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Past Events


EViR Webinar – Core Outcome Sets in Medical Research

Core outcome sets helps researchers to measure a consistent set of outcomes in studies of a health condition. This webinar will allow members to learn more and discussion about the need for core outcome sets.

Presenter – Paula Williamson (MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership, Department of Health Data ScienceUniversity of Liverpool, UK)

This meeting is for EViR members only, please contact the secretariat if you would like to discuss your membership.

  1. Introduction to COS and relevance to funders – Paula Williamson
  2. Uptake of COS in NIHR applications – Karen Hughes
  3. Uptake of COS in HRB applications – Declan Devane
  4. Uptake of COS in DFG applications – Stephanie Deckert
  5. General discussion – Paula Williamson and audience

Presenting Organisation

COMET Initiative,, brings together people interested in the development and application of agreed standardised sets of outcomes, known as ‘core outcome sets’ (COS). These sets represent the minimum that should be measured and reported in all clinical trials of a specific condition, but COS are also suitable for use in routine care, clinical audit and research other than randomised trials.

COMET aims to collate and stimulate relevant resources, both applied and methodological, to facilitate exchange of ideas and information, and to foster methodological research in this area. In particular, COMET has provided a unique, publicly available, searchable repository of core outcome sets (COS). Importantly, the cataloguing of published COS is kept up to date by the COMET team through annual systematic review updates of the literature in addition to SCOPUS alerts and notifications from COS developers. Prospective registration and inclusion of ongoing COS projects allows groups working in similar areas to be connected with each other, to reduce unnecessary duplication.


  • Paula Williamson, Professor of Biostatistics, University of Liverpool, UK.

Paula Williamson is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Liverpool. Her research programme has focussed on several aspects of evidence-based medicine (EBM) including clinical trials, meta-analysis, health outcome selection, and reducing waste in research. She was appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2014, gave the Bradford Hill Lecture in 2017, and was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) in 2018, and to AMS Council in 2021.

She chaired the MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research, 2008-2018, led a successful bid for a new MRC Trials Methodology Research Partnership from 2019, bringing together major organisations and 25 UK universities. She leads an MRC Doctoral Training Programme in Trials Methodology across 12 Research Organisations.

Paula co-founded the global COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) Initiative in 2010, to improve the quality and relevance of health research to decision makers including patients, health professionals, regulators and policymakers. COMET was the winner of the international Cochrane-REWARD prize in 2017 for reducing waste in research.

  • Karen Hughes, Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Health Data Science working on methods to assess and improve uptake of core outcome sets. Karen is a member of the COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) Initiative, MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership Outcomes Working Group and its Core Outcome Set subgroup and the HDS Early Career Researcher Lead.
  • Declan Devane, Professor of Health Research Methodology, University of Galway

Declan trained as a nurse and a midwife before becoming hooked on trials methodology and evidence synthesis. His work now focusses on a blend across randomised trials and synthesising evidence across a number of clinical areas.

Declan is the Chair in Health Research Methodology and Deputy Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Galway. He is also the Scientific Director of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Director of Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Director of Cochrane Ireland.

  • Stefanie Deckert, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden. Research associate at the Center for Evidence-Based Health Care (ZEGV), University Hospital and Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden


  • Understanding of the results from evaluations of the impact of funders’ guidance on COS uptake.
  • Greater awareness of funders’ perspectives with respect to the use of core outcome sets.
  • Appreciation of the need for research to identify effective evidence-based strategies to increase COS uptake
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