Worsley Award

2019 Recipient: Varvara Vetrova

Varvara’s research is in the intersection between applied statistics and machine learning.

Her contribution lies in methods for fine-grained image recognition with small sample sizes and imbalance classes, and statistical methods for bivariate data analysis. These methods have numerous applications.


This award recognizes outstanding recent published research from a New Zealand statistician in the early stages of their career.

Next Round

  • Next round opens: 19 July 2021
  • Next round closes: 30 September 2021

Nominations should be sent to Matthew Schofield, Convenor of the NZSA Awards Committee, by email (matthew.schofield@otago.ac.nz).

Award Details


This award recognizes outstanding recent published research from a New Zealand statistician in the early stages of their career. The criteria for eligibility are the same as for the Marsden Fund Fast-Start grants. Essentially, this means applicants must be within seven years of confirmation of PhD, or their highest completed degree for an applicant without a PhD. Candidates will have completed the majority of this research within New Zealand, and will be financial members of the Association. Previous winners are ineligible for nomination.


Nominations can be made by individuals or groups of individuals. Nominators may be non-NZSA members. Nominations will be assessed by the NZSA Awards Committee, and should include the following:

  • name, affiliation and contact details of nominator;
  • name and affiliation of candidate;
  • the candidate’s best three papers and a two-page CV. The papers must have been peer-reviewed, and be published or in press. In cases of joint authorship, a clear statement of the contribution of the candidate should be made.
  • names of two persons willing to act as referees;
  • and a citation, of maximum 40 words, summarizing the statistical research underlying the application.


The Worsley Early Career Research Award was established in 2013, in commemoration of Keith Worsley. Keith Worsley was one of the world’s leaders in the field of brain mapping. After completing his PhD at the University of Auckland in 1978, Keith spent most of his professional life at McGill University in Montreal. There, in collaboration with colleagues in the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute, he made many fundamental contributions to the statistical analysis of functional and structural brain imaging data. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a

Canadian Statistical Society Gold Medallist.




If you have any queries about making a nomination/application for this award please email Matthew Schofield.


YearRecipients of the NZSA Worsley Award 
2013Ting Wang
2014Tilman Davies
2015Blair Robertson
2016Yalu Wen
2017Ben StevensonNewsletter 80
2018Claudia Rivera-Roidriguez
2019Varvara Vetrova