Professor David Torgerson
Director, York Trials Unit



Professor David Torgerson, Director of the York Trials Unit, joined the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York in 1995 and became the Director of the York Trials Unit in 2002. Originally a health economist, he is a trial methodologist and has published widely on the design and conduct of randomised controlled trials including the book “Designing Randomised Controlled Trials in Health, Education and the Social Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan 2008)”. David has over 200 peer reviewed publications.  

As well as designing healthcare trials, David works across the social sciences developing policy trials and collaborates with the Behavioural Insights Team at the Cabinet Office, supporting educational trials and trials in criminal justice.


  • MSc
  • PhD
  • Diploma in Health Economics

Departmental roles

  • Module leader for Randomised Controlled Trial modules
  • Member of research committee
  • Joint module leader for Systematic Reviews



David's research interests include trials methodology, musculoskeletal problems, falls, osteoporosis and innovative trial designs.


  • REFORM- Multifaceted podiatry intervention for fall prevention in patients over 65 years of age
  • VenusIV
  • CASPAR - Collaborative care in screen- positive elders
  • COPD
  • HEAN
  • HERO- Hydroxychloroquine Effectiveness in Reducing symptoms of hand Osteoarthritis
  • PROMOTE-A pragmatic, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of methotrexate to treat painful knee osteoarthritis
  • REACCT - the randomised evaluation of the effectiveness and acceptability of computerised therapy
  • SCIMITAR+-Smoking cessation for people with severe mental illness
  • PROFHER- Proximal Fracture of the Humerus: Evaluation by Randomisation
  • OTIS - Occupational Therapist Intervention Study

Writing Trials

Research group(s)


David is keen to supervise PhDs in the areas of: randomised trials and methodology of randomised trials.


Full publications list



  • HYMS students - Trials and Falls prevention


External activities

Editorial duties

  • British Medical Bulletin

Invited talks and conferences

  • Meeting at Parliament about trials in social policy
  • Café Scientifique: trials in politics and public policy

Media coverage

Newspaper coverage of:

  • Test, Learn, Adapt (Co-authored Cabinet Office paper on using trials in social policy)

Newspaper, Radio and TV coverage of:

  • Yoga trial
  • Radio 4 interview on Farming Today on badger culling

Contact details

Prof. David Torgerson
Director, York Trials Unit

Tel: 01904 32(1340)