Statistical Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry Award

We are now accepting entries for the 2020 Award

Our award for statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry is made jointly with the RSS (Royal Statistical Society) 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 are looking 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

Nominees can be based anywhere in the world and do not need to be a member of PSI or the RSS. Updates on where and when the Award will be presented will be posted in due course.

Download the entry form here.

The deadline for entries is midnight on Friday 22nd May 2020.

Previous Winners

The 2020 award was presented to Dr. Sandeep M Menon, Senior Vice President and Head of Early Clinical Development at Pfizer, for “Influential Quantitative Leadership in several domains in Early Clinical Development - creating a culture of quantitative decision making within a major pharmaceutical company.” The judging panel found Dr Menon’s work to be an impressive demonstration of the value of biostatistics as well as an effective promotion of statistical thinking within a large organisation. Tim Rolfe, chair of the PSI award committee said “Dr Menon is a well deserving winner of this year's award. His impact as an innovative statistical leader shone through-out the successful nomination.”

The 2019 award was jointly presented to Mike Smith (Pfizer) for his work on ‘Excellence in research around population modelling in drug development’ and its ‘pioneering practical Bayesian methods with drug development in the context of optimising decision making within trials and modelling dose response with pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling’ and Graeme Archer and Jacquie Christie (GSK) for their work on ‘Quantitative Decision-Making for clinical development’, which was deemed to be ‘at the cutting edge of revolutionising data driven decision making within the industry’. 

The 2018 award was jointly presented to Dr. Mouna Akacha (Novartis) for “Enhancing drug development using clinically interpretable treatment effect measures (‘estimands‘) that allow for efficient statistical analyses” and Dr. Simon Bate for “Improving the quality and reliability of animal research through the use of InVivoStat: a statistical software package for animal researchers”. 

The 2017 award was presented to Michael O'Kelly for his work 'Promoting analytical solutions and best practices for handling missing data in pharmaceutical industry'.  The judges felt that in this respect, he has made a major contribution to enhancing the practical application of modelling and simulation methodology and tools for analysing data with missing values. 
Richard Nixon of Novartis was presented with the award in 2016 for “Enhancing decision-making in drug development using quantitative approaches’. 

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.

Award cropped

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