Dr Sandra Galvin HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network

Dr Sandra Galvin is a researcher in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in NUI Galway. She has ventured from the world of the microscopic to the world of randomised trials. Dr Galvin is the Programme Manager for the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network, led out of NUI Galway, with partner sites across five Irish Universities, all tackling the issue of improving the planning, conduct and reporting of randomised trials.

This collaborative initiative, which Sandra helped establish in 2015, has directly helped improve how randomised trials are done, by bringing the research area of trial methodology to the fore in Ireland. To date this network has provided training to over 15,000 delegates and communicates trial methodology updates to almost 4,000 followers on Twitter. Sandra has also helped establish a unique outreach competition which challenges primary School children to simulate their own randomised trials (START – Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials).

Dr Galvin holds qualifications in Microbiology (BSc) and Bacteriology (PhD), and leads the operations and strategic development of the network alongside the network Executive Management Committee and the Scientific Director Prof Declan Devane (School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway).

Our vision in the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network is to improve the quality of health care in Ireland, through the provision of efficient and relevant clinical trials.
The access to and participation in clinical trials, underpins the foundation of a progressive healthcare system. However, the conduct of trials (like other types of research) is subject to inefficiencies and waste, which can result in the best clinical evidence not being available to healthcare professionals and patients. Our network works with all stakeholder groups to ensure we can provide supports to improve how trials are being completed. We look at ways of making small changes or adjustments across all stages of the delivery of a trial and we also promote and encourage the use of more considered outcomes for how we measure clinical trials.
Our network is a national entity, which brings together five University partners under one umbrella, with a shared goal of ensuring greater collaboration and better training and education for researchers. We work to ensure their trials are conducted to a high quality standard by using the best methods possible. We believe every clinical trial presents an opportunity to improve the conduct of future trials both locally and internationally.