• Room 01.023 - Clinical Science B

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Mike is keen to hear from prospective PhD or MD students wanting to:
- investigate improving the quality and usefulness of trials and reviews;
- conduct health services research more generally; or
- conduct research relevant to humanitarian emergencies.


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Statement

Prof Clarke has 30 years experience in the rigourous evaluation of the effects of health and social care, including numerous randomised trials, systematic reviews and other prospective studies. He has been actively involved in the design, conduct, monitoring and reporting of dozens of randomised trials, including several that have recruited more than 1000 participants (in breast cancer, maternity care, poisoning and sub-arachnoid haemorrhage). He has provided detailed advice for hundreds of other trials, processed and interpreted the individual participant data (IPD) from more than a thousand trials included in systematic reviews, and assessed reports for tens of thousands more as part of initiatives to improve access to research information. His work on systematic reviews includes the collection of IPD from randomised trials across all treatments for women with breast cancer, leading to internationally-renowned reports that influence the care of millions of women worldwide.

Prof Clarke's research, coupled with more than two decades of teaching about randomised trials and systematic reviews (including establishing the relevant modules on the University of Oxford's MSc in Evidence Based Health Care) have provided him with unique insights into the evaluation of health and social care. He is building on this experience when designing and conducting research into research methodoogly, and established the SWAT and SWAR (Studies Within A Trial / Review) initiatives to facilitate this.

Prof Clarke is the Director of the Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit and the Northern Ireland Methodology Hub, and Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Methodology Review Group. He has been a leading proponent of the importance of using systematic reviews in the design and reporting of clinical trials for some time, and his work on core outcome sets (as part of the COMET Initiative) also serves to improve the quality and usefulness of trials and reviews. His research reflects his strong interest in increasing the capacity for reviews and trials, and in improving their accessibility, in particular in low- and middle-income countries. He is Podcast Editor for the Cochrane Library and a founder of Evidence Aid, seeking to make it easier to use evidence from reviews in natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies, and is the charity's Research Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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