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Working Group: Randomized Trials and Observational Data: Harnessing the Best of Two Worlds (Day 2)

October 7 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

“Randomized Trials and Observational Data: Harnessing the Best of Two Worlds”


Join via Zoom


One type of experimental data, the randomized controlled trial (RCT) data is often regarded as the “gold standard” of causal inference in health sciences, and are increasingly common in other fields. They allow for an unbiased estimate of an intervention’s causal impact. However, RCT sample sizes are often small and the results can be too imprecise to guide decision making. Observational studies, by contrast, offer much larger sample sizes, but may suffer confounding.  

In many cases, experimental and observational data exist side by side (such as patient record data vs. trial data; student record data vs. intervention data; convenience sample vs. representative sample).  This working group focuses on methodological issues for integrating “big observational data” with “small but high-quality experimental data” to get the best of both worlds.  Attendees will discuss issues such as data access, data linkage, transfer learning, treating subgroups, improving trial design and external validity.

We welcome all faculty members interested in these topics.  The focus of the discussion will be organically decided by the participants.  Through these discussions, we hope to foster ideas and collaboration that will lead to improved projects and new grants.


Working Group leader: Johann Gagnon-Bartsch, Assistant Professor – Department of Statistics


Day 1 (10/2/2020, 11:00am):

  • Johann Gagnon-Bartsch, Assistant Professor – Department of Statistics
  • Xu Shi, Assistant Professor – Department of Biostatistics

Day 2 (10/7/2020, 3:00pm):

  • Chris Gillies, Assistant Research Scientist – Emergency Medicine
  • Danny Almirall, Research Associate Professor – Survey Research Center
  • Steven Taylor, Masters Student – Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health

Day 3 (10/9/2020, 11:00am):

  • Christina Weiland, Associate Professor – School of Education


October 7
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm