Pragya Sur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Harvard University, and the President of the IMS New Researchers Group. She welcomes you to join in its activities, including the New Researchers Conference, held this year at the University of Toronto immediately before the Joint Statistical Meetings. Read on for how to apply, and how to get involved in the NRG:

The IMS New Researchers Group (IMS NRG) has a short but rich history. Formally founded in 2014 following the IMS New Researchers Conference (IMS NRC) held at Harvard, the group has ever since focused on a sustained continuation of the Conference. The NRC serves as a melting pot of young researchers from diverse fields of Statistics and Probability, helps foster new connections, and provides substantial mentorship opportunities from senior members of the community. The Conference itself predates the formal foundation of the group and has been in existence for much longer. With this rich history behind it, I was honored when I was approached to lead the NRG activities going forward. I took on this role formally in August 2022. Since then, we have been busy expanding our activities and reach beyond the purview of the IMS NRC. Before I delve into our recent activities, for the interested reader, let me provide a sneak peek of the upcoming NRC.

IMS New Researchers Conference

IMS NRC 2023 will be held at the University of Toronto from August 2–5, 2023, in its usual spot right before JSM. The local organizers, Dr. Linbo Wang and Dr. Dehan Kong, have served an instrumental role in the planning process. We have several panels planned, from publishing to funding, mentoring, promotion, and so on. We seek to provide participants with a broad array of topics covering areas where a young researcher may face potential challenges, and hold a discussion surrounding these, all the while providing opportunities to ask questions of senior researchers on these topics. We also hope young folks form connections with each other through the NRC that can last as a solid long-term network in their careers.

The application deadline for the conference is April 24, 2023. We urge all young researchers within the eligibility criteria to apply. More details can be found here:

Join the New Researchers Group

Since last August, my personal goal for the New Researchers Group has revolved around expanding its reach beyond the Conference. To this end, we have instituted a formal membership process—one that had been non-existent so far. (Read how to join at ). Becoming a formal NRG member provides you with access to important resources that might otherwise go amiss. For instance, we plan to use the group email as a way to connect young researchers with resources such as announcements on important and interesting conference/workshop sessions, job openings, etc. We also hope that being part of the group provides a sense of community to new researchers and that they find this valuable in their own ways. Further, in partnership with the YoungStatS project (an analogue of IMS NRG based in Europe [see this article for more information]), the organizers of the Young Data Science Researcher Seminar Zurich, we plan to run two or three webinars per year with talks on cutting-edge topics in modern statistics and machine learning featuring recent works by young researchers. These talks aim to highlight major recent developments made by young researchers in thriving sub-fields of our discipline. We plan to hold the first webinar in March 2023, with a focus on causal inference and invariance. As more details are finalized, we will send out announcements regarding these through various channels, including the aforementioned IMS NRG mailing list.

Invited sessions for New Researchers

To further the cause of showcasing new researchers’ work, the NRG plans to organize invited sessions at the IMS Annual Meeting, the IMS International Conference on Statistics and Data Science (ICSDS) and CMStats [the Computational and Methodological Statistics meeting] every year. Be on the lookout for our session on causal inference planned for JSM 2023 (where the IMS Annual Meeting will be held this year), with three stellar speakers and a discussant.

With the Conference, webinar series, and invited session organizations, the NRG has active plans. I personally hope these efforts pay off, that the NRG can provide valuable networking opportunities and a sense of community to new researchers, and that this aids in career development for a significant number of scholars of our generation. I encourage you to join the group and participate in its activities, be it the Conference or beyond.