Running a Randomised Controlled Trial

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Mercure Melbourne, Treasury Gardens, Apple Room

13 Spring Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000


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Running a Basic Randomised Control Trial
A great way to test and optimise new and innovative ideas for public policy and service delivery is through the use of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT). They are used to compare the effectiveness of a new intervention versus the status quo, building evidence on what works and what doesn't work.

The Victorian Behavioural Insights Unit are increasing the use of this methodology across the VPS - which will support the government’s ambition to create evidence based reforms.

In this workshop, participants will gain hands-on experience in how to set up an RCT.

Course Content This workshop will focus on increasing participants' understanding of:

  • the objectives of RCTs

  • how to design and implement an RCT

  • how to analyse the results of an RCT

  • general considerations when running an RCT.

Capability built

1. Increased understanding of an RCT’s main aims and principles, and general considerations when using this method

2. Hands-on experience in the basic steps required for setting up an RCT

3. Increased understanding of how to analysis the results of an RCT

Target participants

All members of the VPS (recommended for VPS4-6).

Please note: Participants are required to bring a laptop with them to this workshop

Running a Basic Randomised Control Trial will be facilitated by external partners, BehaviourWorks Australia.

Fraser Tull, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia

Fraser completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (with Honours) from Deakin University and is near completing a PhD in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

Fraser has been with BehaviourWorks Australia since 2014. During this time, he has been a researcher-in-residence at WorkSafe Victoria, and is the current researcher-in-residence at VicRoads and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Within this space, Fraser has conducted field trials examining the impact of interventions to reduce illegal rubbish dumping, reduce occupational violence against healthcare workers, encourage injured workers to attend medical examinations, and to get car dealers to sign-up for online services. He has also delivered workshops on how to evaluate interventions and how behavioural science can be used to inform interventions.

Over the past 18 months Fraser has also managed a series of Randomised Control Trials assessing interventions to boost vaccination rates in the Secondary School Vaccine Program. This work has been undertaken in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Unit and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nicholas Faulkner, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia

Nick completed his PhD at Monash University and his undergraduate studies at Griffith University and Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies). In 2012, he was AEUIFAI Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.

His research interests lie primarily in the areas of political psychology and behavioural public administration. In recent years, he has investigated several topics, including: how emotions, norms and social identities influence helping behaviour, how the internet can be used to improve or exacerbate intergroup bias and racism, and how psychological techniques can be used to increase compliance with requests from government agencies.

He has taught classes at Monash University and the University of Melbourne on trial design, research methods, behavioural science, and statistics. He has also led workshops at several BWA partner organisations (including VicRoads, EPA Victoria, and WorkSafe) on topics such as how to use behavioural science in written communications, and how to evaluate behaviour-change interventions. His teaching consistently receives stellar feedback from students and attendees, and in 2017 he co-delivered a unit that was evaluated in the top 2 units in Monash University's Faculty of Science.

His research has been published in leading social and political science journals, including Political Psychology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and the International Political Science Review. He also regularly consults and works with government and non-government bodies on how to use behavioural science to promote socially-beneficial behaviours.

Nick is a member of a range of academic organisations, such as the International Society for Political Psychology and the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists. He also serves as a reviewer for several academic journals.

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Mercure Melbourne, Treasury Gardens, Apple Room

13 Spring Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000


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