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Missing data in randomised clinical trials

Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM)

Dr Tim Morris Monday, May 17, 2021 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
London United Kingdom Applied Mathematics Statistics

About the Project

What is the Project?

Many methods are now available to handle missing data. Of modern methods, the most popular is multiple imputation (MI), and the theory is well worked out for data sets with small numbers of variables. This project considers two issues which are less well worked out when planning analyses for clinical trials with missing data.

The overall aims of this project include providing trial statisticians with principled methods for planning analyses with missing data in the outcome and baseline covariates. In particular, this project aims to provide clear and practical guidance on how to specify the variables to be included in a MI analysis of a clinical trial. The results will also be relevant to analysis of observational studies.

The student will acquire mathematical understanding of the assumptions and implementation of MI methods and will explore whether this can be used to address the aims in simple settings. They will design and run simulation studies to evaluate MI with different imputation models and compare it with simpler alternatives. They will implement the methods in real data.

Who are the ICTM and the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL?

The MRC CTU at UCL is at the forefront of resolving internationally important questions in infectious diseases and cancer, and delivering swifter and more effective translation of scientific research into patient benefits. It does this by carrying out challenging and innovative studies, and developing and implementing methodological advances in study design, conduct and analysis. You will be joining a team of renowned experts in the field of clinical trials.


Ideally, the candidate would be numerate with a strength for developing statistical methodology and an enthusiasm for applying those methods into practice, e.g. a degree in mathematics, (medical) statistics, or a related quantitative field.

How to Apply & Additional Information

Who are the supervisors? Dr Tim Morris will be the primary supervisor. You will also be supported by secondary supervisors and a Thesis Committee (TC), which will provide degree-spanning support and advice about academic and training progress for the successful candidate over the course of the Doctoral study.

When can I start? Successful candidates are expected to commence studies in October 2021

What funding is available? We have funding available for full time studentships in line with the current UKRI PhD studentship level. Successful candidates will be eligible to receive the equivalent of (UK) student fees and stipend.

How do I apply? We would encourage you to speak to Dr Tim Morris (email: ) in the first instance for further information. Applications by CV and covering letter should be sent to 

Deadline for applications: 17 May 2021.

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships are open to anyone but that this covers a stipend and UK-level tuition fees (and fees for students from non-UK countries are higher)

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