The Young Biometrician Award of the British and Irish Region of the International Biometric Society and the Fisher Memorial Trust

The British and Irish Region of the International Biometric Society, jointly with the Fisher Memorial Trust, award a prize every two years for young biometricians (no more than 5 years since completing full-time education), who are members of the British and Irish Region of the International Biometric Society. The award will recognise the research of one paper published, or accepted for publication, in a refereed journal. This award comprises a diploma and a prize of £1000. The rules are listed below and a call for nominations for the 2017 award is now open. Please send nominations to the BIR Secretary (Sue Welham, by 31st May 2017, nominations should include a copy of the paper with full details of the nominee's contribution to co-authored papers.

2015 Award

The 2015 Young Biometrician Award was won by David Robertson of the MRC Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge, for his paper “Correcting for bias in the selection and validation of informative diagnostic tests” published in Statistics in Medicine (2015, Vol 34, pages 1417-1437). The judges commented that “The paper provides an accessible and valuable approach to an important biostatistical problem.  The development shows an impressive grasp of the practicalities of the issues involved, as well as a mastery of highly appropriate methodological techniques which, although well-established, are seldom seen nowadays.” The award was presented at  the BIR AGM on 8 October at Rothamsted Research.

The panel of three judges comprised Professors Michael Kenward (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, representing the FMT), John Matthews (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, representing the BIR) and Ørnulf Borgan (University of Oslo, Norway, international judge). The judges commented that all the entries were of a very high standard.  In coming to their decision they considered: the statement made by the nominator about the conduct of the  research; the importance of the problem addressed and the understanding of the underlying biometrical  issues demonstrated in the paper; the merits of the paper both in terms of technical skill and exposition; and the applicability of the research to the biometrical problem investigated.

2013 Award

The 2013 Award was made to Doug Speed (University College London) for the paper: "Improved heritability estimation from genome-wide SNPs" in Am J Hum Genet (2012).

The judges commented: “This elegant paper uses critical thinking and seemingly simple mathematics to propose a simple adjustment for linkage disequilibrium when testing for association between SNPs and diseases.  Together with related software, it has the potential to make a large impact in post-genomic genetics.”

The judges also gave an Honourable mention to Roland Langrock (University of St Andrews) for the paper "Markov-modulated nonhomogeneous Poisson processes for modeling detections in surveys of marine mammal abundance" in JASA (2013, in press).

They commented: “This paper solves a challenging problem, by developing statistical methodology that takes into account unobservable diving of marine mammals when estimating abundance from line transects: an important ecological model is put in the more general framework of Markov models.”

2011 Award

The 2011 Award was made to Rachel McCrea (University of Kent) for the paper: McCrea, R.S. and Morgan, B.J.T. (2011) Multistate Mark-Recapture Model Selection Using Score Tests, Biometrics.
Described by the judges as “A very clear and carefully written paper describing a significant contribution to model selection in complex mark-recapture models”.
The judges also gave an Honorable mention to Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita (University of Kent) for the paper: Guillera-Arroita, G., Morgan, B.J.T., Ridout, M.S. and Linkie, M. (2011) Species occupancy modeling for detection data collected along a transect. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics, to appear.
This was considered “A welcome contribution to the long-standing question of how to analyze presence only data (where only detections are recorded) using a continuous point process model approach”. 


The purpose of the award is to recognise and encourage good biometry by career-young biometricians. In this context, biometry is defined as the development of statistical and mathematical methods applicable to data analysis problems in the biological sciences.
All biometricians who have worked for no more than 5 years (or full-time equivalent) since completing full-time education are eligible, including students.
Applicants for the award must be members of the British and Irish Region of the International Biometric Society at the closing date of the competition. They must also be of British/Irish nationality or currently working in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Students must be registered at a UK or Irish University.
The award will normally be open to competition every two years. In the event that it is not given in any normal award year, then it will be available the following year.
The award will recognise the research of one paper published, or accepted for publication, in a refereed journal. In all cases only material written in English will be considered. In the case of co-authored papers, a comprehensive statement of the contributions of each of the different authors to the work must accompany the nomination.
The award comprises a diploma and an amount of money, which will initially be set as £1000. In the case of a tie, the prize may be shared.
The prize-winning piece of work will be selected by a panel of judges, appointed for that purpose by the Regional committee. The panel will include representation from both the Regional Committee and the Fisher Memorial Committee. Co-authors of submitted work will not be eligible as judges.
The work must be formally nominated; self-nominations are not permitted. Nominations should be submitted to the Regional Secretary by the advertised date, in each award year.



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