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Strong Biostats Faculty?

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I'm wondering how to be able to tell who within the field (biostats) are the well-known, well-respected ones. I know people say it's important who your advisor is (sometimes more important than what program it is), and I'm curious how people figure out who is "good" and who is not.

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Many of the top biostat departments (including Hopkins, UNC, and Michigan off the top of my head) have faculty profile pages that link to either Scopus or Google Scholar pages with lists of all the faculty member's publications. You want to see faculty with multiple (and ideally recent) publications in the top statistics journals, which are usually consider to be The Journal of the American Statistical Association, Annals of Statistics, Biometrika, and The Journal of the Royal Statistical Society-Series B. The total number of publications and the total number of citations is also informative.


This is more critical at lower-ranked schools, though. If you're looking at any of the top-ranked departments, there are usually plenty of strong faculty. If you are considering lower-ranked departments, however, a department with one very good faculty member whose work interests you may be a better option than a department with a large number of mediocre faculty. Just off the top of my head, while UCLA's stat department isn't ranked very highly by USNWR, Ker-Chau Li is an outstanding researcher and many of his students now have very good jobs.

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