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Research and Collaborations
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The UKTMN is actively involved in trial management research. Details of collaborations and UKTMN research is given below.

Career Development:

Effective trial management is essential to the delivery of high quality clinical trials, yet the career pathway for trial managers across the UK is variable; this is something that the UK Trial Managers’ Network is hoping to change. Whilst we recognise the lack of career structure, we feel that in order to make progress, it is essential we understand what is important for trial management professionals with respect to their personal and professional development. In summer 2019 we sent a survey to our members to find out what is important to them. The responses we received will help us to demonstrate what is important to the profession as a whole. The results of this survey were presented at the ICTMC 2019, submitted to a scientific journal and developed during a workshop at our Annual Meeting, in October 2019.

This work has been developed and managed by several members of the UKTMN Executive Group. We hope to develop this work further and move the career pathway agenda forwards.

 

Estimating Site Performance-2:

 

Setting up trial sites takes up time, effort and cost.  Not all of this is worth it because not all of those sites will recruit as planned.  This is a shame because those sites are likely to take up just as much, or perhaps more, trial manager time as sites that do recruit.  What would help would be some way to predict whether a site would be a “good” site to have involved in the trial as far as recruitment is concerned.  In other words, is there a good way of making decisions about which sites are worth investing energy in, and which are not? 

The ESP2 project aims to test a tool that just might help.  The project is led by trial managers based at the University of Aberdeen and asks trial managers to make predictions about site recruitment after carefully considering eight ‘red flags’ for poor recruitment.  These flags (e.g. lack of site staff engagement, or previous poor performance) were developed in the original ESP project, which was published earlier this year in Trials (https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-019-3287-6).

The UKTMN has partnered with Trial Forge to support ESP2. The project needs 1000 recruitment predictions from trial managers so it is likely that everyone in the UKTMN can play a role.  Predictions will be made online and the web-based system has now been launched. 

To be involved and join the ESP-2 study please visit: https://w3.abdn.ac.uk/hsru/ESP2/Public/Public/index.cshtml

 

Trials Methodology Research Partnership:


Following a successful application to the MRC-NIHR Methodology Research Programme by the MRC Hubs for Trials Methodology Research and other organisations, the UKTMN will be working in collaboration with a number of networks and institutions across the UK in trials methodology research. Launched on the 1st June 2019, the Trials Methodology Research Partnership is made up of five Hubs for Trials Methodology Research, and five partner networks.  

This partnership will allow important research to be conducted into the efficient design and management of trials, combining the expertise of multiple groups. Novel methodology can be explored and implemented, and our focus will be to ensure that trial management is well represented within this new phase of methodology research. We hope that, as UKTMN members, you will take this opportunity to contribute to this vital research.

 

UKCRC Registered CTU Trial Management Operational Group:

 The CTU Network has formed a trial management specific operational group, and the UKTMN are pleased to be an integral part of this group, along with six trial managers from registered CTUs across the UK. This group will work on bridging gaps in operational issues encountered by trial management professionals, and will work in conjunction with other operational groups to properly represent trial management as a whole.

 

List of UKTMN collaborations:

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

MRC Hubs for Trials Methodology Research 

NHS Health Research Authority

UKCRC CTU Network

PharmaSchool

Trial Forge

NHS National Institute of Health Research

University of Oxford