The R Adoption Series

This is a new series of webinars focused on the adoption of R.  Each session will include a case study and often include panels or discussions to enable those starting their journey to ask questions.

R Consortium will keep this page updated with information on future webinars in the R Adoption series. If there is some information that you are looking for specifically and you don’t see it here, feel free to email us at

R Training Strategies at Janssen

September 29, 11am EDT

Paulo R. Bargo, Daniel Hofstaedter and Sumesh Kalappurakal

Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D

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As the Pharmaceutical sector boosts its interactions with regulatory agencies using R programming as one key instrument for drug development submissions, we face a dilemma that several members of statistics and statistical programming teams are not currently advanced R programmers. At Janssen we aim to improve the literacy in R programming and achieve nearly 100% adoption by these teams. To achieve this goal, we are leveraging all types of training formats, from online training to in-house instructor led seminars, to one-on-one mentoring as well as internal crowd-led hands-on workshops where statisticians/programmers are “thought” to solve on-the-job real problems ranging from visualization to automated reports. In this presentation we will discuss our experience implementing these strategies, challenges we faced, share lessons learned, mistakes and successes. We will also discuss topics on continued support and change management. A panel discussion with members from other pharmaceutical companies will close the event


  • Intro – 5 mins
  • Presentation – 45 mins
  • Q&A – 10 mins
  • Panel Discussion – 30 mins

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Archived Webinars – Full Recordings Available

Scaling R at GSK

Full video recording available here (58:52 mins)

Summary: In this presentation, Andy Nicholls, Head of Data Science within GSK Biostatistics, provided an overview of GSK’s WARP environment for Biostatistics. The presentation described the key requirements that led to building the environment and included an overview of the basic technical components that enabled these requirements. Nicholls also discussed GSK support and maintenance strategy for R and R packages.

The presentation touched upon important topics that fed into the discussion:

  • Support and maintenance strategy for R
  • Controlled execution of R (GxP workflows)
  • In-house vs cloud infrastructure


  • Intro – 10 mins
  • Case Study presentation: Scaling R at GSK – 45 mins (including 10 mins for Q&A)
  • Break – 5 mins
  • Parallel discussions – 45 mins


Andy Nicholls is Head of Data Science within GSK Biostatistics.  He has been a user and strong advocate for the use of R for over 15 years.  Andy is responsible for driving the R adoption initiative within GSK Biostatistics.  His team helped create Biostatistics’ first dedicated analytics platform for R and developed a world-wide R training programming.  The team has also led the development of several R-based tools and applications to assist the rollout and adoption of R as a clinical and non-clinical reporting capability.  Within the wider industry, Andy is the lead for the R Validation Hub, a collaboration to support the adoption of R within a biopharmaceutical regulation setting.

Andy has an MMath degree from University of Bath and MSc Statistics with Applications in Medicine from University of Southampton.  Prior to re-joining GSK in 2017 Andy was the Head of Data Science Consultancy at Mango Solutions.