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Delivering complex and innovative trials podcast collection


01 December 2021





These podcasts aim to inform, educate and answer the common questions around the management and delivery of complex and innovative design (CID) trials. They are presented by a range of experts including experienced researchers, patients, ethic committee members and more.  To find out more about how the NIHR supports complex and innovative design trials, visit the NIHR website:

Clinicians in conversation podcast series (2021/2022)

CLARITY IBD: Pragmatic pointers from a trial delivered in a pandemic
Professor Tariq Iqbal, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Gastroenterology and Dr Tariq Ahmad, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Chief Investigator of CLARITY IBD

Professor Tariq Iqbal talks to PDr Tariq Ahmad about CLARITY IBD, the most important gastroenterology study undertaken during the recent COVID pandemic.

In this episode they discuss how this pragmatic trial adopted an agile approach to rapidly answer a key question: Do common immunosuppressants used to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) reduce the effectiveness of COVID19 vaccines? They also explain how this study, which involves almost 7,000 participants from 92 UK hospitals, was set up and recruited to at an unprecedented speed.

Clinicians in Conversation INTEGRATE UK: Harnessing the power of the UK collaborative research culture

In this episode you will hear from the national trainee leads for Ear, Nore and Throat (ENT); Jameel Muzzaffar, Rishi Mandavia and Matthew Smith - who is also the co-founder of the INTEGRATE UK Trainee Network. They explain how using an innovative and efficient way of working, devised in the UK, they are able to help answer key research questions in ENT with minimal resources. They showcase the SEASHELL study a national multi-center cohort study of patients with sudden onset central hearing loss in the NHS which as recruited over 650 patients at 75 sites with very little funding.

They also about how the NIHR and the INTEGRATE network provides opportunities for trainees to gain vaulable experience in delivering and coordinating clinical research and helps to develop the next generation of ENT researchers.

Perspectives from the pandemic (2021)

Pre-pandemic perspectives (2020)

An introduction to complex and innovative clinical trials
Emma Lowe, Department of Health and Social Care

Emma Lowe talks to Professor Allan Gaw about the design and delivery of complex and innovative design clinical trials.

In this episode they discuss what the term 'complex innovative design' (or CID) means in relation to clinical research. Emma explains that it focuses on 'how the research is done' as opposed to 'why it is being done'. She also highlights some of the benefits of delivering research in new and innovative ways, compared to the traditional randomised controlled trial (RCT).

The Life Sciences Sector Deal published on 5 December 2018 sets out the Government’s commitment to consolidate the UK as a world-leader in delivering complex and innovative trials. In relation to this, Emma describes some of the activities undertaken by the NIHR to:

  • showcase UK expertise in designing and delivering complex and innovative design trials and;
  • promote understanding of complex and innovative design trials across the UK clinical research workforce.

Listen to the podcast with Emma Lowe

Transcript of podcast with Emma Lowe

How can Complex Innovative Design (CIDs) trials speed up the drug development pathway for immuno-oncology drugs?
Sarah Blagden, Associate Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Oxford

Sarah Blagden talks to Professor Allan Gaw about why she co-led a paper outlining 10 consensus statements offering guidance to the clinical research community on the design and conduct of Complex Innovative Design (CID) trials.

She explains how these types of trials can speed up the drug development pathway and help to clear the backlog of of immuno-oncology drugs that are waiting to be tested, enabling cutting edge treatments can be offered to patients sooner. Sarah also describes why she thinks the UK is ideally positioned to conduct CID studies.

Listen to the podcast with Sarah Blagden

Transcript of podcast with Sarah Blagden

Better data equals better research equals better health care
Catey Bunce, Medical statistician

Catey Bunce talks to Professor Allan Gaw about the challenges and opportunities presented by #ComplexInnovativeDesign trials from a statistician's perspective.

As these trials typically answer multiple research questions, Catey explains why statistician needs to think critically about how to navigate the study so that it answers the questions without increasing the chance of a falsely significant result or even a falsely non significant result. 

Listen to the podcast with Catey Bunce

Transcript of podcast with Catey Bunce

The advantages of the adaptive platform trial design
David Seabag Montefiore, Professor of Clinical Oncology and Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Professor David Seabag Montefiore talks to Professor Allan Gaw about the advantages of the platform trial design.

He zooms in on the PLATO trial (PersonaLising Anal cancer radioTherapy dOse) explaining how a traditional approach would have required three separate clinical trial proposals, three separate applications, and three separate trials with three separate teams to manage them. In contrast, the platform approach enabled one research team to answer multiple research questions within one overarching trial platform.

Listen to the podcast with David Seabag Montefiore

Transcript of podcast with David Seabag Montefiore

Podcasts produced by the HRA

The NIHR collaborated with the Health Research Authority (HRA) to create the podcast series: Effective trial planning and design of Complex Innovative Design (CID) trials. Further podcasts are available on the HRA Soundcloud page:

More info

Learn more about how the NIHR has been supporting the delivery of novel, complex and innovative clinical trials.