Imperial College London

Hilary Watt CStat FHEA MSc MA(Oxon) BA

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Senior Teaching Fellow in Statistics



+44 (0)20 7594 7451h.watt Website




322Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





Hilary is gaining recognition as a statistics teaching expert. She developed graphs and transparent explanatory interpretations, to teach conceptual understanding of p-values and of confidence intervals. She also focuses on interpretation of regression coefficients and choice of regression model. Her LinkedIn profile includes some exceptional public recommendations on the quality of her teaching and R resource, amongst other things:

Hilary "made statistics easy to understand. The teaching approach was incredible" Ruqiyo Ali, former MPH student.

"Statistics had previously (and for a long time) felt counter-intuitive to me. Hilary's teaching and examples made it feel far more intuitive and easier to understand. This was especially true for p-value and for confidence intervals." Mark Cunningham, staff member.

"I was impressed by the way Hilary listened and addressed the issues....she created bespoke plans that focussed on the areas that had previously challenged students, whilst also reinforcing core statistical concepts.... These classes became a great support and confidence-booster for students." Maria Parisi, former GMPH student class rep.

Above text is all extracted from LinkedIn public recommendations. Hilary Watt - Stats Teaching Expert | LinkedIn

Hilary promotes her statistics teaching expertise at statistics conferences. This includes talks and posters at several RSS meetings, including UK RSS annual international conferences. She gave two talks at Burwalls medical statistics teaching conference 2023 (flight and hotel paid by Burwalls conference organiser). At Burwalls 2022, she lead a fascinating 90min talk with discussion on language used to interpret confidence intervals, and a shorter talk/ discussion on p-values. 

With co-investigators, she is leading the evaluation of the variety of CI and p-value definitions provided by educators, based on a survey of around 60 medical statistics educators. Some conference presentations were reflections of the merits of different styles of interpretation, and her suggestions for clarifying the language of some of them.

She promotes her innovative strategies that promote conceptual understanding of p-values and of confidence intervals. This includes her own transparent explanatory CI and p-value interpretations. Eminent statisticians have been expressing concern over standards of statistical interpretation in applied research over many years. By tying her teaching methods in with the agenda to overcome these, she earned a publication in the high-profile International Journal of Epidemiology in 2020. Key ideas are encompassed into her talk (view by clicking here).

Hilary leads Statistics Masterclasses, that allow taught post-graduate, BSc and PhD students and staff to all benefit from her innovative published teaching methods. She teaches conceptual understanding of p-values and confidence intervals (CIs). She uses definitions and images that intentionally correct widespread misconceptions, whilst simultaneously clarifying core concepts. 

Hilary teaches data prep, using both R and Stata software. Her R resources are available online: Data Wrangling Recipes in R ( oversees the statistical aspects of post-graduate dissertations, as well as supporting staff and PhD students. Her resources, aligned around the workflow, have received great acclaim for their practical focus and for the time that they  save.

Hilary is statistician co-applicant for randomised controlled trial, evaluating drug treatment to improve attention (extended-release guanfacine) in patients with Alzheimer's disease, as an add-on therapy in patients already receiving memory-enhancing drugs (NIHR funded, PI Dr Paresh Malhotra). Hilary is co-supervising/ providing statistical input for three students who have been awarded NIHR fellowships and one further staff member who is undertaking her PhD. Hilary was a sought-after member of the NIHR Research Design Service, whose clients have successfully been awarded fellowships (including at professorial level) and some large NIHR grants. 

Hilary performs a stand-up comedy to bring curious scientific facts to a wider audience, promoted via her YouTube channel. Her YouTube channel also contains statistics teaching videos that use her published methods to foster conceptual understanding of core concepts. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Amati F, Green J, Kitchin L, et al., 2023, Ethnicity as a predictor of outcomes of psychological therapies for anxiety and depression: a retrospective cohort analysis, Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Vol:51, ISSN:1352-4658, Pages:164-173

O'Farrelly C, Barker B, Watt H, et al., 2021, A video-feedback parenting intervention to prevent enduring behaviour problems in at-risk children aged 12-36 months: the Healthy Start, Happy Start RCT, Health Technology Assessment, Vol:25, ISSN:1366-5278, Pages:1-+

Watt H, 2020, Reflections on modern methods: statistics education beyond “significance”: novel plain English interpretations to deepen understanding of statistics and to steer away from misinterpretations, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol:49, ISSN:0300-5771, Pages:2083-2088


Watt H, 2023, Teaching Conceptual Understanding of p-Values and of ConfidenceIntervals, Whilst Steering Away from Common Misinterpretations., Burwalls teaching medical statistics., Editor(s): Medeiros Mirra, Farnell


Watt H, Leedham-Green K, Farnell D, et al., Round Table: Discussion on choice of confidence interval (CI) “definition”, Burwalls 2022: Annual meeting for teachers of statistics in medicine and allied health sciences

Watt H, Leedham-Green K, Farnell D, et al., Denying knowledge of differences amongst subjects when p>0.05; people are less likely to make this error when their p-value interpretation includes “population”, Royal Statistical Society 2022 International conference

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