Bayesian statistics


I’ve been trying to put this off for as long as I possibly could, because I didn’t really want to surrender… BUT: It’s come to the time when I need to accept defeat and that this year we won’t be able to have our summer school in Florence. Hopefully, by July things will have improved massively (with regards to everything — not simply for non-essential travel!), but it’s obvious right now that even if people could travel (which probably they won’t be able to), it would be too much of a hustle and it would take away from the normally very pleasant experience.

missingHE update

Andrea has just released a major update for missingHE (this is my own fork of the main project — but now available on CRAN too), the package we (well, mostly he!) have (has) developed to handle missing data in Bayesian models for cost-effectiveness analysis. Additions to the basic structure of the package include multilevel models and new plotting facilities, revolving around posterior predictive checks, which are of course very helpful when assessing the performance of models with missing data.

Book out (nearly)

Earlier this week, we’ve got confirmation that our book on Bayesian methods in pharmaceutical research will publish shortly! The book is listed at £115, but currently there is a 20% discount running on CRC’s website for print books (35% for ebooks). In addition, we can promote the 30% discount code ASA18, which is great. I am really excited about the book — it was hard work to edit all the different bits, as there are many chapters and they are rather heterogenous in the level of technicality, not to mention the wide range of topics.

Hypothetical short course

The good news is that ISPOR have accepted a proposal that I have submitted, together with Felicity Lamrock, Howard Thom and Rose Hart to do a short course entitled “Health Economic Modeling in R: A Hands-on Introduction” at the next ISPOR conference in Milan. Of course, it’s just not clear whether the conference will go on as planned — or whether they’ll have some creative thinking around how to do it.

In case you don't know it

At this stage, given what I’ve said yesterday, even if you only get your news (abotu me, anyway) from the blog, you should know from other media about this. BUT: we’re now started advertisement and registration for our new three R-HTA events, later this summer at UCL. We’re doing two short courses on the 29th June. The first one is “Introduction to R for Cost-Effectiveness Modelling” (9.30-13.00) — obviously, this is aimed at beginners with some basic to intermediate knowledge of R.

Expert opinion

When I was at ISPOR in Copenhagen, earlier last year, I was asked by The Evidence Base to participate in two interviews — one was just me talking about “Value and advanced software in cost–effectiveness analyses” and the other as a group (with Brett McQueen, Raquel Aguiar-Ibáñez and Dawn Lee) on “Improving efficiency in HTA: the role of open-source models and more advanced software choice”. The Evidence Base have started to make the videos available — my “individual” one is here.

VoI world tour

Next week (Wednesday 26th February, at 12pm) I’ll be in Warwick to give a talk on our work on Value of Information. I’ve given a similar one fairly recently, at the MRC Biostats Unit in Cambridge. But I think this time I’ll add a few more things, coming out from our even more recent ConVOI work — we’ve just had two papers accepted for publication in Medical Decision Making (very little details, but more to come soon, here and here).


Here’s the official blurb we’ve prepared to advertise recruitment to our MSc Programme in Health Economics and Decision Science. And yes: we can also do a gym session, if you like. And yes: you can wear army pants… What more would you want? UCL’s MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science took in its first cohort of students in the 2017-18 academic year and has grown in popularity since then as it fills a gap in training and skills-transfer in higher education.

Better late than never

Even before the UK Government decided to call a snap election a month ago or so, I have been trying to do some work around the general topic of “elections” together with a number of colleagues, including Roberto Cerina (whom I’ve known since he was a student at UCL) and Raymond Duch at Oxford, as well as Christina Pagel at UCL and Christabel Cooper. The timing for the election was not the best — we were all busy doing our main job (which for some of us didn’t involve directly doing this…) so we didn’t manage to think carefully about all the bits and bobs we’ve started discussing.

Come and work with us!

We have an exciting opportunity in my group at UCL. We have a 5-year Senior Research Fellowship in Statistics and Health Economics — all details here. The post is Grade 8 with salary in the range £44,674 to £52,701 (depending on experience etc). I think it’s a really cool post: it’s co-funded by UCL and ICON, one of the leading consultancy companies in the area of economic evaluation and health technology assessment.