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Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
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Professor Peter WF Smith 

Professor of Social Statistics

Professor Peter WF Smith's photo

Professor Peter WF Smith is Professor of Social Statistics within Social Statistics & Demography at the University of Southampton. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Peter has worked at the University for over 25 years. He obtained a First Class BSc in Mathematics in 1986 from Lancaster University, and returned there to complete a PhD in Statistics in 1990, having obtained an MSc in Probability and Statistics with Distinction in 1987 from the University of Sheffield. Peter has research interests in developing new statistical methodology, including methods for handling non-response and for modelling longitudinal data, and applying sophisticated statistical methods to problems in demography, medicine and health sciences. His publications include articles in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, B and C, Biometrika and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. Peter was awarded the Royal Statistical Society Guy Medal in Bronze in 1999 and was Joint Editor of Series C of their Journal from 2013 to 2016.

Research interests

Graphical modelling:

  • properties of tests for edge exclusion
  • model selection
  • chain graphs
  • applications in demography and medicine

Exact inference:

  • using direct Monte Carlo methods
  • using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods
  • for generalised linear models
  • for models for social networks

Methods for handling non-response:

  • contingency tables with missing data
  • non-ignorable non-response
  • Bayesian methods

Models for longitudinal data:

  • multivariate binary responses
  • association/marginal models

Research Group

Administrative Data

Research project(s)


The UBhave project aims to investigate the power and challenges of using mobile phones and social networking for Digital Behaviour Change Interventions (DBCIs).

Health and well-being of cancer survivors

Benefits of the Alexander Technique for sufferers with low back pain

Models for longitudinal categorical data

Outcomes of teenage parenthood for mothers, fathers and children

Family attitudes and demographic behaviour

Gender role attitudes and labour force participation

The Use of Paradata in Cross–Sectional and Longitudinal Surveys

Understanding social change in attitudes to cohabitation, divorce and sexual morality

A phase I-II feasibility trial of Cancer Carer Medicines Management (CCMM): an educational intervention for carer management of pain medication in cancer patients at end of life.


The DIPSS (Integrating Digital Interventions into Patient Self-Management Support) project has received funding of £2 million from the NIHR to examine patient digital self-management with healthcare professional support in primary care. Our aim is to develop digital behaviour change interventions for asthma and hypertension self-management, which will be examined in feasibility studies and full RCT (hypertension only). Issues surrounding the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital intervention delivery will be explored with patients and healthcare professionals for each condition.

Bayesian Agent-Based Population Studies (BAPS): Transforming Simulation Models of Human Migration

Migration is one of the most uncertain population processes, lacking an overarching theoretical and conceptual background. The project will fill important gaps in our knowledge on migration by developing innovative statistical and computational migration models.

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Working Papers

Professor Peter WF Smith
Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK

Room Number : 39/2009

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