PSI Training Course: R for Clinical Trial Statisticians

Date: Every Monday & Friday (weekly) from Monday 29th January - Friday 1st March 2024
Time: Mondays 10:00-12:00 GMT | Fridays 10:00-11:00 GMT
Location: Online via Zoom
Presenters: Andrew Nicholls and Alanah Jonas (GSK)

Who is this event intended for? This course is aimed at clinical trial statisticians who are experienced with other software languages (such as SAS) and would like to increase their proficiency in R. The content can also be applied more widely in a non-clinical trial context.
What is the benefit of attending? Attendees will learn how to: understand data manipulation in R via the “Tidyverse”; produce R graphics with ggplot2; and perform & interpret basic statistical analyses in R.

Session Dates

  1. Main session: Monday 29th January | Drop-in Q&A session: Friday 2nd February
  2. Main session: Monday 5th February | Drop-in Q&A session: Friday 9th February
  3. Main session: Monday 12th February | Drop-in Q&A session: Friday 16th February
  4. Main session: Monday 19th February | Drop-in Q&A session: Friday 23rd February
  5. Main session: Monday 26th February | Drop-in Q&A session: Friday 1st March


Early Bird PSI Members = £320+VAT
Early Bird Non-Members = £430*+VAT
*Please note: Early Bird prices expire at 17:00 on Friday 22nd December.

Standard PSI Members = £360+VAT
Standard Non-Members = £470*+VAT
*Please note: Non-Member rates include PSI membership until 31 Dec. 2024. 


To register your place, please click here

Please note

  • Back by popular demand, this Course is a re-run from 2021. Places are therefore limited, and so we do kindly ask you to consider all dates & times before registering.
  • For any delegate purchasing a Non-Member ticket: as the Non-Member ticket type is inclusive of PSI Membership through to 31 December 2024, please be advised that it is your individual responsibility to ensure that between registering for this event as a Non-Member, and the event itself, you must not apply or pay for an individual membership of PSI. Similarly, it is your responsibility to ensure that you will not be included in your company's group membership/renewal.
  • Membership awarded as part of the Non-Member registration fee is non-refundable, and will not be applied until after the first session.


R is quickly gaining popularity within the pharmaceutical industry due to it being a very powerful object-orientated language, and is able to produce analyses and high quality graphics. It can be used for high performance computing and allows easy integration with other software.

This course is aimed at clinical trial statisticians who are experienced with other software languages (such as SAS) and would like to increase their proficiency in R. The content can also be applied more widely in a non-clinical trial context.

Participation will provide access to extensive course materials in the form of a ‘bookdown’ site.  However, this is designed as a hands-on, interactive course.  Both you and the trainers will work entirely within the RStudio Cloud development environment, which will remain accessible between virtual sessions in order to further explore and cement your understanding.

Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction to R and Rstudio
  2. Data types and vectors
  3. Welcome to tidyverse
  4. Importing/exporting data
  5. Handling data
  6. Piping
  7. Summaries and aggregation
  8. Setting and merging
  9. Transposing data
  10. Introduction to statistical analysis in R
  11. R graphics with ggplot2

Speaker details



Andrew Nicholls

Andy Nicholls has been an R user and advocate for over 15 years. He is currently Head of Data Science within GSK’s Biostatistics function and responsible for driving R adoption, with a remit covering systems, tools and training. As part of this role, Andy developed GSK’s internal original world-wide R training programme which forms the backbone of this PSI course.

Andy’s professional background includes 6 years working for Mango Solutions, a niche Statistics and Data Science consultancy that specialised in R. During his time at Mango, Andy taught several hundred face to face and virtual R training courses. And in 2015 he co-authored, “R in 24 Hours” with two Mango colleagues. Andy has an MMath Mathematics from University of Bath and MSc Statistics with Applications in Medicine from University of Southampton.

Alanah Jonas

Alanah attended the University of Nottingham, where she earned her integrated master’s degree in Mathematics with Statistics in 2018. Upon completing her degree, she secured a graduate position at Amadeus Software. During her tenure there, she underwent three months of intensive SAS training before being placed at GSK.

Her journey at GSK began in the Biostatistics department, specifically in Clinical Programming. Over the course of three years, she honed her expertise in this specialized field. She seized the opportunity for a secondment in the Statistical Data Science and Innovation Hub, serving as a Principal Data Scientist. During her time at GSK, Alanah has had first-hand experience in both delivering and participating in various R training methods. Most recently, she has been working on the AccelerateR initiative where she provides small group, tailored, just in time training for study teams with mentoring and support.

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