young statisticians section

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

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YSS Lunch Club

The YSS are aware that, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, many are having to self-isolate or work from home. This could result in many young statisticians feeling isolated or lonely. We have put together the YSS Lunch Club to try to help!

The YSS Lunch Club will consist of online meetings which run from 12:00 (GMT) on Wednesday and Friday lunch times for half an hour. Wednesday meetings will encourage discussions around a range of statistical and professional development topics in an informal setting. Friday meetings will be more relaxed, with a pub quiz and plenty of time to chat.

Links for upcoming YSS Lunch Clubs are below.
If you have any suggestions for light-hearted topics that we could discuss during our Wednesday meetings then please send us an email:

Friday 20th March: Friday Quiz
Join us in #YSSLunchClub for our first Friday Quiz!
A jovial, general knowledge, pub quiz style session to end the week.
📅 Friday 20th March
⏰ 12:00 GMT
💻 Zoom Link:

Wednesday 18th March: Bad Graphs
As statisticians we can spend a lot of time editing and adjusting our graphs to make them perfect, but we rarely get to spend any time admiring the bad graphs! 
Join us for our first #YSSLunchClub, during which we will admire, ponder, discuss, and pontificate an array of imperfect, careless, and downright gruesome graphs.
📅 Wednesday 18th March
⏰ 12:00 GMT
💻 Zoom Link:

Manchester Careers Fair

By Emily Granger

Ready with badges, keyrings and enthusiasm, Emily Granger represented the Young Statisticians Section and the Royal Statistical Society at Manchester University’s “Careers in Statistics” event on the 11th March 2020.

This is an annual careers event organised by the Department of Mathematics at Manchester University, and 12 exhibitioners attended to showcase a wide range of statistical careers from automotive businesses to pharmaceutical companies. Students had the opportunity to network with potential employers during the stall exhibition, which was followed by a series of careers talks in the afternoon.

Emily kicked off the talks by introducing the Royal Statistical Society and giving her top reasons for why students should consider joining! We then heard career talks by speakers from the Centre for Biostatistics, HM Revenue & Customs, BBC, GCE Solutions (a global clinical research organization), and Public Health England. Each speaker gave us an idea of what it would be like to work as a statistician in their company.

The visitors to the Royal Statistical Society stand were interested to hear that they could become a e-student member for free, and wanted to learn more about how to become a chartered statistician. We hope that all those who showed interest keep in touch, and we wish you all the best of luck in your future careers. We’ll be looking out for you wearing our badges!

Enter our 2020 writing competition for early-career statisticians

If you read Significance, then you are definitely interested in stories about statistics and data science, and fascinated by what data can tell us about the world we live in. So, how would you like to write one of those stories for the magazine?

If you are an early-career researcher, now is your chance. Our 2020 writing competition, jointly organised with the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), is now open for entries.

The competition is for two categories of people: students currently studying for a first degree, Master’s or PhD in statistics or related subjects, and graduates whose last qualification in statistics or related subjects (whether first degree, Master’s or PhD) was not more than five years ago.

The rules of entry are simple: send us your best statistical writing in the form of a magazine article (1,500 to 2,500 words) on any subject you like, and the winning entry will be published in our October 2020 issue.

But what should you write about?

Successful submissions from past years were based on original analyses, produced specifically for the competition. This does take work, but it often results in a unique and compelling article.

Last year’s winners, Liam P. Shaw and Luke F. Shaw, followed in the footsteps of R. D. Clarke, a British actuary who sought to determine whether the apparent clustering of V‐1 strikes on London during the Second World War was the result of targeting or random chance. The year before that, Letisha Smith scraped online recipes and used clustering algorithms to group together foods with similar ingredients to help streamline meal plans and reduce food waste.

You might also write about work you have done as part of your studies or during your career. However, if these articles draw on previously published work, you must ensure that the competition submission is sufficiently different in terms of style and structure. Remember, Significance is a magazine, not an academic journal.

You can also write about the work of others, but this must be in the form of a critique or wider overview of a subject area.

Please help promote the competition in your statistics department or workplace. Download the official poster:

Whatever you choose to write about, articles must be engaging and easy to read. Significance is published for a broad audience, so accessibility is key. This means technical terms and mathematics must be kept to a minimum and explained clearly where used.

