This week, in continuing our discussion on Veramed’s Statistician Types, we’re taking a look at Project Lead Statisticians. Unlike the Delivery Statistician type, more commonly seen in the early stages of a Statistician’s career, the Project Lead Statistician, as the name might suggest, suits those who have built their career into a leadership position.
Primarily seen in Senior or Principal Statisticians, Project Leads act as a primary point of contact for clients. Key responsibilities include building collaborative relationships with clients, mentoring junior members of staff, and ultimately leading an internal team to deliver work to both time and budget across either a single or, more often, multiple clinical trial projects.
Toby Batten, Statistics Manager at Veramed, is a great example of a talented individual who encompasses the core skills required to be a Project Lead. Joining the team in 2020, we sat down with Toby to discuss his role as a Project Lead, his day-to-day work and how he has built a long and fruitful career spanning well over ten years.
I started my career around 13 years ago before joining Veramed in 2020. Within that time I worked in stability before moving into clinical trials where I developed into a lead Statistician, covering 25 projects at one point!
A typical working day for a Project Lead Statistician isn’t always so obvious, as each project can require specific tasks and responsibilities. Leading a team across multiple projects requires a wide range of personnel and technical skills, from mentoring to performing complex analyses on a daily basis.
I would say every day is different and comes with it’s own challenges. As a Project Lead I will usually have a few meetings to attend each day but that can be anything from an internal discussion on a data set specification to an external meeting with a regulatory body about a new drug submission!
Of course, leadership is a core skill of the Project Lead Statistician, requiring Toby to be flexible and available to both his team and supporting teams across the business. Our approach to leadership is to be blend both our supportive and nurturing culture, focusing on empathy and open communication, with robust working practices and a high standard of excellence. We don’t push our employees, we support them. In doing so, we see more internal promotion, greater cross-collaboration across teams and a higher retention rate, which translates to better outcomes for clients.
I currently manage three junior Statisticians within my team. But it is also important for me to support the internal programming team as much as possible. I need to be flexible and make myself available to offer help when needed.
Like many leaders at Veramed, Toby is also supported by Veramed’s Excellence Programme. Our dedication to supporting employees, as driven by leaders such as Toby, is just one of the reasons we became a ‘world class’ rated employer with Best Companies.
While leadership is a key aspect of being a Project Lead Statistician, it doesn’t define Toby’s work or his contribution to the wider team. As a part of his development and our dedication to supporting our staff, Toby has been able to branch out and diversify his skills by also working partly as a Technical Statistician.
Before joining Veramed, I worked at another global CRO where I had more of a technical role. This was a great opportunity to expand on those skills, which I’ve been able to develop further, while still being a Project Lead at Veramed.
We believe in having an open conversation about our Statistician types, and that applies to both current Veramed employees and those interested in joining the team. While some Veramed Statisticians perform the role of a single Statistician type valiantly, many are an amalgamation of each, built over time as a part of their development. Toby is no exception.
Whilst project leading is the main part of my job, I also consult for two clients which allows me to get involved with things like study design and sample sizing. It also allows me to improve my technical skills and exposure to methods I have not experienced before. I am also in the process of developing some new training material.
While Toby’s career looks like a straight line, his humble beginnings show just why having a frank and open conversation about your career as a Statistician is so important. Choosing what type of Statistician you are and what you want to focus on, let alone what type of industry you’d like to work in, isn’t always so obvious – but a simple conversation with a member of our team can help.
At school I was much better at maths than at science so I pursued maths at university without any real idea of what I wanted to do as a career. It was only when working on a project looking at the causes and treatments for heart disease that I realised I could still work in medicine as a Statistician and from that point onwards that became my goal.
As a people-focused organisation, we’re here to support Veramedders, just like Toby, on their career journey. Our Statistician types are here to provide an extra level of transparency and understanding, allowing you to take control of your career and make a vision for the path you want to take – and that applies to our current employees as well.
I always want to remain project focussed but my focus now is around improving myself as a Statistician and expanding my experience. I really enjoy the consultancy part of my job and this is something I want to do more as I develop.
Keen to learn more about Veramed Statistician types? Visit the Careers page below to find the right role for you, or drop off your CV so we can keep your details on file.