Fran Biggin

I am in my fourth year of a part-time Statistics and Epidemiology PhD in the CHICAS research group in the Lancaster Medical School. My research focuses on how to use routinely collected health data to help improve neurology outpatient services. My supervisors are Professor Jo Knight and Professor Hedley Emsley, and I’m funded by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership through Lancaster University Data Science Institute.

I came from a background in medical planning in the British Army, where I also completed a PGCert in Public Health. On leaving the Army I decided to pursue a more analytical route and completed an MSc in Data Science at Lancaster University.

My interests lie in using patient data to improve health outcomes. A large amount of medical and administrative data is recorded as a patient moves though the medical system, and with some careful analysis this data can also be used in research. Understanding issues such as care pathways, patterns of diagnosis and referral can inform potential changes in services which, in turn, can enable better patient care.

Alongside my research I also volunteer as a STEM ambassador, visiting schools and colleges to talk about data and research. I have helped to run introduction to data science workshops, talked about my experiences at careers seminars, and also judged STEM competitions such as the First Lego League, which encourages young students to get involved in STEM subjects.