians. Information about the committee members can be found on our committee profiles page.

This year the committee is planning a plethora of events, including our writing competition with Significance magazine, RSS 2018 conference sessions, and our annual careers event. Keep an eye on our event calendar or join our mailing list to find out more!

Volunteering with AIMS


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Would you like to have a gap year which also contributes to your professional CV and capacity building in Africa?

The RSS has an agreement with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, to encourage and support RSS Fellows as volunteers in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon or Tanzania as lecturers on statistics and probability MSc courses teaching talented African students (find out more from the RSS).

Jane Hutton is the co-ordinator for the RSS, and has written about her experiences.

The role she would love to see filled by young statisticians is teaching assistants or tutors. The tutors provide the continuity, and detailed support to students for 6 months to a year.  At AIMS Tanzania, a student who spent five weeks helping with the dissertations, between handing in her PhD thesis and her viva, made a substantial impact. There are also other opportunities.

ANNOUNCEMENT – Statistically Significant Careers is back!


Our annual event “Statistically Significant Careers” is returning on Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 2pm in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Queen’s University Belfast.

We are pleased to be hosting a careers event to broaden the horizons of young statisticians by showcasing the wide range of statistical careers available. Whether you have begun to specialise in a specific area of statistics or are still studying, this event will be of great interest.

Talks will explore careers within medicine, finance, business, insurance and neuroscience, with the primary aim of introducing future statistics graduates to their potential employers.


Statistically Significant Careers is hosted by the Young Statistician’s Section of the Royal Statistical Society in collaboration with both the RSS NI local group and the Mathematical Science Research Centre (MSRC) at Queen’s University Belfast.

To find out more, why not read our review of the event from last year:

REVIEW – YSS “Statistically Significant Careers”

REVIEW: Research Funding Workshop – RSS Conference 2017

Successful funding applicants and experienced members of funding committee shared their tips and secrets during this Professional Development session, organised by the Young Statistician’s Section. Presenter slides for the session can be found by clicking the links below.


The session began with Dr Alison Ramage, a successful fellowship applicant and Research Director in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde, speaking about tips for choosing the right funder, writing grant proposals and what reviewers are looking for.

Some tips on writing grant proposals – Alison Ramage

The session continued with Professor Jim Norman, senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and CRUK Pioneer Award Funding committee member, speaking about the Pioneer Award, a high risk funding scheme which also brings high reward. Further information can be found on the Cancer Research website.

Cancer Research UK Pioneer Award – Jim Norman

The final speaker of the session was Dr Jim Lewsley, University of Glasgow and member of the Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research Committee at the Chief Scientist Office. Jim reflected upon research funding application processes and what committees are looking for in a good application, a good project and a good candidate.

Research funding – CSO HIPS perspective – Jim Lewsey

The session closed with a panel discussion where the three speakers shared further tips and secrets, with a reminder to not be discouraged if your research funding application is unsuccessful. Often luck is involved so try, try again!

ANNOUNCEMENT – RSS2017 Pub Quiz now online!

The YSS were delighted to host the Pub Quiz night at this year’s RSS 2017 conference in Glasgow. The Quiz took place on Wednesday evening at the quaint and quirky Bar Home.

We had a tremendous turn-out, with 16 teams competing for a range of prizes and enjoying free drinks, thanks to very generous sponsorship from ATASS Sports.

The quiz comprised of six rounds on general knowledge, animated films, 21st century events, music, human anatomy and Scottish trivia. If you fancy having a go at the quiz, simply click on THIS LINK to bring up the pdf of questions!

Congratulations to our winning teams; “Bayesian Baked Beans” for best team name, “The Proclaimers” for claiming victory in the tie breaker, and “The Random Errors” the well deserved runners up.

RSS Conference Reviews

Each year the YSS join other sections, Fellows, and members of the Royal Statistical Society at the RSS International Conference. This year the record-breaking conference was held in Glasgow on the 4th – 7th September.

The YSS held a competition for conference delegates to review the conference. The prize of 3 x £100 book vouchers was generously provided by Wiley.

Congratulations to Laura Bonnett, Altea Lorenzo-Arribas, and Emily Granger, our winning reviewers!

Those who were unable to attend the event, who were not able to register due to the conference selling out, or who want to find out what all of the fuss is about can have a look through all of the submitted reviews at

Not just a statistics conference – a review by Laura Bonnett (WINNER)

Any preconceptions I had that the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Conference would be too broad to be useful were quickly transformed during my attendance at this year’s event in Glasgow. Although the conference does programme parallel sessions related to specific streams such as social, environmental and official statistics, the real strength of the agenda, in my opinion, lies in the general streams such as communicating statistics, and professional development.
Despite the variation in experience of the attendees I am confident everyone would have gained from talks relating to promoting statistical literacy, presenting statistical results, and using social media to communicate statistics. This was particularly evidenced by the audience for the Young Statisticians Section and RSS Education Committee’s joint session entitled STEM Showcase. Following a demonstration of activities being developed to engage the next generation of statisticians and scientists, panellists fielded questions from PhD students and post-docs through to eminent statisticians such as Professors David Spiegelhalter, Sheila Bird and Stephen Senn.
I believe that as statisticians we have a duty to inspire the next generation, and to engage the public with our subject. This year’s RSS conference certainly inspired many, and provided the skills to do just that!

Poster Session – a review by Altea Lorenzo-Arribas (WINNER)

Poster Review

Professional development: Get Involved! – a review by Emily Granger (WINNER)

Along with a variety of stimulating statistical talks, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Conference hosted numerous professional development sessions. Collectively, these sessions offered inspiring advice for statisticians of any sector, at any stage of their career. For me, one of the most interesting sessions was ‘Get Involved’.
Three impressive speakers included Emanuele Giorgi who spoke passionately about his experiences in Africa teaching statistics to students from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). Karen Facey described various ways to get involved with the RSS and Laura Bonnett shared her experiences as a STEM Ambassador inspiring young people to consider STEM-related careers.
Laura’s talk peaked my interest. I have recently become a STEM Ambassador, but find the prospect of going into a school to inspire young people with statistics fairly daunting! However, Laura demonstrated how achievable this is by describing a number of tried and tested statistical activities. One example included using dice to show people that they are not as random as they might think!
The session left me more confident in my role as a STEM Ambassador and with new ideas for involvement with AIMS and RSS. Overall, these were three brilliant and motivating talks.

Upcoming Events

  • DeMO: Optimal treatment allocations for online control of an emerging infectious disease March 14, 2018
  • DeMO: The statistical analysis of acoustic phonetic data April 18, 2018
  • Survival Analysis for Junior Research Conference - Leiden April 24, 2018 – April 26, 2018
  • Applications of Statistics to Health & Medicine May 2, 2018
  • Young Researchers Using Statistics Symposium - Aberdeen May 23, 2018

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