Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are essential to transforming healthcare and public health, however traditional trials are often expensive, difficult to recruit to, and take too long to translate results into clinical practice. The University of Queensland’s ULTRA program has been created to transform RCTs – building capability and capacity in innovative trial design, conduct, analysis and translation.

The ULTRA program brings together a highly skilled interdisciplinary team focused on creating innovation in RCTs that leads to higher quality trials, more robust and rapid results and improved outcomes for patients and the public.

We offer methodological capability for innovative RCTs in existing and new areas of clinical research led by The University of Queensland; working across UQ’s Faculties and Schools, Institutes, Centres and external partners in design and analysis of innovative trials, embedding qualitative research and implementation science in trials, facilitating trials to deliver on time and target, and translate findings into practice.

Funded through The University of Queensland’s Vice-Chancellors Health Research Accelerator (HERA) initiative to tackle urgent health and medical challenges, ULTRA is working together with the UQ’s Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) to augment existing expertise and accelerate RCT capability, capacity, co-ordination and competitiveness.


To create Australia’s most successful interdisciplinary team leading innovative RCTs that deliver results rapidly, translated for public good.


Accelerate The University of Queensland’s capability, capacity, co-ordination and competitiveness in innovative and impactful RCTs.

Nadine FosterProfessor Nadine Foster (Director - ULTRA)
Program Lead ULTRA Program, and Director UQ Clinical Trials Centre

Nadine is an internationally recognised leader in clinical trials and Academic Director of The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Clinical Trials Centre (CTC). She is passionate about supporting the development and delivery of high quality innovative randomised clinical trials (RCTs) that translate into better patient outcomes.

Nadine is the programme lead for the HERA ULTRA initiative – creating and supporting Australia’s most successful interdisciplinary team leading innovative RCTs that deliver results rapidly, translated for patient benefit. ULTRA forms a core part of UQ CTC and is integrated with the CTC to support existing RCTs and co-develop future RCTs.

Professorial Research Fellow in Innovative Clinical Trials – ULTRA

Andrew is the inaugural Professor of Innovative Clinical Trials and leads the University of Queensland’s ULTRA program.  He has made original, innovative and distinguished contributions to methodological research, as well as the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of clinical research that has had an impact at an international level policy, practice, and subsequent research programs.

Principal Research Fellow in Implementation Science – ULTRA
Ingrid brings to the ULTRA team methodological expertise in implementation science in clinical trials and supporting the clinical trial workforce to embed implementation science into innovative trial design and delivery. She has been recognised internationally for her investment in implementation science and clinical workforce capacity building in research translation.
Senior Research Fellow in Qualitative & Mixed-Methods Research - ULTRA

As part of the ULTRA team, Nathalia works collaboratively with researchers, consumers and other stakeholders to enhance trial designs and processes through innovative qualitative methods and methodologies – from identifying trial questions to improving equipoise, recruitment and retention.  Nathalia’s research draws from a range of qualitative and mixed methodologies to make meaningful contributions to clinical trials and healthcare more broadly.

Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Biostatistics - ULTRA

Ding is a post-doctoral research fellow in biostatistics within the ULTRA team, specialising in the development of estimation methods for semiparametric survival models and their extensions. He is dedicated to advancing statistical methodologies for biostatistics applications, including the design and analysis of clinical trials.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Implementation Science - ULTRA

Mark is an implementation science researcher within the ULTRA team, drawing from his experience conducting research that involves behaviour change on the patient, clinician and organisational level.  He is a passionate advocate for consumer involvement in clinical trials and has methodological expertise in implementing trials in real-world contexts, behavioural change theory, and leveraging routinely collected healthcare data for research.

Senior Research Assistant - ULTRA

Patrick is a senior research assistant within the ULTRA team working as a biostatistician with a particular interest in simulation and analyses of data within clinical trials. Patrick is currently completing his BCA Masters of Biostatistics.

Researchers from many UQ Faculties and Institutes work and collaborate with ULTRA including:


We thank and acknowledge the following UQ staff and Academic Title Holders who collaborated to support the objectives of ULTRA, and who are now affiliates of ULTRA. 

  • Professor Jason Roberts
  • Dr Roberta Littleford
  • Dr Jon Fanning
  • Professor Carmel Hawley
  • Ms Donna Reidlinger
  • Ms Elaine Pascoe
  • Professor Jason Ferris
  • Associate Professor Mark Chatfield
  • Professor Tracy Comans
  • Professor Karen Barlow
  • Associate Professor Kirsten Gibbons
  • Professor Rosyln Boyd
  • Professor Craig Munns
  • Professor Elizabeth Eakin
  • Dr Louise Marquart
  • Dr Michael Waller
  • Professor Annette Dobson
  • Dr Reza Baneshi
  • Professor Claire Rickard
  • Professor Amanda Ullman
  • Professor Haitham Tuffaha
  • Professor Paul Hodges
  • Professor Trevor Russell
  • Professor Michele Sterling
  • Associate Professor Shaun O’Leary
  • Dr Natalie Collins
  • Dr Guido Zuccon
  • Professor Maher Gandhi
  • Professor Sailesh Kumar
  • Professor Janet Hardy
  • Professor Dan Chambers
  • Professor John Upham
  • Associate Professor Andy Moore


Our external partners include:

  • Queensland Health
  • Health Translation Queensland
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service
  • Metro South Hospital and Health Service
  • Queensland Children's Hospital
  • Mater
  • QCIF - Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation
  • Australia Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA).

Concept Development Workshops

The ULTRA team is a UQ-wide capability to support the development and conduct of methodologically innovative trials. The team supports UQ academic staff and academic title holders, including those supervising Higher Research Degree students developing RCT ideas for future funding. Through one-day Concept Development Workshops, the ULTRA team will work with participants to explore and identify opportunities to improve their trial methodology for future funding submission.

The dates of the Concept Development Workshops for 2024 are:

  • 16 May 2024 to be held at UQ Centre for Clinical Research at Herston
  • 5 November 2024 - venue to be determined

To register your interest in participating in Concept Development Workshops, please email ultra@uq.edu.au.

Collaborate with us

The ULTRA team is keen to collaborate with UQ staff and Academic Title Holders who are involved in the development and conduct of RCTs and who are interested in exploring how innovations in design, statistics, implementation science and embedded qualitative research can benefit those RCTs.