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Matthew Parkes

OCTRU Lead Statistician


I’m a keen advocate of applying novel clinical trial designs to better address challenging clinical questions, improving transparency in clinical research, and using novel technology to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials.

I have over a decade’s experience in musculoskeletal clinical trials and rheumatological epidemiology, with more recent experience in early-phase trials, particularly in oncology and experimental medicine. I have been involved in clinical trials of various designs from initial inception and design, through grant application, set up, conduct, and analysis, to final publication and oversight. I have presented posters and given talks at national and international clinical and methodology conferences. I also enjoy teaching methodology at postgraduate level, particularly to non-statistical audiences.

Before joining OCTRU, I worked at the University of Manchester, first as a research statistician, analysing clinical trial data on a range of interventional osteoarthritis trials. During this time, I completed a PhD by Published Work in clinical trial statistics and epidemiology. My doctoral research focused on refining and enriching clinical trials of lateral wedge shoe insoles. I subsequently worked as a lecturer in clinical trials statistics at the Manchester Clinical Trials Unit (MCTU) at the Centre for Biostatistics, University of Manchester.

My career has focused on my passion for research methods and statistics. After my initial love for science and the scientific method was sparked during high school, I sought ways to feed my interests in research methods and statistics and their application to clinical questions. This continued during my undergraduate psychology degree, through NHS and public service roles, and eventually into the academic positions I’ve held since.

I am a specialist examiner for the Royal College of Radiologists Clinical Oncology exams and a member of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) panel.

Research Interests

• Improving uptake and dissemination of novel trial designs and methods that improve efficiency in clinical trials, such as appropriate interim analyses, Bayesian clinical trial designs, n-of-1 designs, cross-over designs, and multi-arm adaptive designs.

• Choosing appropriate outcomes in chronic, painful conditions, in terms of sensitivity, validity, and reliability. Collection and analysis of patient-reported outcomes and subjective phenomena to take advantage of smart technology such as smartphones and smartwatches.

• Ways to improve transparency and reproducibility when publishing academic clinical research, particularly with respect to statistical analyses.

Recent publications

More publications