Close this search box.

1st Annual Trials Methodology Symposium 2015

Session 1

PEOPLE: Developing expertise, supporting careers

October 4 | 14:00 – 16:15

Session 2

PURPOSE: “When uncertain, the best treatment option is an RCT”

October 5 | 09:00 – 10:30

Session 3

PROJECT: Evolution of trial design

October 5 | 14:00 – 16:00

Session 4

PLACE: Trials in a post pandemic era: lessons learned for the future of trials

October 6 | 10:00 – 12:00

Session 5

Special Session – MRC/NIHR-TMRP Working Groups

October 6 | 14:00 – 15:30 & 15:30 – 17:00

Guest Speakers

Professor Sir Iain Chalmers
The James Lind Library

Iain Chalmers – Professor Sir Iain Chalmers practised as a clinician for seven years in the UK and the Gaza Strip, before becoming a full time health services researcher. Between 1978 and 1992 he was founding director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit ( Between 1992 and 2002, he was founding director of the UK Cochrane Centre, which convened the meeting at which the Cochrane Collaboration ( was inaugurated. Since 2003, he has coordinated the James Lind Initiative to promote public and professional acknowledgement of the need to address uncertainties about the effects of treatments. He is coordinating editor of The James Lind Library ( and Testing Treatments Interactive ( He was knighted in 2000 for services to health care. Watch video here.

Professor Paula Williamson

Paula Williamson is Professor of Medical Statistics at the University of Liverpool. She is an international leader in clinical trials methodology and statistics and has led global initiatives in health technology assessment, which have had international impact on clinical practice. Her work on Cochrane individual patient data reviews of anti-epileptic drugs set the international methodological standard. She has developed methods for design and analysis of AED trials, including competing risks analysis of the Standard and New Antiepileptic Drugs trial. This trial has transformed the treatment of patients with epilepsy, underpinning UK, US and German clinical guidance, and influencing worldwide prescribing practice. Watch video here.

Professor Craig Ramsay
University of Aberdeen

Craig Ramsay is Director of the Health Services Research Unit and Professor of Health Care Evaluation. He also directs the Aberdeen Health Technology Assessment Group, which is the only academic centre in Scotland responsible for providing technology assessment reports for the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. He has wide ranging research interests in health services research with expertise in knowledge translation research, surgical trial evaluation, and quasi-experimental study designs and as statistical editor for the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care group he has led the worldwide development of systematic review methodology for interrupted time series designs. He has served on several national and international committees and was an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland. Watch video here.

Caroline Hurley
PhD students UCC

Caroline Hurley completed her PhD Fellowship at the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) and is registered in the School of Medicine at University College Cork (UCC). In October 2014, Caroline was awarded a prestigious PhD scholarship through UCC’s Strategic Research Fund (SRF). Her PhD project titled ‘Risk-adapted approaches to the management of academic clinical trials’ aims to develop and evaluate a centralised risk-based monitoring plan for academic clinical trials in Ireland. Caroline conducted her research project under the supervision of Professor Joe Eustace, Professor Patricia Kearney, Professor Mike Clarke, Dr Frances Shiely and Dr Evelyn Flanagan. Caroline graduated with a BSc in Public Health and Health Promotion from UCC in 2008. In 2013 she completed her Master’s in Public Health, specialising in Epidemiology. From May 2014 to October 2014, Caroline worked as the Clinical Trial Co-ordinator for the EU FP7 funded TRUST RCT, based in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (UCC). Prior to this, she was a Research Assistant for TRUST from June 2013 -April 2014.e identifying and removing barriers to using high quality research in everyday clinical practice and improving the clinical impact of research by reducing the more than $85 Billion annual loss from unpublished and unusable research (Chalmers, Glasziou, Lancet 2009). He co-founded the International Collaboration for the Automation of Systematic Reviews and the RACGP’s Handbook of Non-Drug Interventions. He has authored over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles and 7 books.

Aislinn Conway
PhD students NUIG

Aislinn Conway completed her PhD Fellowship at the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) and is registered in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the National University of Ireland Galway. The focus of her research is on trials methodology. She studied the effectiveness of methods for the dissemination of high-quality research findings into clinical practice and in particular, systematic reviews and summary of findings tables. Aislinn studied under Professor Declan Devane, Director of the HRB –TMRN and Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway and the Saolta University Health Care Group. Her co-supervisors were Professor Mike Clarke, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen.

Jessica O'Dowd
PhD students TCD

Jessica is a PhD student at the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin and the HRB TMRN. Jessica holds an MSc Global Health and BSc Physiotherapy. Her research interests include disability, assistive health technologies and how context affects implementation of healthcare interventions in particular in low resource settings. The focus of her research is on the role of context in the implementation of healthcare interventions. She is using a realist methodology for evaluating how context affects healthcare outcomes for complex interventions under the supervision of Dr Fiona Larkin (Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin) and Professor Eilish McAuliffe (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin).

Lydia Emerson
PhD students MRC HTMR

Lydia is a clinical researcher who joined City, University of London as a research fellow in 2018. She did her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast. She completed a Masters in Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast in 2013. In 2014 Lydia was awarded a four-year PhD fellowship by the Medical Research Council Hubs for Trials Methodology Research, also undertaken at Queen’s University Belfast. Lydia’s research interests focus on clinical trials methodology. She has a specific interest in process evaluation of complex intervention trials in critical care. Watch video here.


1st Trial Methodology Symposium 2015


Get the latest HRB-TMRN news