Dr Kate Ren BSc (York), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Sheffield)


University of Sheffield
Regent Court, 30 Regent Street
Sheffield, S1 4DA

Office: 1012/13

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 0696
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 0749

E-mail: s.ren@sheffield.ac.uk

ORCiD: 0000-0003-3568-7214


I joined HEDS in 2011 after completing a PhD in Probability and Statistics specialising in Bayesian methods in clinical trial design at the University Of Sheffield. I specialise in the development and application of Bayesian method in health economics, and the elicitation of experts' beliefs.

New methods paper on evidence synthesis with limited studies

Analysts often default to use a fixed effect model in evidence synthesis because there are too few studies to conduct a random effects model. The choice of which model to use should depend on the objective of the analysis and knowledge of the included studies. We have developed an elicitation framework using empirical evidence and experts' beliefs to overcome the problem of imprecise estimates of the heterogeneity parameter in the absence of sufficient sample data. We have also provided R code for implementing the method. An Open Access manuscript "Incorporating genuine prior information about between-study heterogeneity in random effects pairwise and network meta-analysis" by Ren et al. is available at dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272989X18759488. The online supplemental material provides both R code and BUGS code for implementing the method.

New methods paper on sampling ordered parameters in PSA

In health economic models, uncertain ordered parameters are common, for example, a patient's utility in a healthy state should be higher than in a diseased state. All probabilistic sensitivity analysis samples should exhibit the logical order of the given parameters. Typical sampling approaches lack either statistical or clinical validity. We have developed a new method, the Difference Method approach, which solves this type of problem more effectively than existing approaches. An Open Access manuscript "A new approach for sampling ordered parameters in probabilistic sensitivity analysis" by Ren et al. is available at link.springer.com/ via dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40273-017-0584-3. The Excel workbook for sampling ordered parameters can be found from the online supplementary material.

Research interests 

  • Bayesian statistics in clinical trials and health economics
  • Network meta-analysis
  • Extrapolate time-to-event data
  • Eliciting probability distributions
  • Value of information analysis

Teaching Interests

Joint-module leader of HAR6170 Medical statistics and evidence synthesis. I teach the medical statistics part of HAR6170.

PhD Supervision

I am currently co-supervising a PhD student Enass Duro with Professor Steven A Julious on non-inferiority margin setting from indirect comparison.

Please email me at s.ren@sheffield.ac.uk if you would like to consider a PhD programme, and go to the ScHARR PhD pages for more information.

Current/recent Projects

  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS): behaviour modification interventions in primary care settings
  • Infliximab, adalimumab and golimumab for treating moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis after the failure of conventional therapy: Clinical effectiveness systematic review and economic model
  • Methods for the use of non-randomised studies in evidence synthesis

Extended List of Publications

Journal articles