Professor Cindy Cooper

BSc (Pharmacology and Physiology), PhD (Neuropharmacology)

School of Health and Related Research

Director, Clinical Trials Research Unit

Professor of Health Services Research and Clinical Trials

Cindy Cooper
+44 114 222 0743

Full contact details

Professor Cindy Cooper
School of Health and Related Research
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Professor Cindy Cooper is Director of Sheffield Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) and Professor of Health Services Research and Clinical Trials.

After graduating in Pharmacology and Physiology from the University of Manchester and completing a PhD in neuropharmacology at the University of Nottingham, she worked at Sheffield and West Yorkshire Health Authorities. She joined ScHARR in 1996 to establish the North Trent Research Office, to provide support to local NHS organisations to develop research strategy and increase their research income. She has been involved in health services research and clinical trials for over twenty five years and has held the position of Professor of Health Services Research and Clinical Trials since January 2014.

Cindy has previously held positions on NIHR funding bodies including being a member of the Programme Grant for Applied Research Committee and the COVID Call College of Experts as well as Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Research for Patient Benefit Committee. Cindy is Chair of three NIHR funded Project Steering Committees and a member of the UKCRC Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Executive Group. She has extensive experience of designing and implementing evaluations of complex health interventions in large multi-centre trials and other study designs. Since 2013 she has been PI or co-applicant on 15 NIHR Health Technology Assessment, Public Health Research, Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Efficient Trials call and Programme Grant for Applied Research grants related to trials and trials methodology to a total research cost of £12 million. She has also held CTU support and infrastructure awards to total cost of approximately £1.1 million. Cindy has published over 100 peer-reviewed research papers. The CTRU currently has a portfolio of around 20 studies, the majority being clinical trials or studies of trial methodology.

Cindy is module coordinator for the ScHARR MSc module on clinical trials research methodology and has supervised six PhD students to successful completion, one of these was an NIHR Clinical Fellowship and one a Stroke Association Fellowship.

Research interests
  • Trials methodology, particularly pilot (external and internal) and feasibility studies
  • Psycho-social aspects of long term conditions
  • Health technology evaluation
  • Evaluation of psychotherapeutic interventions
  • Public and patient involvement in research

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


  • Rothwell J, Cooper C, Julious S & Campbell M (2021) Background to Sample Size Calculations, Handbook of Statistical Methods for Randomized Controlled Trials (pp. 243-274). Chapman and Hall/CRC RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Fuller GW, Keating S, Goodacre S, Herbert E, Perkins G, Rosser A, Gunson I, Ward M, Miller J, Bradburn M , Thokala P et al (2019) Pre-hospital CPAP for acute respiratory failure : the ACUTE feasibility and pilot randomised controlled trial. British Paramedic Journal, Vol. 4(3) (pp 53-54). Cardiff, Wales, 24 September 2019 - 24 September 2019. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Harrison M, Palmer R & Cooper C (2017) Identifying barriers and enablers of adherence to self-directed aphasia computer therapy: a patient and carer perspective. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, Vol. 12 (pp 23-23) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thomas SA, Drummond A, Lincoln NB, Palmer R, dasnair R, Latimer N, Hackney G, Hatton R, Walters S, Mandefield L , Cooper C et al (2017) Behavioural activation therapy for depression after stroke (BEADS): a feasibility randomised controlled pilot trial of a psychological intervention for post-stroke depression. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, Vol. 12 (pp 15-15) RIS download Bibtex download
  • White D, Lawton J, Rankin D, Elliott J, Taylor C, Cooper C, Heller S & Hallowell N (2017) Staff experiences of closing out a clinical trial involving withdrawal of treatment : qualitative study. Trials, Vol. 18(Suppl 1) (pp 91-91). Liverpool, UK, 7 May 2017 - 10 May 2017. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Harrison M, Palmer R & Cooper C (2016) Defining and measuring the components of a complex neuro-rehabilitation intervention for aphasia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, Vol. 11 (pp S19-S19) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Elphick H, Horspool M, Davis S, Bradburn M, Norman P, Shephard N, Cooper C, Smithson WH, Boote J, Loban A , Franklin M et al (2016) LATE-BREAKING ABSTRACT: PLEASANT: Preventing and lessening exacerbations of asthma in school-age children associated with a new term. 1.6 General Practice and Primary Care RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dimairo M, Stevely A, Todd S, Julious S, Nicholl J, Hind D & Cooper C (2015) Investigation of the shortcomings of the consort 2010 statement for the reporting of group sequential randomised controlled trials. Trials, Vol. 16(S2) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dimairo M, Stevely A, Julious S, Todd S, Cooper C, Hind D & Nicholl J (2015) Differential reporting of group sequential RCTs: shortcomings ofthe CONSORT 2010 statement. CPS 11: Group Sequential Methods and Interim Analysis. ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, USA, 17 May 2015 - 20 May 2015. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hind D, Roberts C, Sprange K, Gossage-Worrall R, Cooper C & Walters S (2013) Methodological, planning and implementation challenges for rcts evaluating group interventions. Trials, Vol. 14(Suppl 1) (pp O124-O124) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cooper CL, Hind D, O'Cathain A, Parry GD, Isaac CL, Rose A & Sharrack B (2008) The acceptability of cognitive behavioural therapy software for the treatment of depression in people with multiple sclerosis. J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H, Vol. 62 (pp A12-A13) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rose A, Cooper CL, Hind D, O'Cathain A, Parry GD, Martin L, Issac CL & Sharrack B (2008) How appropriate is cognitive behavioural therapy computer software for the treatment of depression in people with multiple sclerosis?. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS JOURNAL, Vol. 14 (pp S263-S264) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cooper C, Palace J, Pickin M, Boggild M, Nichol J & Monitoring Study Consortium (2004) The multiple sclerosis monitoring study: Progress to date. JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY NEUROSURGERY AND PSYCHIATRY, Vol. 75(8) (pp 1214-1214) RIS download Bibtex download


