Investigation and sustainable improvement of the clinical research itself

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Meta-research seeks to achieve excellent research for excellent health care with optimal use of available resources. It enables permanent learning about all questions concerning research methods and thus ensures continuous structural improvements.

For us, meta-research is an indispensable component of successful clinical research. We focus our research on the following questions: Which research methods are efficient and provide reliable and reproducible answers? What do modern approaches offer (e.g. use of clinical routine data) and how can they be optimally applied? Which research barriers exist and how can they be overcome? How can it be ensured that patients are in the foreground and that research results are optimally integrated into the care?

Research topics

Research coordination: COVID 19 and beyond


Approval & treatment with innovative therapies in oncology


Evidence-based study planning & management


Sub-group & stratified medicine


  • How credible is a subgroup effect? ICEMAN, the Instrument for assessing the Credibility of Effect Modification ANalysis
    More information

  • Sub-group analysis in clinical trials
    Information to follow

Real World Evidence, routine data & next generation of clinical trials


Concepts of Clinical Epidemiology


  • LIGHTS - LIbrary of Guidance for HealTh Scientist
    More information

  • RECORD Methods Center
    Information to follow

  • Rapid Reviews
    Information to follow

Research initiatives & networks


COVID-evidence is a continuously updated database of the worldwide available evidence on interventions for COVID-19. It provides information about worldwide planned, ongoing, and completed trials on any intervention to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2-infections. The database entries combine results from automatic search strategies combined with expert manual extraction of key trial characteristics performed in duplicate.

EU COST Action on Evidence-based Research

EVBRES (EVidence-Based RESearch) is a four year (2018-2022) EU-funded COST Action CA-17117 with over 35 countries participating globally. Matthias Briel and Lars Hemkens are the Swiss representatives in this COST Action. EVBRES promotes the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it answers the questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner and avoids redundancies (

[Translate to English:] evbres Logo

METRIC-B - Meta-Research Innovation Center Berlin

The Meta-Research Innovation Center Berlin (METRIC-Berlin), the European sister of The Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), is hosted by the Quality, Ethics, Open Science, Translation Center (QUEST) of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) based at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. METRIC-B dedicated to evaluating quality, bias, and efficiency during critical phases of the research cycle, including methods, reporting, reproducibility, evaluation, and incentives. The center takes an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to cross-fertilize ideas and resources between fields to most effectively maximise the quality and efficiency of the scientific endeavour.

Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford

The Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) is a research to action center focused on transforming research practices to improve the quality of scientific studies in biomedicine and beyond. METRICS fosters multi-disciplinary research collaborations to help produce solutions that increase the effectiveness and value of scientific investigation. By serving as a lens that both focuses and helps magnify the impact of scholars, policymakers and others working on meta-research issues, the center hopes to enhance the public discourse and advance the development of policies and practices that maximize the use of best research practice.

Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin - EbM

Das EbM-Netzwerk versteht sich als das deutschsprachige Kompetenz- und Referenzzentrum für alle Aspekte der Evidenzbasierten Medizin. Es vereint Vertreterinnen und Vertreter verschiedener Fächer, Professionen, Sektoren und Organisationen und bietet Raum für unabhängige, kritisch-wissenschaftliche Diskussionen zu allen Fragen im Zusammenhang mit einer evidenzbasierten gesundheitlichen Versorgung.

QUEST - Center for transforming biomedical research

QUEST - Quality | Ethics | Open Science | Translation

The QUEST center located at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) strives to increase the value of biomedical research by maximizing the quality, reproducibility, generalizability, and validity of research and to create an awareness of initiating a culture change in academic biomedicine.


REporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-collected Data (RECORD) is an international collaborative which will develop reporting guidelines for studies conducted using routinely-collected health data (such as health administrative data, electronic medical record data, primary care surveillance data, and disease registries).

RECORD was developed with the input from stakeholders who use routinely-collected health data, ranging from health researchers, physicians, and journal editors, all of whom hold differing specializations across all aspects of health care.

STEAM - Swiss clinical Trials Empirical Assessment and Methods Working Group

The aim of this national initiative is to facilitate and coordinate research on clinical trials in Switzerland through collaboration among interested researchers and collaboration with involved stakeholders such as swissethics, the Federal Office of Public Health, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Swiss CTU network. If you are interested in joining the STEAM working group, please find more information here or email

[Translate to English:] scto

Trial Forge Basel

Trial Forge tries to make trials more efficient by looking for marginal gains across all trial processes, from research question to how we share the results with patients and health professionals ( The Department of Clinical Research in Basel is the first Trial Forge Centre in continental Europe.

[Translate to English:] Trail Forge



Supported by

  • Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG)
  • Cochrane Schweiz
  • Deutsches Cochrane Zentrum
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • European Patients Academy for Theraputic Innovation (EUPATI)
  • German GRADE Center Freiburg
  • Gottfried und Julia Bangerter-Rhyner-Stiftung
  • McMaster Universiy, Canada
  • PhD Educational Program Health Sciences (PPHS)
  • Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)
  • swissethics
  • Swiss School of Public Health (PPHS+)
  • Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO)
  • Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klinische Krebsforschung (SAKK)
  • TrialForge
  • University of Basel