Our career profile series highlights the variety of employment routes and development opportunities available to statisticians and programmers at Veramed.

In this profile, Stephen Hope, a Senior Statistician at Veramed discusses his career path, his aspirations for the future, and how working on COVID clinical trials has inspired him.

What is your role?

I’m a senior statistician at Veramed, and my key responsibilities include liaising with clients, project planning, managing deliverables, and leading the programming team to coordinate the statistical reporting for clinical trial projects. I’m responsible for ensuring that we deliver outputs on time, and to a high quality to our clients. While I’m not yet in a direct line management role, I lead the project team and oversee statistical delivery and resources for clinical trials projects.  

When did you join Veramed?

I joined Veramed in February 2016 from the NHS organ donation and transplantation unit, where I had worked for a year immediately post-graduation.  

I felt clinical trials would be a rewarding environment to apply my skills following my undergraduate degree in Mathematics, and a Masters degree in statistics.  When I met Veramed’s recruitment team, I was impressed by the company’s strong emphasis on developing people and friendly working culture. At the time, I was weighing up various options and considering positions at CROs or in academia.  In the end, I decided that Veramed offered the best fit for me. 

I initially worked at Veramed’s Twickenham headquarters but subsequently transferred to our office at the BioHub in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. The BioHub, located at AstraZeneca’s former site, is home to a host of emerging life science companies and is very close to the city of Manchester.  It’s a good place to work.

How has your career path evolved since you joined Veramed?

When I first joined, I primarily worked on statistical programming tasks assigned to me by the project lead. Over the years, I gradually took on increased responsibility, with greater autonomy and oversight of more aspects of each project. Now, as the lead statistician, I’m the one responsible for the project as a whole, and other team members come to me to help answer their questions. As a senior statistician, I now spend a great deal of time engaged directly in client interactions. Direct client contact has provided valuable experience. Over the last few years, I’ve built up expertise in late-phase trials, especially in the respiratory field. In turn, the respiratory therapeutic knowledge paved the way for my involvement in a recent study for a COVID treatment which I have found extremely interesting.

The pandemic has had such a devastating effect, that contributing even in a small way to a potential solution is satisfying.   

What are your aspirations for the future? 

I want to keep improving my skills and increasing my competency. Leading meetings, interacting with clients, and presenting aren’t my natural comfort zone, but I’ve developed in those areas significantly during my time at Veramed. Personal growth is most important for me in terms of success.

What would you say to anyone considering joining Veramed? 

I would say it’s a perfect environment for statisticians who want to challenge themselves, while having access to plenty of support and mentoring to back your growth as a professional.

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