Dr David C Hill PhD MSc BSc (Hons)

Dr David C Hill

Institute of Applied Health Research
Medical Statistician

Contact details

Public Health Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

David Hill is a Medical Statistician in the Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation Group in the Institute of Applied Health Research, working with Professor Sue Mallett.

Trained originally as a mathematician, with a 1st Class Hons degree, David has around 28 years’ experience in maths and stats modelling in a variety of fields, such as energy and the environment, but which also includes 9 years’ experience in clinical applications.

Currently operating in the field of medical statistics initially on the PROSPeCT study, which is concerned with the prediction of metastatic disease in primary colorectal cancer. This is intended to be achieved by utilising model variables from novel perfusion computed tomography (PCT), and the primary objective is to see whether a prognostic model based on PCT information is better than current practice. He has previous experience in applications such as health risks from naturally occurring radioactive radon gas, assessment of maternity care, and was involved with a Cochrane review of female urinary incontinence.

David has much experience with statistical analysis – logistic regression in mixed effect models, network maps and forest plots in meta-analyses of trials. He has much experience handling large datasets including the 7,148 cases and 14,208 controls in the radon work, a pan-European project involving data and collaborators from 9 countries.

David has a diverse background, not only in medical statistics but in environmental science including climate change with a PhD in ocean science and also experience in wind energy applications. He hopes to draw from this experience to creatively apply his skills in new fields of research.

David is a skilled programmer, with expertise in the statistical package Stata and is proficient in MatLab. He enjoys working in a team or independently developing applied software.


  • PhD in Ocean Science 1999  - University of Wales, Bangor
  • MSc by Research in Space Plasma Physics 1987 - University of Oxford
  • BSc (Hons) 1st Class in Mathematics 1985 - University of Exeter


Educated at the University of Exeter where he did his first degree in Mathematics, which included courses in statistics, he went on to do a MSc by Research (in Space Science) at the University of Oxford. Gaining experience in the wind energy industry, working on an aerodynamical study of wind turbine blades and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton, he returned to academia to complete a PhD in ocean science at the University of Wales, Bangor in 1999. After a short project in climate change detection and attribution, utilising linear methods called optimal fingerprinting to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural climate signals in vertical temperature data, he commenced his interest in medical applications employed by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), based at the University of Oxford, to work on health risks from residential radon gas. He then became engaged in further work in time series analysis for prediction of wind speeds and in wind energy grid integration studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. This preceded another medical stats role at Stirling and Glasgow Caledonian (at NMAHP-RU) Universities involving applications employing a range of statistical techniques. He started work at the University of Birmingham in Feb 2019 and hopes to broaden his experience still further.


Postgraduate supervision

David is not currently supervising students but has previous experience supervising mini PhD projects when at the University of Strathclyde in wind energy research.


Current interests lie within the PROSPeCT study, working to determine whether novel Perfusion Computer Tomography (PCT) imaging can facilitate better prediction (using prognostic models) of metastases from colorectal cancer than current practice. Previous work in Scotland included work on logistic regression in mixed effect multi-level models, network maps and forest plots in meta-analyses of trials, at least some of which experience David hopes to apply in his present role at Birmingham. He also carried out research into nursing interventions using linked data from the Safe Haven at Dundee and involving a stepped wedge trial design. He is also familiar with the design of a pooling study, evidenced by his involvement at CRUK in Oxford, on a pan-European project looking at the health risks of naturally occurring radioactive radon gas.

David’s diverse experience in wind energy, climate change and ocean science included much knowledge of time series analysis. This was applied in the wind energy sector and centred around the use of Vector AutoRegressive (VAR) models for wind integration studies and for wind speed prediction.

Research groups and centres

Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation Research Group (BeSATE) and Test Evaluation Research Group (TERG) at the Institute of Applied Health Research

Other activities

Member External Relations and Publicity Committee, British Wind Energy Association (Now RenewablesUK) from Jan 1990 to Nov 1991.