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Meet the Team

Research team Postgraduate students

Theme Lead

Prof Richard Lilford, Director of CLAHRC West Midlands and Theme Lead

Richard Lilford has over ten years experience as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and over five years in the Department of Health. Currently he is Chair in Public Health at the University of Warwick. He additionally holds the position of Director for Warwick Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery. Previously he was Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham, Vice-Dean for Applied Health Research and Director of the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit. He directs the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care for West Midlands (CLAHRC-WM); a NICE External Assessment Centre and is Co-Investigator on many other research grants. He also has an extensive research portfolio in Clinical Trials, Decision Analysis and Bayesian Statistics. He was a member of the Technology Strategy Board, Regenerative Medicine Mission delegation to the USA in 2010. Previous grants held include an EPSRC grant for Innovative Manufacturing: Regenerative Medicine; an EU Framework 6 grant, A Systems Approach to Tissue Engineering Processes and Products; and the Health Economic Workstream in the EPSRC Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH). His greatest interest is in research methodology and Health Economics where his special expertise lies in supply side evaluations of new technology at the idea and design stages. He is Chair of the MRC/NIHR Methodology Advisory Panel and the DH Multiple Sclerosis Risk Sharing Scheme and is a NIHR Senior Investigator.

Email: R dot J dot Lilford at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel: +44 (0)24765 75884

Dr Sam Watson

Dr Sam Watson is a Research Fellow in Health Economics working on CLAHRC Theme 6, HiSLAC, ePrescribing, and other projects at the University of Warwick. Sam obtained his BSc in Natural Sciences from the University of Bath in 2010, where he focussed on pharmacology and statistics. An MRC/ESRC/NIHR studentship to undertake a Masters in Health Economics at City University, London led him to transition from natural to social sciences. In 2011, Sam began a PhD in Health Economics at the University of Warwick, examining how the structure and function of neonatal units and broader economic conditions affect the health of newborns. Following this, Sam joined the CAHRD team as a Research Fellow in 2014.

He is currently involved in a number of projects including studying the effects of consultant presence in hospitals at the weekend (HiSLAC) and the impact of electronic prescribing systems. Sam is also working on projects looking at using observational evidence in decision making and analysis, methodological issues in biomedical research, and causal modelling and evidence synthesis.

Dr Celia Taylor

Associate Professor, Warwick Medical School

Mr Alan Girling

Alan Girling is a Reader in Medical Statistics at University of Birmingham, and is linked to Theme 6 of the CLAHRC WM. He has published research papers in Statistical Methodology, Applied Statistics and Health Economics, and has contributed to many medical research projects.

He has pursued ideas in the early-stage economic and business evaluation of medical devices, using Bayesian approaches to inform commercial development decisions. His role in MATCH (Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Health) has also entailed research collaboration and consultancy with large device manufacturers. At the same time, he continues to contribute as statistician to a number of medical studies.

Since joining the department the over-arching theme of his research has been the application of mathematics and statistics to problems related to healthcare. Within MATCH this has included papers on economic evaluation in the development cycle for innovative medical devices (with a special focus on the role of Bayesian and Options-based approaches) and on patient preference in the evaluation of optional treatments – including the “Split-Choice” model for preference weights and the “True-Choice” model for sample-size calculations.

Outside MATCH, he has worked most recently on the statistical evaluation of the Safer Patients Initiative and as a grant-holder on the HTA BALLETS study (2005-2010) of liver function tests in primary care. Further ongoing interests include: the special features and problems that arise in the evaluation of service delivery interventions; and the statistics of hospital league tables.

Dr Karla Hemming

Karla Hemming leads a research programme related to stepped wedge trials, this includes both theoretical and applied research. Karla has close links with CLAHRC WM Theme 6 and, through this collaboration, has helped establish and complete three stepped-wedge studies. Karla is affiliated with the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) and provides methodological support for the design of cluster and stepped wedge trials. Karla is known internationally as an expert in stepped-wedge trials, has been invited to speak at international conferences, sits on international data monitoring committees and receives frequent requests for advice on stepped wedge trials from around the world.

Karla sits on the NIHR program grants panel, the West Midlands Research for patient benefit funding panel; and is a statistical editor for the BJOG.


Theme 6 links


Meet the team


Theme Lead

Professor Richard Lilford, University of Warwick


  • University of Warwick
  • University of Birmingham