CEBM Research

October 30, 2017

Our vision is to be a global source of high quality evidence, on which clinical decisions can be reliably based.

To achieve this vision we will:

  • Generate and synthesise high-quality evidence that benefits patients and society.
  • Improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of common primary care conditions.
  • Build innovative tools to increase the impact of healthcare data in the real world.
  • Deliver timely, innovative, and relevant outputs that directly affect policy and affect practice.  
  • Develop tools and materials for the general public to better understand research evidence and healthcare findings.
  • Build research capacity by supporting the next generation of research leaders.

Research pedigree

For over 20 years, the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine has been dedicated to conducting research for the benefit of patients, providers, and society.  Over 20 individuals work in the Centre, with diverse backgrounds, including clinicians, methodologists, statisticians, and research administrators. We also have a global network of international research collaborators, supporting the delivery of our vision, from Europe, Africa, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and India. What unites them is a collective endeavour to provide high-quality evidence, on which clinical decisions can be reliably based.

We are based in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Our institution is ranked number one in the world university rankings and our department is ranked number one in the UK for the quality of its research.

 Research philosophy

We align our research with the principles outlined in the EBM Manifesto.

In our research we seek to:

  • involve patients, health professionals, and policy makers in the prioritisation, design, implementation, and dissemination of our results;
  • prioritise systematic reviews and synthesis of existing evidence;
  • be relevant, replicable, and accessible to identified end users;
  • question clinical and research practices that may introduce biases, including research methods, scientific reporting, and conflicts of interests;
  • apply world-leading expertise in research that underpins regulations of medications and devices;
  • produce high-quality research that supports patient-focused clinical guidelines;
  • support quality improvement in existing research methods and introducing innovative methods;
  • share expertise and support the next generation of EBM research leaders.

Research Areas

The outputs from CEBMR emerge from six clinical areas:


CEBMR Focuses On:

Therapeutic interventions

  • Improving the quality, reliability, and accessibility of the evidence that underpins medications, devices, operations, and other therapeutic interventions
  • Exposing and challenging healthcare claims and regulatory failings that prioritise commercial interests over the interests of the public
  • Improving understanding, transparency, and reporting of harms from medicines and other therapeutic interventions


  • Generating knowledge to reduce the global burden of noncommunicable diseases
  • Improving and implementing the evidence base for lifestyle changes and physical activity in healthcare settings
  • Protecting patients from the harms of multimorbidity


  • Improving the evidence base that informs how we routinely diagnose and screen conditions in clinical care
  • Identifying and assessing new diagnostic technologies
  • Preventing the harms of too much medicine

Global Health Services

  • Improving the delivery, evaluation, and outcomes of health services
  • Working with commissioners, guideline developers, and policy makers to ensure that the delivery of healthcare is evidence based
  • Supporting the delivery of evidence-based healthcare in low- and middle-income countries and in humanitarian needs

Communicating evidence

  • Building evidence-based products and tools to help patients, providers, and academics communicate evidence better
  • Supporting the improved communication of cardiovascular risks
  • Exploring how evidence can be used by school children

Big Data

  • The EBM Data Lab identifies and implements ways in which data can be used to build working, useful products that change healthcare for the better 
  • Using existing data sets to answer challenging questions in real world settings
  • Using available data and audit to address key issues in evidence-based healthcare

Research methods

We use applied and translational research methods to generate new knowledge, in order to inform healthcare decision making. Furthermore, we use our skills and expertise to identify, develop, and appropriately apply existing and new research methods, to achieve our vision.

Examples of the research methods we use include:

  • Systematic reviews and evidence synthesis
  • Quantitative methods, including clinical trials, Diagnostic Test Accuracy, and Clinical audit
  • Data mining
  • Mixed methods, combining quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Meta-epidemiology
  • Investigative epidemiology
  • Data visualisation
  • Data Coding

Research funding

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine currently receives no core funding.

Like most academic organisations, we fund the majority of our research from grants won through open competition.

We neither seek nor accept funding for our research from pharmaceutical companies or other private enterprises with relevant conflicts of interest.



One comment on “CEBM Research

  1. MoreTrials: A public campaign to make it much easier to do randomised trials in medicine
    Decisions about our health should, wherever possible, be based upon reliable evidence from randomised trials. Over
    the last 25 years in medicine, it has become increasingly more difficult to do trials with them becoming overly
    complex and ever more costly. As a result, many trials don’t get done (often for cost reasons), many trials get started
    but not completed (because they are too complex) and many trials produce results that are not reliable (because the
    number of patients studied is too small). It is all a bit of a mess.
    This situation is largely the result of poor regulation and related bureaucracy. One regulation is the main cause of the
    problems and it is called the International Council on Harmonisation guideline on Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP). It
    is no coincidence that ICH-GCP was first introduced around 25 years ago. ICH-GCP has two fundamental problems;
    firstly, it focuses on operational detail (it is over 60 pages) rather than high-level principles; and secondly, the
    principles it does set out are not the key principles to do a randomised trial well. The reason behind this is that when
    ICH-GCP was created trialists in universities were not included in the development. ICH-GCP was originally developed
    for industry trials completed to support new drug approvals, but it is now applied much more widely with ICH-GCP
    being a barrier to innovation in both industry- and academic-sponsored trials. The regulation is also applied to both
    trials done in high-income and middle-/low-income countries.
    ICH are currently updating GCP, but unfortunately they are making the same mistakes again by excluding key
    stakeholders, which includes patient groups, non-commercial funders as well as academic trialists. The “expert
    working group” it has created only draws its membership from ICH members, limited to drug regulators and the
    pharmaceutical industry and no information has been made available on the actual experience in doing trials that
    members of the group have.
    MoreTrials offers an alternative. Over the last three years, we have brought together over 260 leading trialists from
    35 countries (including Sir Iain Chalmers and Dr Ben Goldacre) and also have the support of a number of leading
    research organisations which includes the European Society of Cardiology, the EORTC and the Biomedical Alliance in
    Europe. Through our efforts, theWellcome Trust, the Gates Foundation and the African Academy of Sciences have
    recently announced a new joint initiative to develop new trial guidelines in an open and transparent manner.
    We now want to extend the MoreTrials collaboration to more professional societies and patient groups and invite
    you to join us. To join or for more information either reply to this message by email to
    or visit .
    Thank you.
    Tim Sprosen
    Associate Professor
    University of Oxford

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