Methods for Design of Applied Clinical Research

Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 15,16,18 and 19 January 2024

In Brief

Type of education: Course
Starting date: 
15 January 2024
Course dates: 15,16,18 and 19 January 2024
English (Dutch in case of 100% Dutch speaking participants)
4 days
€1295,- (lunch included) / reduced fee for PhD students: €995,-
Epidemiology, research methodology, health, care and wellbeing; 
End result: 
Certificate (Exam is optional)
Radboudumc, Nijmegen
Coordinators and teachers:
dr. Femke Atsma and dr. Femmie de Vegt
Online or live:

New application deadline: 1 January 2024


Are you involved in clinical research and would you like to increase your knowledge of epidemiology and research methodology? A sound methodology is crucial for obtaining valid results. This course focusses on the design of scientific research. Topics include developing the research question, choosing appropriate designs and study samples, types of biases and causality. In this unique course, we provide tools to optimize your study design and data collection, and to critically reflect on scientific publications.

Target audience

This course aims at PhD students, healthcare professionals (nurses, physicians and paramedics), policy makers and all who are involved in clinical research and want to extend their knowledge about research methodology.


The course consists of four days. Each day a different research topic is discussed. The course consists of interactive lectures, combined with short individual and group assignments. Under supervision of experienced epidemiologists, you will learn to apply the information to scientific papers and your own practical situation. In addition, you will have the opportunity to consult the teachers and to refine the methodology of your own research.

Topics per day:

Day 1: Assessing rationale, research question/PICO, target population, study population, data collection
Day 2: Designs for randomized and non-randomized clinical trials (such as two-armed trials, stepped-wedge trials, case-crossover trials, before-after designs, interrupted time series) 
Day 3: Designs for observational research and sampling methods (such as case-control studies, cohort studies, case-cohort studies, nested case-control studies, exclusive sampling, inclusive sampling, density sampling)
Day 4: Validity and main and subtypes of different biases, various models for causality

Learning goals

  • To identify and describe a population based health problem and research question in clinical settings.
  • To choose the appropriate study population and data collection methods that fits the research question.
  • To understand various types of randomized and non-randomized clinical trials and to choose the appropriate design for a specific research question.
  • To understand about different types of observational studies and to choose the appropriate design for a specific research question.
  • To understand sampling methods to select the appropriate study population that fits the study design.
  • To understand different types of biases and to learn about methods to minimize biases.
  • To explain and apply different models for causality.

End result

  • Certificate 
  • Study load will be 1.0 EC.
  • Performing an exam is optional. In this case the study load will be 1.5 EC.
  • Examination is scheduled two weeks after the course: 2 February 2024


Course coordinators / teachers

Dr. Femke Atsma, epidemiologist B / methodologist

Femke is an experienced epidemiologist with extensive knowledge of research methodology and statistics. As a methodological advisor she is involved in all kinds of research at Radboud university medical center. In addition, she provides epidemiological and methodological education to students of biomedical sciences. As a researcher, she conducts studies into the quality of care, appropriate care and the implementation of health innovations and supervises various PhD students.

Femke: "Formulating a  good research question is key in designing your research."


Dr. Femmie de Vegt, associate professor of epidemiology education

Femmie is associate professor and principal lecturer of epidemiology education. She is educator and coordinator in several courses on epidemiology and research methodology in the bachelor and master curricula of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine in the Radboudumc. Femmie is involved in epidemiological and educational research, focusing on lifestyle & prevention, and on the integration of patient- and population research in (bio-)medical curricula.

Femmie: "A well-designed research study leads to optimized data collection and valid results."


Practical information

Data: 15, 16, 18, 19 January 2024. (Optional exam on 2 February 2024).
Costs: €1295,- (lunch included) / reduced fee for PhD students: €995,-.
Location: Nijmegen

More information?
Contact Femke Atsma or Femmie de Vegt, or subscribe with the button below:

>>> New application deadline: 1 January 2024
>>> Our terms and conditions.

Next edition
If you would like to stay informed about the next course in January 2025, please pass this on with the button below. We will then send you the new schedule as soon as it becomes available.