Module 6 Leadership in Clinical Research

Clinical Research and the successful management of clinical trials are complex undertakings that can require input from multiple stakeholders and specialities. This module explores organisational theory and leadership frameworks as they apply to those seeking to have positions of responsibility in clinical research (Principal Investigator, Project Managers etc) which is a vital part of our Research Masters.

The module content will be based on evidence-based theories of leadership and organisational development in the context of clinical research.

Principal module aims

This module enables students to:

  • Critically evaluate their understanding of the key principles of leadership.

  • Consider different organisational structures and their appropriateness to different clinical research projects.

  • Analyse theories of organisational culture and understand how to best approach change.

  • Consider the value of mentoring in the context of clinical research.

  • Apply leadership and management frameworks in different clinical research contexts.

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop a critical and analytical approach to leadership in a clinical research setting.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of key theories of how organisational structure, behaviour and culture develop with reference to clinical research settings.

3. Evaluate theories of mentorship, the influence of mentorship in clinical research settings and how research mentoring differs from career mentoring.

4. Evaluate key theories of motivation with a particular reference to clinical research settings.

5. Appraise theories of change management as they relate to a clinical organisational context.

6. Demonstrate critical self-evaluation of their roles and skills as leaders and team members, through detailed understanding of relevant theoretical models and engagement with relevant leadership competency tools and frameworks.

Teaching Topics

The outline syllabus gives an indication of the sort of topics that will be covered in the module.

1. Effective clinical leadership

2. Organisation behaviour and organisation culture.

3. Motivating successful and productive teams

4. Mentorship in clinical research.

5. Change management in healthcare organisations

6.  Ethical issues in clinical leadership.


Leadership Presentation (30%)

A 10-minute pre-recorded presentation on clinical leadership.

Students identify an area for development within their organisational context, related to models of motivation, mentorship or change management and develop an evidence-based plan that could be used to enhance their organisation, demonstrating a theoretical understanding of organisational structure, leadership and their ability to apply this in context.

Leadership in Clinical Research (70%)

A 3,000-word critical essay, demonstrating critical evaluation of:

  • Appropriate organisational theories relevant to a specific clinical research project

  • Leadership theories and frameworks as the apply in the context of a specific research project


Research Project – Poster Presentation (20%)

Research Project – 4,000 word journal article (80%)