We recommend you read articles from past winners and finalists to get a sense of the style of writing and storytelling that judges are looking for. A list of published articles from previous years’ competitions can be found here.

The competition is open until 23:59 on 29 May 2020. Three finalists will be selected in June, with the winner announced in July. The winning article will be published in the October issue of Significance and online at Runners-up may also be published online or in print at the editor’s discretion.

Finalists will be invited to give presentations based on their articles at a special session of the Royal Statistical Society International Conference (7–10 September 2020 in Bournemouth)

How to enter

Email your submissions as a text/Word file, or as a PDF, to Make sure to include our competition entry form:

Closing date

29 May 2020

Competition rules and guidelines

  • Entrants must be either (1) students currently studying for a first degree, Master’s or PhD in statistics or related subjects, or (2) graduates whose last qualification in statistics or related subjects (whether first degree, Master’s or PhD) was not more than five years ago.
  • Articles must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words in length, and can include tables and figures – though, for space reasons, there should be no more than five tables/figures in total.
  • Writing style must be accessible and engaging.
  • Technical terms and mathematics must be used sparingly, and suitably explained where used.
  • End references are encouraged but should be limited to five.
  • Footnotes must not be used.
  • Only submissions in English will be considered.
  • Manuscripts must be original and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. You may submit articles based on work in theses or in papers that have been submitted to, or accepted by, academic journals, provided that the competition submission is sufficiently different in style and structure.
  • Winners, finalists and entrants from previous years of the competition are not excluded from participating in this year’s competition.
  • Articles will be reviewed by a judging panel featuring representatives of both the Young Statisticians Section and Significance.
  • Three finalists will win a full registration to the 2020 Royal Statistical Society International Conference in Bournemouth. Please note that travel and accommodation costs will not be covered.
  • The winning article will be published in Significance magazine and online at
  • Runner-up articles may be published on the Significance website or in Significance magazine at the editor’s discretion.

Statistically Significant Careers – Belfast

Statistically Significant Careers Event is back, with free pizza, on Wednesday 29th January at 2pm at Queen’s University Belfast.

On Wednesday 29th January at 2pm we are pleased to be hosting our annual careers and placements event at Queen’s University Belfast to showcase the wide range of mathematical, statistical and data science careers and placements available. As well as talks from employers, the event will end with a chat to the companies over some free pizza!

The event offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates and graduates to meet their future employers. Professionals from a variety of top employers within the UK and Ireland will be attending and sharing their expertise and experience – making this the ideal occasion to get advice on application processes, potential job and placement opportunities and future career progression.

Everyone is welcome. Please use the link below to register for the event and to see further details of the companies attending:
Places are limited, so please sign up to secure your ticket for the event.

If you have any queries, please contact Lisa McFetridge ( Hope to see you all there!

Volunteers needed for the 2020 YSS Committee


The Young Statistician’s Section (YSS) of the Royal Statistical Society are seeking enthusiastic individuals to join the YSS Committee for 2020. Being a member of the YSS committee is a commitment but very rewarding (and lots of fun!). It’s a great opportunity to network with your peers. If you are interested in finding out more information, please click HERE

Catch Up with the YSS Bulletin! 2019 Conference Special.

We’ve just released our 2019 Conference Special Bulletin – a quick guide to the activities the Young Statisticians Section are planning and promoting at this year’s RSS Conference.

Make sure to follow @statsyss on Twitter to keep up to date with all the fun we’re having in Belfast!

Check out the Bulletin to find out more!

YSS Events at RSS Conference 2019

The YSS are hosting a number of professional development and networking events to help you get the most out of the RSS conference in Belfast.


Join us Tuesday at 08:30 for our “Young Statistician’s Guide to the Conference” session to get the top tips on how to make the most of the conference.

Meet fellow career-young statisticians at our Young Statisticians Lunch Reception (13:20 Tuesday) and Pub Quiz Night (20:00 Wednesday).

NEW for 2019:
Tweet all about it ! A beginner’s guide to Twitter (09:00 Wednesday)
Stats the way to write it! (14:20 Wednesday)
Pre-plenary Overview Meeting (09:00 Thursday)

Don’t miss our RSS Prizewinners sessions:


Click the following link to read our reviews of sessions from last year’s conference!

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events