Education & Training

Essentials of Clinical Research Course

The Essentials of Clinical Research course is designed for faculty and staff engaged in clinical research at Stanford and will consist of 10 sessions. The course introduces attendees to basic principles of clinical research design, including biostatistics; design and interpretation of diagnostic and predictive test studies; required and desired elements of clinical trial protocols. The course will also introduce regulatory aspects of clinical research conduct and oversight, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), and ethical dimensions of clinical research.

Sessions are held on Thursdays from 3:30 – 5:30 pm beginning January 9 through March 12, 2020.

For more information regarding course content, instructors, and logistics download the course syllabus:

Course Details

This course provides a step-by-step model for how to design and conduct clinical research. Session topics include the following:

  • Getting Started: The Research Landscape
  • Designing and Conducting RCTs
  • Designing and Conducting Observational Studies
  • Design of Diagnostic Studies
  • Qualitative Research and Questionnaire Design
  • Research Reproducibility, Data Management and Collection
  • Ethics and Clinical Research
  • Developing a Clinical Protocol
  • Running a Clinical Trial
  • Trial Closeout


Sessions taught by Stanford faculty and staff who are experts in the field of clinical research.

Upon course completion, attendees will have an understanding of how to:

(1) design and analyze clinical research protocols
(2) comply with “Good Clinical Practice” guidelines for study conduct, data management, and relevant regulations, and
(3) apply the principles and practices underlying ethical and reproducible research.

Certificate of Completion

A Certificate of Completion will be presented to those who meet the following requirements:

  • Attend a minimum of 8 sessions
  • Complete a minimum of 8 session evaluations
  • Take post-course knowledge assessment