A Word from the Director (June 2015)Stephen Walters

Welcome to the fourth newsletter from the Design, Trials and Statistics (DTS) section at the University of Sheffield.

The group aims to design, conduct, analyse and report high quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and other studies to evaluate the effectiveness of new services, therapies and health technologies; with the aim of improving the health of the public at local, regional, national and international levels.

This edition of the newsletter highlights three recently commissioned studies being set up and carried out by staff in DTS: ActiF; E-SEE Trial and Dr Mostafa Metwally’s study which is a Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial of Induced Endometrial Trauma In Women Undergoing FirstTime In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).  It is always nice to have an easily remembered acronym for a trial or study – to see what these stand for then please read the articles about the studies!

This edition also celebrates the success of three DTS staff who have won awards for their research. Congratulations to Dr Chris Littlewood, Amy Whitehead and Abigail Stevely (supervised by Munya Dimairo).

We also welcome three new post-graduate research students to DTS: Michael Reddington; Rachael Curley and Zhe Hui Hoo. Micheal and Hui have won two prestigious NIHR clinical doctoral research fellowships to undertake their PhDs.

Professor Mike Campbell has also produced five short YouTube video clips explaining the main concepts and methodological approaches to randomised controlled trials in health care. It is really impressive what you can do with two pieces of paper; some multi-coloured stones or beads and pack of playing cards! Check out the videos if you want a clear and simple and easily understandable guide to simple randomisation; blocked and stratified randomisation and minimization.

Dr Dawn Teare has also been selected to take part in the University of Sheffield’s Big Walk which aims to walk the full Pennine Way in 15 days (and 286 miles) and raise funds for lung disease research in September 2015. That’s an average of over 19 miles walked per day. Good luck to Dawn!

We can assist your research from the earliest stages from identifying funding sources and protocol development through to implementation and publication. If you have a study in mind, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We are aiming to communicate with many people - colleagues and collaborators, clients and research funding bodies, potential and previous students. Everyone we know will be added to our mailing list, and if you’ve received the newsletter second-hand you can contact us to join the list by sending your details to:


I hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Professor Stephen Walters