Statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry

Our award for statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry is made jointly with the PSI (Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry) every year.

The award is for the most influential example of the application of an existing statistical practice, or the implementation of an innovative statistical practice, in this industry.


We look for entries that have demonstrated one or more of the following:

- A clear understanding of the needs of researchers and investigators
- An application of an existing statistical practice to a new area that has increased the quality and efficiency of investigations
- A new development in the design of investigations and/or the analysis of data that has led to further insights into the safety, efficacy and value of medicines or devices
- An excellent way to communicate results that is clear and helpful to a wide array of users, showing how statisticians understand the range of user needs

Previous winners

The 2017 awards was won by Dr Michael O’Kelly, principal scientific advisor at QuintilesIMS for ‘Promoting analytical solutions and best practices for handling missing data in pharmaceutical industry'. Read more about the winning entry here.

A list of the winners for all four Statistical Excellence Awards, along with full citations from the judges, is available to download (PDF).

Richard Nixon (2016, Novartis) for ‘Enhancing decision-making in drug development using quantitative approaches’. Read more about his winning entry on StatsLife.

Katrina Gore and Nicky Best (joint winners, 2015, Pfizer and GSK respectively). Katrina Gore for her work on the Assay Capability Tool (ACT), designed to guide the development of drug discovery assays. Nicky Best for her work implementing a process that has turned beliefs about the chances of success into formal prior distributions. Read more about the winning entries on StatsLife.
Craig Mallinckrodt (2014, Eli Lilly & Company) for his book, Preventing and Treating Missing Data in Longitudinal Clinical Trials. Download RSS Statistical Excellence Award Winners 2014 (PDF).

Björn Bornkamp (2013, Novartis) for ‘Developing efficient statistical methodology and software for model-based design and analysis of Phase II dose-finding studies under model uncertainty’

Harry Southworth (2012, AstraZeneca) for ‘Producing a method of evaluating clinical laboratory safety data using extreme value modelling’

Phil Woodward (2011, Pfizer) for ‘A portfolio-wide implementation of a Bayesian framework for early clinical development within a major pharmaceutical company’