Professor Deborah Stocken

Professor Deborah Stocken


Awarded a prestigious NIHR Research Professorship 2022, NIHR’s flagship award, to lead a team researching Statistical Innovation and Guidance on Methods and Analysis in Surgery (SIGMA-S). SIGMA-S is research adapting and evaluating early phase statistical methods and/ or novel multi-phase optimisation methods to the surgical environment - supporting the NIHR vision to improve the health and wealth of the nation prioritising effective translation of research into practice.  

Responsible for the strategic development, management and mentorship of the Surgical Interventions, Diagnostics and Devices Division specifically 1) developing and implementing a strategic vision and direction for a portfolio of research which is methodologically robust, appropriate and deliverable and ii) identifying and fostering multi-disciplinary links in relation to and expansion of the surgical and diagnostic device portfolios  I input to high impact peer reviewed research proposals and publications, securing grant income as the CTRU Scientific lead.

Member of the NIHE EME funding committee, management boards for NIHR Leeds Surgical MedTech Cooperative and Centre for HealthTech Innovation and supporting multiple trial oversight committees as external statistician and Chair.


  • Director Surgical Interventions, Diagnostics and Devices Division

Research interests

My interests and experience are in:

  • early and late phase statistical trial design
  • statistical design and analysis of surgical and medical technology trials
  • statistical analyses including multivariable prognostic and diagnostic prediction modelling of clinical, demographic and biomarker data; joint modelling of quality of life and survival data and IPD meta-analysis
  • study design, conduct, data analysis and presentation within a tight regulatory framework according to MHRA GCP

My research portfolio includes studies funded through NIHR, MRC and other peer-reviewed funding panels (e.g. Wellcome, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK):

  • multi-centre, national and international, late phase 3 definitive studies
  • single and multicentre phase 2 efficacy/safety trials
  • early phase 1 dose escalation trials
  • non-inferiority and factorial trials
  • pilot feasibility studies
  • stratified medicine projects


  • 2010 PhD Prognostic Modelling of Pancreatic Cancer, University of Birmingham
  • 2008 Chartered Statistician, The Royal Statistical Society
  • 1997 MSc Medical Statistics, University of Leicester
  • BSc 2:1 (Hons) Statistics with Maths, University of Central Lancashire

Professional memberships

  • NIHR EME Research Funding Committee
  • UKCRC Registered CTU Statistics Group
  • NIHR Statistics Group
  • Royal Statistical Society member
  • BHF Clinical Studies Funding Committee (expired)
  • Diabetes UK Research Funding Committee (expired)
  • NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowships Committee (expired)

Student education

I teach medical statistics and reserach methods at post-graduate level, supervise PhD students and NIHR fellows and act as internal and external PhD examiner.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research
  • Surgical Interventions, Diagnostics and Devices Division
  • Royal College of Surgeons Surgical Trials Centre
  • Test Evaluation Group
  • Surgical technology
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>