Dr James Martin PhD, BSc (Hons), PGCHE

Dr James Martin

Institute of Applied Health Research
Assistant Professor in Biostatistics

Contact details

Public Health Building
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

James Martin is an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics in the Institute of Applied Health Research. He is a member of the Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis, Test Evaluation and Modelling (BESTEAM) research group.

Since joining the Institute in 2012, James has been involved in many exciting projects, collaborating with other members of the BESaTE team, colleagues from the University of Birmingham and other researchers from across the globe. James also has a variety of teaching responsibilities across various courses within the College.

James’ main research interests are in designing and analysing cluster randomised trials, where he frequently provides statistical and methodological input into the design of trials. James is the trial statistician for the Gates Foundation-funded E-MOTIVE study.

James frequently sits on national and international data monitoring committees for cluster trials and is a statistical editor for PLOS ONE.

James acts as the statistical lead for the West Midlands Research Design Service, providing advice and support on health-related research proposals for national peer-reviewed funding programmes. 


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), University of Birmingham, 2020
  • PhD in Medical Statistics, University of Birmingham, 2019
  • BSc in Mathematics, University of Birmingham, 2012


James began working with the Biostatistics group within the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham in October 2015 as trial statistician for the West Midlands ActiVe lifestyle and healthy Eating in School children (WAVES) study. He then spent some time as a statistical advisor for the Research Design Service (RDS). James later became a Lecturer in Medical Statistics.

James is involved in many exciting and diverse research projects. His methodological focus is improving the design and analysis of cluster trials, of which he has supported the design and analysis of several national and international trials. His applied research covers trials, analysis of observational data, and the derivation of prognostic models. 

James has many teaching responsibilities across several courses. Mostly, James teaches statistical methodology to an audience of non-statisticians. Currently, he is involved in teaching on the Masters in Public Health (MPH) programme, co-leading the Practical Epidemiology in Statistics (PEaS) module. James also leads the statistics module on the Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) Graduate Entry Course (GEC), and the undergraduate Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) degree. James is involved in teaching at the University of Birmingham Dubai campus, and runs sessions on introductory statistics for the West Midlands research internship and pre-doctoral programme.


Postgraduate supervision

  •  Applied statistics projects
  •  Cluster trial methodology


James specialises in the design and analysis of cluster randomised trials, specifically cluster trials with multiple time-periods. James aims to find optimal designs of cluster trials as well as providing framework and guidance for future trials.

James has provided statistical and methodological input in the design of many CRTs that have been successfully funded and are now at various stages of completion. He is a co-applicant and the trial statistician for the Gates Foundation-funded E-MOTIVE study, conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. He is a co-applicant and involved in several other national and international cluster trials. James is also part of the “Cluster randomised trials including stepped wedge” research group, who have created a website to disseminate methods research for cluster trials in a accessible way for statisticians and clinicians.

James has led the analysis of observational data and led the derivation of prognostic models. The work on observational studies and prognostic modelling includes the analysis of longitudinal UK health records data and a programme of research funded by NIHR Research for Patient Benefit into the mental health of junior doctors. 

Other activities

James is a member of the RSS West Midlands Local Group


Martin JT, Hemming K, Girling A. The impact of varying cluster size in cross-sectional stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials. BMC medical research methodology. 2019 Dec;19(1):123.

Martin J, Taljaard M, Girling A, Hemming K. Systematic review finds major deficiencies in sample size methodology and reporting for stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials. BMJ Open. 2016;6(2):e010166

Martin J, Girling A, Nirantharakumar K, Ryan R, Marshall T, Hemming K. Intra-cluster and inter-period correlation coefficients for cross-sectional cluster randomised controlled trials for type-2 diabetes in UK primary care. Trials. 2016;17:402. 

Adab P, Pallan MJ, Lancashire ER, Hemming K, Frew E, Barrett T, Bhopal R, Cade JE, Canaway A, Clarke JL, Daley A, Deeks JJ, Duda JL, Ekelund U, Gill P, Griffin T, McGee E, Hurley K, Martin J, Parry J, Passmore S, Cheng KK. Effectiveness of a childhood obesity prevention programme delivered through schools, targeting 6 and 7 year olds: cluster randomised controlled trial (WAVES study). BMJ. 2018 Feb 7;360:k211.

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