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An estimated 85% of research is wasted; this is usually a result of asking the wrong research questions, flawed methodology, lack of publication or poor reporting. This not only diminishes the value of research but causes substantial financial loss. Many of the reasons for research waste are simple issues that we can solve; examples include appropriate randomisation, blinding where possible and working together to design trial effectively and efficiently.

Groups and collaborators across academia are making a concerted effort to reduce research waste; the REWARD campaign and the EQUATOR Network are two examples. This year REWARD has partnered with the EQUATOR Network to host the REWARD/EQUATOR conference.

The REWARD (REduce research Waste And Reward Diligence) campaign is an extension of The Lancet’s 2014 series on Research: increasing value, reducing waste; you can view this series online here: Progress since the publication of this series will be celebrated, and an action plan for the future will be developed at the conference. Trial Forge is a supporting partner of the REWARD campaign.

The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network is an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of reporting guidelines. The network has centres across the UK, France and Canada, and has worked to produce reporting guidelines covering randomised trials, observational studies, systematic reviews and much more.

The conference, taking place between 28th and 30th September 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland, will focus on combining the themes and values of EQUATOR and REWARD to review the progress made by researchers, funders and other stakeholders in increasing value and reducing waste in biomedical research. The conference will also play host to numerous speakers and presentations allowing attendees to understand what they can do to alleviate waste within their own research fields going forward.

Trial Forge founder Professor Shaun Treweek will be attending the conference and has been asked to give two presentations.

The first takes place on Tuesday 29th September as part of the ‘Researchers and Regulators’ Stakeholder Plenary and will give a broad introduction to the Trial Forge project as a whole, what we hope to achieve through the work of Trial Forge, and ways to work with us to make trials more efficient.  The second will be in the ‘Top scoring submissions’ session on Wednesday 30th September, where Shaun will focus on reducing waste through better trial design; emphasising use of the PRECIS-2 tool.

If you can’t make the conference and would like to know more about Trial Forge, the video below is a great starting point:

To see the full REWARD/EQUATOR conference programme please follow this link.

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