  • Biggs K, Hind D, Gossage-Worrall R, Sprange K, White D, Wright J, Chatters R, Berry K, Papaioannou D, Bradburn M , Walters SJ et al (2019) Challenges in the design, planning and implementation of trials evaluating group interventions. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download


  • Palmer R, Cooper C, Enderby P, Brady M, Julious S, Bowen A, Latimer N, Gossage-Worrall R, Cross E & Harrison M (2018) Big CACTUS study protocol v5.0 31may17. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

I am co-ordinator for the Randomised Controlled Trials in Health and Social Care module of the MSc in Clinical Research.

I am interested in supervising research students in areas such as RCT methodology, evaluation of health technologies, particularly psychotherapeutic interventions and psychosocial aspects of chronic conditions.

Professional activities
  • Director of the Clinical Trials Research Unit
  • Chair of University Health Research Governance Committee 2011 - 2019
  • Member of the NIHR CTU Directors Executive Group 2015 -
  • Trial Management Group member for Journeying through Dementia, CACTUS, ACUTE, ASPECT, I-Socialise and OPTION DM trials
  • Member of the York Trials Unit Strategic Advisory Group
  • Member of the UKCRC CTU Directors Meeting
  • Member of the NIHR Clinical Trials Unit Standing Advisory Committee 2016 -
  • Member of the Sheffield Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust Research Innovation and Education Committee 2016-2019
  • Member of the Programme Grant for Applied Research Assessment Panel D 2017 -
  • Chair of the Trial Steering Committee for the York University lead, HTA Funded:-ACTIVE (articular type C pilon fracture Trial Internal vs External Fixation) Trial. 2017 -
  • Chair of the Trial Steering Committee for the York University lead, NIHR Programme Grant Funde:  MODS (Multi-morbidity in OLder Adults with Depression Study) 2019 -

Current Projects

  • CACTUS (Clinical and cost effectiveness of aphasia computer therapy compared with usual stimulation or attention control long term post stroke. HTA 2013-2018. £1.7 million.
  • OPTION DM Optimal Pathway for TreatIng neurOpathic paiN in Diabetes Mellitus (OPTION-DM) trial. HTA Project: 15/35/03. £2.9 million 01/06/2016 to: 31/08/2019 .
  • The ACUTE (Ambulance CPAP: Use, Treatment effect and Economics) feasibility study: A pilot randomised controlled trial of prehospital CPAP for acute respiratory failure. HTA: 15/08/40, 2016-1019. £378,285
  • ASPECT A non inferiority randomised controlled trial comparing the clinical and cost effectiveness of single session treatment with multi-session CBT in children with specific phobias. HTA 15/38/04 . 2016-2020.£1.4 million
  • NIHR CTU Support Funding £350,000 per annum
  • Journeying through Dementia is a large-scale research study that aims to find out whether attending a 12-week community programme has a positive impact on the quality of life for people who are living with the early stages of dementia.
  • The COMMEND project (NIHR HTA 16/81/010) includes two phases. Phase 1 will adapt ACT for people with MND and test the acceptability and feasibility of the adapted ACT intervention and whether it is possible to conduct a larger study.
  • High CALS.  A programme to develop and evaluate a complex intervention to achieve a high calorie diet in ALS (HighCALS) 42 months 02/04/2018 - 01/03/2024.  NIHR PGfAR £1,871,107.00 (IA 6% - £112,266.42.  CI - C McDermott
  • MSS 3. NIHR HS&DR Funded RCT - MSS3: Multiple Symptoms Study 3: pragmatic trial of a community based clinic for patients with persistent (medically unexplained) physical symptoms.  Co-I.UoS allocation - £898,732.57.
  • MATTS. Major Trauma Triage Tool Study. NIHR HTA funded. CI- Dr Gordon Fuller
  • I-SOCIALISE Investigating SOcial Competence and Isolation in children with Autism taking part in LEGO-based therapy clubs In School Environments (I-SOCIALISE), NIHR PHR Funded