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Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) act as an efficient and effective UK-wide network for delivering pioneering, early-phase cancer trials, bringing together world-leading laboratory and clinical researchers to test new treatments for adults and children with cancer.

    Economic analysis

    Comparison of the relationship between costs and outcomes of alternative healthcare interventions.

      Edited Collection

      A collection of scholarly or scientific chapters written by different authors. The chapters in an edited volume are original works (not republished works).

        Effect size

        A generic term for the estimate of treatment effect for a study.


          The extent to which an intervention produces a beneficial result under ideal conditions. Clinical trials that assess efficacy are sometimes called explanatory trials.

            Eligibility criteria

            The key standards that people who want to participate in a clinical study must meet or the characteristics that they must have. These include inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria. For example, a study might only accept participants who are above or below certain ages.


              The European Medicines Agency: a body of the European Union which has responsibility for the protection and promotion of public health through the evaluation and supervision of medicines for human use.

                Emancipatory research

                With emancipatory research, people who use services, rather than professional researchers, have control of the whole research process. They plan and undertake the research, and interpret the findings. The main aim is always to empower people and improve people’s lives. ‘Professional’ researchers may be brought in as advisers or have specified roles within the project.


                  A period during which access to scholarly work is restricted to those who have paid for access.


                    Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, one of the NIHR programmes. The EME Programme funds research which aims to establish definitive proof of clinical efficacy. Studies may also include embedded mechanistic studies which will add to our understanding of biological or behavioural mechanisms.


                      This is the process by which people who use services equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to be able to take control over decisions and resources. It often involves people building confidence in their own strengths and abilities. It does not always mean people take control over all decisions or all resources.


                        Ways in which research can be shared with the public in a two-way process. Engagement encourages researchers to listen and interact with the general public, for example, via science festivals, open days, media coverage.


                          The act of admitting a participant into a trial. Participants should be enrolled only after study personnel have confirmed that all the eligibility criteria have been met. Formal enrolment must occur before randomised assignment.


                            The study of population and community health, not just individuals.


                              A state of uncertainty where a person believes it is equally likely that either of two treatment options is better.


                                Ethics are a set of principles that guide researchers who are carrying out research with people. Ethical principles are designed to protect the safety, dignity, rights and well-being of the people taking part. They include the requirement to ask each individual to give their informed consent to take part in a research project.

                                  Ethics committees

                                  The job of an ethics committee is to make sure that research carried out respects the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of the people who take part. Increasingly ethics committee approval is needed for health and social care research. Ethics committee members include researchers and health care professionals as well as members of the public.

                                    Europe PMC

                                    A permanent, free-to-access online digital repository which contains full-text preprints and peer-reviewed life sciences publications.It is hosted by European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute, and is partnered with PubMed Central.


                                      This involves assessing whether an intervention (for example a treatment, service, project, or programme) is achieving its aims. A project can be evaluated as it goes along or right at the end. An evaluation can measure how well the project is being carried out as well as its impact. The results of evaluations can help with decision-making and planning.

                                        Evaluative research

                                        Evaluative research seeks to assess or judge in some way, providing useful information about something which cannot be gleaned by mere observation or investigation of relationships.

                                          Evidence base

                                          An evidence base is a collection of all the research currently available about a health or social care topic, such as how well a treatment or a service works. This evidence is used by health and social care professionals to make decisions about the services that they provide and what care or treatment to offer people who use services.

                                            Evidence synthesis

                                            Evidence synthesis involves the development of techniques to combine multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative data to derive best evidence for use in healthcare.

                                              Exclusion criteria

                                              Specific criteria which are defined within the study protocol that expressly exclude specific individuals from participating in a study. The reasons for considering exclusion can range from safety issues, potential difficulties in management of particular participants or the need to control variables within the study. Exclusion criteria must always be defended ethically to guard against discrimination.

                                                Experimental research

                                                This type of research allows researchers to explore cause and effect. For example, experimental research would be used to see whether a new drug is effective in reducing blood pressure. The research design (in this example a randomised controlled trial) will tell the researcher whether any reduction in blood pressure is definitely due to the drug.

                                                  Experts by experience

                                                  The term ‘experts by experience’ refers to service users and carers, who are experts through their experience of illness or disability and services.