Academy for PhD Training in Statistics (APTS) - Follow on Funding

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Statistics


The Academy for PhD training in statistics is a collaboration between nine prominent UK University statistics research
groups, which delivers a basic core of first-year training to PhD students in statistics (including students of statistical
methodology, applied statistics and applied probability) across the UK. This pooling of academic resources allows us to
offer new PhD students from across the UK a systematic, high quality grounding in the most essential mathematical,
computational and statistical techniques, as well as authoritative overviews of important areas of statistical research. The
Academy thus addresses directly some key concerns of the 2003 EPSRC/CMS International Review of Mathematics
about the breadth and quality of UK PhD training and specifically the chronic shortage of well-trained research
statisticians. Its success in doing this has been endorsed by the findings of an EPSRC-sponsored review by DTZ.
Presently training is given to an annual cohort of more than 60 first year PhD students, coming from more than 30
institutions in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Training is centred on four intensive residential weeks, each week involving
the teaching of two APTS modules. The continuation of EPSRC funding will allow partial support of travel to APTS weeks
for participating EPSRC PhD students, contribute to preparation and updating of APTS modules, and cover central
administration costs. This will facilitate the movement of APTS to a self-funding mode at the end of the grant period.

Planned Impact

The wider range of PhD training, the range of networking contacts, and the contacts with national leaders in the discipline,
will enhance the doctoral education and performance of 60+ PhD students in statistics per year. This is a major
quantitative and qualitative improvement in the training of a small but strategically highly significant and very skilled
component of the scientific workforce of the UK.
The networking opportunities will have a lasting positive effect on the long-term capabilities and versatility of the UK
statistics community.
Networking opportunities will also have a profound positive effect in the impact of statistical research on applications; a
major fraction of APTS graduates will find employment in non-academic areas and yet will be able to call on contacts
across a wide range of UK statistical expertize as and when they encounter substantial statistical issues in their work.
Free availability of APTS module materials on the web not only provides training opportunities beyond the groups
attending APTS residential weeks, but also will place a strong marker on the international scene concerning the quality of
training of UK PhDs in statistics.


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