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Running randomised controlled trials in innovation, entrepreneurship and growth

By OnePlusOne, 08 August 2016

This introductory guide from Nesta has been created to help policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth understand why, when and how to do a randomised controlled trial (RCT).

This guide aims to enable readers to acquire the basic knowledge needed to understand RCTs, to understand what type of trial is best suited to address specific research questions, to understand some of the challenges that may be faced in the implementation stage, and to equip researchers with knowledge on how to best approach analysis and reporting of RCTs.

Across many fields there has been a growing understanding of the value that randomised controlled trials can bring as an effective research method to find out ‘what works’ – but Nesta argue they are still not as widely understood or used as they should be. Readers do not need in-depth methodological expertise to use this guide.

However, some familiarity with issues and challenges that might come up in RCTs is expected, along with an open and inquisitive mind. This guide is intended to equip readers with enough knowledge to allow meaningful conversations with technical experts, but also to help better design and plan RCTs. The guide also offers signposts to more specialist sources.

Read the full guide from Nesta.


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