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Recognising contributions to clinical trials


Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM)

About the Project

What is the project?

There is a huge challenge in acknowledging the efforts of everyone involved in delivering a clinical trials, including collecting and preparing data. Hundreds of people will be involved, particularly for a long-term, international clinical trial with many sites. Many research staff, centrally and at sites, are overlooked for explicit recognition, despite commonly having creative input into solving the challenges in conduct and delivery of trials. People working on the trial when a paper is written are more likely to be credited with authorship at the expense of previous workers. ICMJE has clear and restrictive guidelines for who should qualify as authors which are unlikely to change. All told, paper authorship is not sufficient to reflect the efforts of all of the people involved in the trial.

The efforts of all contributors need to be recognised so that individuals can demonstrate involvement for career progression and take pride in their work.The credits at the end of a movie list everyone involved production by name and role and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has served as an online repository for making clear cross-movie credit.

How are trialists currently choosing authors for large scale trials? How are other research staff recognised? Would “film credits” be received favourably as a way to recognise people? Would this allow individuals to demonstrate involvement for career progression, in addition to just taking pride in their work?

Who are the ICTM & 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. 

 How to apply & Additional information

Who are the supervisors? Professor Matthew Sydes. The members of Thesis Committee will also provide support and advice.

When can I start? From October 2021

What funding is available? External funding to be sourced by successful candidate.

How do I apply? Please send your cover letter and CV to Prof Sydes ()

Deadline for applications: 17 May 2021.


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