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PhD student becomes first recipient of Jon Rasbash Bursary

Rebecca Pillinger, first recipient of the Jon Rasbash Bursary

Rebecca Pillinger, first recipient of the Jon Rasbash Bursary

6 July 2011

Rebecca Pillinger, a first-year PhD student in the Graduate School of Education, has become the first recipient of a new bursary established by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law as a memorial to Professor Jon Rasbash and as a mechanism to support world-class expertise in advanced quantitative methodology in the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM).

The new bursary has been established to commemorate the contributions to quantitative social science of Jon Rasbash, who was Professor of Computational Statistics and Director of CMM.  Professor Rasbash was principally known for his development of multilevel methodology and its software implementation, and for his research on studying social relationships within families. Through the development of the MLwiN software and teaching at numerous workshops worldwide, he played a major role in the adoption of multilevel modelling as a mainstream statistical technique.

The £2,000 bursary will be awarded annually to a Bristol PhD student who is using advanced quantitative methods in their research. The first recipient, Rebecca Pillinger, is a first-year PhD student in CMM (supervised by Professors Fiona Steele and Harvey Goldstein). Rebecca graduated from University College London in 2004 with an MSci in Mathematics, and from the London School of Economics in 2007 with an MSc in Statistics. She then joined the University of Bristol as a Research Assistant in CMM, working on the LEMMA project, a node of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. Rebecca held this post for two years, and worked closely with Jon Rasbash as well as other members of the Centre. Her PhD will develop multilevel models to investigate the genetic and environmental contributions to the relationship between intelligence test scores and school achievement and how these contributions may change across socio-economic background.

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