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Personal profile

Research interests

Statistics - Computation, Methodology and Application to the social,  veterinary and biological sciences

My research spans the area of statistical modelling, from the development of statistical methods to fit realistically complex statistical models to describe real-life problems, through the implementation of those models in statistical software to the application of the methods in several application areas.

Further details of my work are available at http://seis.bris.ac.uk/~frwjb/

Much of my computational work has been in the development of statistical software within the Centre for Multilevel Modelling that I  now direct (ably supported by Professor Kelvyn Jones as deputy director) and in particular in the development of the MLwiN and StatJR packages.I have also developed the software package MLPowSim for performing power calculations for multilevel models.

My methodological work has been with regard MCMC methods for fitting these multilevel models and also for tailoring MCMC algorithms for specific other models.

With regard applications I have worked on applying multilevel and other statistical models to problems as diverse as assessing welfare in chickens, modelling herd breakdowns with TB in cattle, investigating nesting behaviour of great tits and the impact of class sizes on primary school children. Much of this work is in collaboration with discipline experts and I firmly believe that statistics and in particular statistical modelling is the glue that binds together interdisciplinary research

My research has been funded by various sources - my major funder has been the ESRC who have repeatedly funded my work over a 13 year period however I have also had my work or collaborative work funded by BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, Wellcome, DEFRA, John Oldacre Foundation, RSPCA, DairyCo, UFAW and FAO.

Research keywords

  • Multilevel Modelling
  • MCMC
  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Random Effect Modelling
  • Applied Statistics
  • Computational Statistics

Research findings

My current ESRC research grant follows on work from my node in the Digital Social Research programme, that developed the statistical software package STAT-JR and in particular it's eBook interface. More details are available at the multilevel modelling centre website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/


Further information about Professor William Browne can be found here.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Jean Golding
  • Cabot Institute City Futures Research

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  • Research Output

    Impact of Imperfect Test Sensitivity on Determining Risk Factors: the Case of Bovine Tuberculosis

    Szmaragd, C., Green, LE., Medley, GF. & Browne, W. J., 2012, In : PLoS ONE. 7, 8, e43116.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Factors associated with herd restriction and de-restriction with bovine tuberculosis in British cattle herds

    Szmaragd, C., Green, LE., Medley, GF. & Browne, W. J., 1 Aug 2013, In : Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 111, 1-2, p. 31-41 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    The Use of Simple Reparameterizations to improve the efficiency of Markov chain Monte Carlo estimation for Multilevel Models with Applications to Discrete Time Survival Models

    Browne, WJ., Steele, FA., Golalizadeh Lahi, M. & Green, M., Mar 2009, In : Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A. 172, 3, p. 579 - 598 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    • 2 Participation in conference
    • 1 Editorial activity
    • 1 External Examination and Supervision
    • 1 Membership or peer review panel or committee

    9th Amsterdam International Multilevel Conference

    William J Browne (Invited speaker)

    28 Mar 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    International Amsterdam Multilevel Conference

    William J Browne (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    17 Mar 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Biometrical Journal (Journal)

    William J Browne (Editorial board member)

    1 Jun 2011 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Supervised Work


    A mixed methods approach to understanding the relationship between computing students’ approaches to learning and academic performance for different entry pathways

    Author: Lim, K. Y., 24 Mar 2020

    Supervisor: Browne, W. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


    Chinese Language Needs of South Asian Undergraduates: A Case Study in a Self-financing Vocational Institute in Hong Kong

    Author: Li, K. L. E., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Browne, W. (Supervisor) & Tikly, L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)