Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions (online) (fully booked)


07/03/2023 - 15/03/2023

Organised by:

University of Glasgow


Dr Kathryn Skivington


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


Penny White

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Venue: Online


This online course will provide participants with an understanding of the complex intervention research process. Presentations and activities will relate to the main concepts of developing/identifying and evaluating complex interventions and support participants to apply the principles to their own research. It will focus on the overarching considerations required to develop complex intervention research projects, rather than the details of study design, and enable researchers to develop and conduct research that will provide the most useful evidence for decision making. The course will be structured around the MRC/NIHR Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions. There will be a mix of lectures and small group activities to put learning into practice.


The course will run from 10am-1pm each day (equating to 2.5 days of training for payment purposes) and covers:

Day 1 (7th March): Introduction to using the Framework - by the end of day 1 participants will:

  • Have an overview of the journey through complex intervention research.
  • Have an awareness of the challenges and limitations of complex intervention research.
  • Understand how to approach complex intervention research & the key overarching considerations.
  • Begin to see how you can apply the framework to your own complex intervention research.

Day 2 (8th March): Developing and identifying interventions - by the end of day 2 participants will have an understanding of:

  • What resources/steps to use in developing a complex intervention
  • How to take forward an ‘identified’ intervention
  • How to develop a programme theory and make use of it throughout the research process
  • Key issues to consider for the implementation of complex interventions

Day 3 (9th March): Feasibility research - by the end of day 3 participants will:

  • understand what feasibility studies are and why they are important ?
  • have learned how to approach designing a feasibility study?
  • have learned how the core elements can be applied at this stage ?
  • understand how feasibility study findings can inform decision about next steps?

Day 4 (14th March): Evaluation research - by the end of day 4 participants will:

  • be able to consider what complexity means for the evaluation of interventions
  • understand that a focus on usefulness of evidence requires methodological pluralism
  • have some understanding of how to choose between evaluation approaches
  • have an understanding of the six key considerations (core elements of the framework) at the evaluation stage
  • have an understanding of what economic evaluation is and why we do it
  • have an understanding of key methods/different types of economic evaluation

Day 5 (15th March): Implementation & round up - by the end of day 5 participants will:

  • be aware of framework checklist and how it can be applied
  • understand the importance of considering Implementation throughout the phases of the framework and specifically at the Implementation Phase
  • review and reinforce the key motivations and innovations of the new framework
  • be aware of research questions and methods particularly relevant to a systems perspective
  • have the opportunity to raise questions to reinforce learning and fill gaps.


Participants will need access to Zoom and another internet browser.

Participants should have some familiarity with the framework for developing and evaluating interventions, and some experience of working with complex interventions.


Essential reading:

Skivington, Matthews, Simpson et al (2021). A new framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions: update of Medical Research Council guidance BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 30 September 2021).



The fee per teaching day is £30 per day for students / £60 per day for staff working for academic institutions, Research Councils and other recognised research institutions, registered charity organisations and the public sector / £100 per day for all other participants. In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.




Evaluation Research, Frameworks for Research and Research Designs (other), Research Management and Impact (other), Intervention development research, Feasibility research, Complex intervention research

Related publications and presentations:

Evaluation Research
Frameworks for Research and Research Designs (other)
Research Management and Impact (other)

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