Training courses

There are various training courses for those considering or undertaking IPD meta-analysis projects

- runs from 8th to 10th December 2021 - more details below - and you can register here

  • We recently ran a new online 2-day training course at Keele University aimed at a broad audience: 

IPD meta-analyses: a practical introduction for healthcare research - details below and we will run again in 2022. 

Statistical methods for meta-analysis of individual participant data (online course, Keele University) 

  • DATES: December 8-10th 2021 - booking now open - please register here

  • FACULTY: Dr Joie Ensor (lead), Prof Richard Riley, Dr Miriam Hattle & Dr Brooke Levis (Keele University)

  • OVERVIEW: This three-day online statistical course provides a detailed foundation of the methods and principles for meta-analysis when IPD (Individual Participant Data) are available from multiple related studies. The course considers continuous, binary and time-to-event outcomes, and covers a variety of modelling options, including common (fixed) effect and random effects models in either a two-stage or one-stage approach.


​Days 1 and 2 mainly focus on the synthesis of IPD from randomised trials of interventions, where the aim is to summarise a treatment effect or to examine treatment-covariate interactions. We outline how to use either a two-stage framework (day 1) or a one-stage framework (day 2) for the meta-analysis, and compare their pros and cons. Day 3 focuses on novel extensions including multivariate and network meta-analysis of IPD to incorporate correlated and indirect evidence (e.g. from multiple outcomes or multiple treatment comparisons). Special topics will also be covered, including: (i) IPD meta-analysis to identify prognostic/risk factors, (ii) IPD meta-analysis of test accuracy studies; (iii) estimating the power of a planned IPD meta-analysis; and (iv) dealing with unavailable IPD. The key messages are illustrated with real examples throughout the course.


The course consists of a mixture of recorded lectures, live Q&A sessions following each lecture, and live practical sessions to reinforce the underlying statistical concepts. Participants can choose either Stata or R for the practicals, which can be done live or - as the code is already written - undertaken in participants' own time as necessary. All sessions will be recorded and made available for 2 weeks after the course, to give people flexibility. PDFs of lecture slides, plus all code and practical solutions will be available to keep for personal use.

  • TARGET AUDIENCE: The online course is aimed at individuals that want to learn how to plan and undertake an IPD meta-analysis. We recommend that participants have a background in statistics as the course assumes a good understanding of core statistical principles and topics, such as regression methods (such as linear, logistic, and Cox), parameter estimation and interpreting software output. A familiarity with traditional aggregate data (non-IPD) meta-analysis methods is advantageous, though not essential. We also recommend that participants are familiar with Stata or R, although the practicals will not require individuals to write their own code. Participants must have access to their own copy of R or Stata for undertaking the practicals. 

  • LOCATION: Online (hopefully face-to-face will return from 2022)

  • COSTS 

- Student (proof required): £399  

- Academic (public sector): £499 

- Industry (commercial): £599 

- A 10% discount is available for group bookings of 5 or more participants. 

  • BOOKING & FURTHER DETAILS:  Please register here


Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analyses: a practical introduction for healthcare research

(2-day online course, Keele University) 

  • DATES: We will run again in 2022

  • FACULTY: Dr Brooke Levis (lead), Prof Richard Riley, Dr Mel Holden, Dr Joie Ensor, Professor Danielle van der Windt, Dr Miriam Hattle (plus guest speakers)

  • OVERVIEW: The 2-day course will use a combination of talks, interactive activities, external speakers, and one-to-one ‘meet the expert sessions’ to improve your knowledge and skills in the design and practical delivery of IPD meta-analyses. It will cover the steps involved and help you decide whether an IPD meta-analysis is likely to be worth the investment. Whilst examples will focus on clinical trials, the course will also be relevant for other types of IPD meta-analyses. Specific topics to be included in the course are:

- The what, why and when of IPD meta-analyses

- Selection and retrieval of IPD

- Issues involved in data transfer, cleaning, and harmonization

- Quality and risk of bias assessments

- Statistical approaches to IPD meta-analysis

- Power calculations

- The role of patient and public involvement

- Reporting and dissemination

A provisional time-table is available here

  • LOCATION: Online

  • TARGET AUDIENCE: This course is intended for a broad audience of statisticians and non-statisticians, including healthcare researchers, study/data managers, funders, journal editors, clinicians, students, and others who are involved in the delivery, appraisal, and/or interpretation of IPD meta-analyses.

  • COSTS: £299 students, £399 public sector, £499 private sector

  • MORE DETAILS: We will run again in 2022

- to be added to the waiting list, please email the course leader, Dr Brooke Levis.


Meta-analysis of Individual Participant Data (IPD) from intervention studies (Utrecht University) 

  • DATES: to be announced


  • FACULTY: Thomas Debray, Carl Moons, Hans Reitsma & Valentijn de Jong (Utrecht University)

  • OVERVIEW: In this two-day workshop participants learn to synthesize the evidence from multiple studies assessing the comparative efficacy between two interventions. Participants will get familiar with the advantages of obtaining IPD, and discuss the characteristics, advantages and limitations of various meta-analysis methods to summarize estimates of treatment effect, quantify between-study heterogeneity and identify moderators of treatment effect. Participants will be introduced into the principles of meta-analysis, so that they are able to
    understand and interpret meta-analysis results.

  • TARGET AUDIENCE: The workshop is directed to review authors, statisticians, healthcare workers, clinicians, researchers, guideline developers and policy makers, who wish to know more about when and how to perform, and how to assess the validity of meta-analyses with IPD. Participants must have basic knowledge about the principles of intervention research and the conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Computer exercises will be done using the free statistical software R. Although knowledge of basic R commands is desired, syntax code will be provided to replicate all analyses. Participants are asked to bring their own laptop with R installed (detailed guidance will be provided later).

  • COSTS 

- to be announced. 


Systematic reviews and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) 

  • DATES: 27 June to 1st July 2022

  • FACULTY: Hans Reitsma (lead) (Utrecht University)

  • OVERVIEW: This course will introduce participants to the fundamental statistical methods and principles for evidence synthesis and meta-analysis when IPD (Individual Participant/Patient Data) are available from multiple related studies. The course will consider continuous, binary and time-to-event outcomes, and both fixed-effect and random-effects meta-analysis models. Day 1 will focus mainly on the general rationale and advantages of IPD meta-analysis.  Day 2 will focus on the synthesis of IPD from randomised trials of interventions, where the aim is to quantify a treatment effect (usually in the presence of between-study heterogeneity) or to identify treatment effect modifiers (interactions) for stratified medicine. Day 3 will focus on key differences and potential objectives of IPD meta-analysis of observational studies, where the aim is to identify prognostic factors or to develop/validate a risk prediction (prognostic) model.  Day 4 will focus on statistical methods for developing and validating risk prediction models in IPD meta-analysis. On Day 5, students will prepare a protocol for a case study and discuss this with their peers. The key messages will be illustrated with real examples throughout, and participants will conduct a variety of IPD analyses within R, to practice the key methods and reinforce the learning points. 

  • LOCATION: University Medical Center Utrecht

  • TARGET AUDIENCE: We expect participants to have a basic knowledge about the principles of intervention research, diagnostic research, prognostic research, systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Furthermore, basic knowledge of R is helpful (but not required).