Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials


Stanford School of Medicine



This course focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of clinical research and the practical aspects of conducting clinical trials: the rationale for design features of Phase I, II, and III trials, recruitment of participants, techniques for randomization, data collection and endpoints, interim monitoring, and results reporting. Experts will deliver lectures on such topics as pitfalls in design and interpretation, missing data, nonpharmacological trials, and clinical trials involving medical devices. Students will prepare a full proposal for an original clinical trial, using the NIH Research Project (R01) grant format, and will critique proposals of fellow students in a mock study section setting.

This class is credit/no credit. For it to count towards the certificate, you must earn credit.

NOTE: This course updated its course number from HRP251


EPI225 (formerly HRP225) and EPI259 (formerly HRP259); or prior equivalent course background (with permission of the instructor)

Topics include

  • Introduction to clinical trials
  • Overview of phase I and II trials
  • Interventions, participants, and outcomes
  • Basic trial designs
  • Sample size and power
  • Early phase trials
  • Adaptive trials
  • Handling missing data
  • Recruitment, retention, and adherence
  • Data analysis overview
  • Interim monitoring, statistical issues
  • Interim monitoring, data monitoring committees
  • Pragmatic trials; multicenter trials
  • Comparative effectiveness trials; point-of-care trials
  • Pitfalls in design and interpretation
  • Clinical trials involving medical devices
  • Mock study section overview and sessions


Course Availability

The course schedule is displayed for planning purposes – courses can be modified, changed, or cancelled. Course availability will be considered finalized on the first day of open enrollment. For quarterly enrollment dates, please refer to our graduate education section.

Pre-register Now

Dates:March 29 - June 4, 2021
Units: 3.00
Delivery Option:
For Credit $4,056.00
Notes: Pre-registration Dates: February 1, 2021 at 9:00am to March 12, 2021 at 5:00pm

Pre-registration for this course will secure your enrollment request and ensure timely processing of your application for potential course approval. Please note: course enrollment will be confirmed after March 19, 2021; after completing your pre-registration, no further action is required on your part.


This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.