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Katie Mellor

DPhil student

I am interested in using trials methodology research to address inefficiencies in clinical trials

I have been awarded Medical Research Council funding to undertake a DPhil to investigate the design of randomised pilot studies. These studies are often conducted before a definitive randomised controlled trial to help researchers understand whether the proposed trial can be successfully carried out. They can save resources being wasted on a trial that is unlikely to succeed. However, there is variability in the way pilot and feasibility studies are designed, conducted, and analysed, and uncertainty among the research community about best practice. I am using a mixed-methods approach, including a systematic review and qualitative interviews, to investigate when researchers should decide to progress from a pilot randomised trial to a definitive randomised controlled trial, using pre-specified progression criteria. I am also a recipient of a UKRI and Mitacs funding award to conduct research within the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University in Canada for 3 months as part of my DPhil.

I started my research career as a medical biochemist, graduating from Royal Holloway University of London. As I was interested in clinical trials methodology, I studied an MSc in Clinical Research at the University of Sheffield. Before joining NDORMS, I worked as a research assistant at the University of Sheffield’s Clinical Trial Research Unit on clinical trials of investigational medicinal products. I have also worked for a contract research organisation, providing clinical trials support to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have experience teaching introductory research methods courses at graduate level. I participate in an academic working group on pilot and feasibility studies and two NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership groups, trial conduct and outcomes.

I am also a student representative for the NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership and the Oxford Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership student cohort.

Recent publications

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