The Experimental Design Network
A method of supporting robust and reproducible research at Oxford.
It is well established that good Experimental Design (ED) is the bedrock of robust, valid and reproducible research.
Useful training is already available (see examples below), but researchers often report difficulties in applying essential principles of ED to their specific research question. For example,
"Can I use a randomised block design in my experiment?"
"How can I power my experiment?"
"Is my design increasing the chance of finding false positives?"
These are some of the valid questions being asked that are relevant to the coal face of research and the purpose of Oxford developing the Experimental Design Network (EDN).
The EDN aims to:
- Facilitate the translation of theory to practice by harnessing the skills of the Oxford research community.
- Support staff and students who undertake In vivo, In vitro (inclusive of Organoid and Organ-On-Chip technologies), In silico and genomic research and at any stage of research planning or analysis.
This initial stage of the EDN is being funded by Research England, and piloted as part of the University-wide commitment to improving Research Culture.
If you are seeking help with your research, or you want to be part of the Network, and even help shape how it develops, please contact either:
- Dr Lola Brookes, Experimental Design Network Coordinator
- Dr Manuel Berdoy, Training Director and Lead NTCO
- Dr Chris Barkus, NC3Rs Regional Programme Manager for Oxford
Staff and students at Oxford can benefit from training offered by the University, but if you are in process of planning an experiment, here are some courses, specific to elements of experimental design:
- Experimental Design and Statistics in preclinical research: the good, the bad and the ugly!
- It is recommended that both: EU-10 & EU-11 (Design of Procedures and Projects) are completed and the corresponding Quiz undertaken.
- There are a number of e-courses and useful websites, that offer information on the different elements of ED: EQIPD, 3Rs- Reduction, EDA.
- At Oxford, if research uses animals as experimental models, or harvests animal biproducts as a means for testing research theories, the course Research Integrity: Introduction Core Course needs to be completed, and before any work is undertaken.