On completion of a Master’s degree in 1993 Dr Brookes was appointed as a medical statistician within (what was formally known as) the School of Social & Community Medicine at the University of Bristol. During her time at Bristol, Dr Brookes' research focussed on the conduct and methodological development of pragmatic randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in health care contexts. Dr Brookes' research considered all stages of the RCT, from initial trial design and questionnaire development to the conduct and interpretation of analyses and dissemination; she had a particular focus in trial outcomes and core outcome sets.
Dr Brookes was a founding member of the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration (BRTC), and a co-applicant and joint theme lead within the ConDuCT-II Hub (Collaboration and Innovation for Difficult or Complex Randomised Controlled Trials In Invasive procedures), an MRC Hub for Trials Methodology Research.
Whilst at Bristol Dr Brookes became committed and passionate towards teaching, finding ways to make complex study design and statistical issues accessible, understandable, relevant and enjoyable. As well as teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level and on courses for staff development, she became heavily involved in the development and administration of innovative new and existing courses within the Medical School.
In September 2017, Dr Brookes moved to the University of Birmingham where she was appointed as the Training and Education Lead for Clinical Trials for the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU). Within this role, she is responsible for developing and managing postgraduate modules and professional development courses for staff involved in clinical trials and have been heavily involved in the development of the MSc Clinical Trials.