The HTMR Network have seven objectives to deliver as part of their strategy. Expand each section below for more detail. We regularly report on these to the UK Medical Research Council
The Network is managed by the Executive Committee, who work closely with an International Advisory Committee, and appropriate stakeholders, to deliver our strategy to Improve Health by Improving Trials.
The Network is required to demonstrate increased engagement with methodological researchers and clinical trialists as users of these methods beyond the Hubs themselves, in order to identify the most relevant questions, and to agree and spread best practice. This should be demonstrated through, for example, workshops involving such users, leading to development of guidelines.
Outcome reporting bias (ORB), which has been defined as the selection for publication of a subset of the original recorded outcome variables based on the results, may lead to incorrect decisions concerning effective healthcare.
As part of the annual reports to MRC and the Methodology Research Programme panel, the Network must demonstrate metrics of requests for advice from investigators external to the hubs, and describe efforts made to actively promulgate best trial practice.
Ensuring researchers are aware of new evidence and design for trials methods, for example by providing a coordinated package of education and training
It is expected that greater engagement with Industry (as a key trials stakeholder) will be demonstrated in the annual reports. The Network should demonstrate coordinated engagement with policy makers to ensure that relevant questions are identified and addressed. The Network should seek to engage with the wider research community beyond methodologists, both in the UK and internationally e.g. MHRA, FDA. Evidence of such interactions could be through involvement in Network working groups, or Network awards (as collaborators), or in applications for external funding coming from Network members.
The Network will award approximately PhD studentship places across the Hubs. These studentships should be targeted to support the best science in areas of strategic priority for the Hubs, the Network, and for MRC. Training should fill an unmet need and be complementary to other MRC career awards in methodology. The Network should demonstrate increased engagement with MRC methodology and biostatistics fellows to better integrate UK training and capacity building in this field.
For example: to develop methodology to support areas of strategic importance for MRC, such as novel challenges in stratified and regenerative medicine and in linking bioinformatics to trials. Engagement with the large-scale MRC investments in these areas will be important, and could be evidenced by increased uptake of new methods into these areas, or collaborative approaches to identify and address needs for innovative or applied methods.
Draw up a joint strategy document which outlines synergies, leading to areas of collaboration and delivery of joint objectives in these.