Ciara Keenan

Research Fellow

Queen's University Belfast


Ciara Keenan is a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast with an established international reputation in evidence synthesis methodology. Systematic review projects have demonstrated her expertise in the intersections of health, social welfare, disability, and education. Prior to joining Campbell UK and Ireland, Ciara was employed by Kleijnen Systematic Reviews (KSR) to work on projects for the healthcare industry, two of which have informed NICE guidelines.

Ciara earned an MSc with distinction having used evidence synthesis methodology as far back as 2013. Shortly thereafter she was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a PhD using evidence synthesis methods, which was completed in 2018.

Ciara is most committed to capacity building in evidence synthesis which has led to her work as Founder and Editor of the meta-evidence blog and twitter’s @evidencerobot and @COVID_Evidence. Ciara provides regular training and workshops across various evidence synthesis topics and is currently leading review teams on several projects including a network meta-analysis. In conjunction with these roles, Ciara is currently Co-Convenor of the Campbell Collaboration’s Information Scientist Network, a Methods Editor and Information Retrieval specialist for Campbell’s Education Coordinating Group (ECG).


  • Network meta-analysis
  • Systematic review methods
  • Information retrieval
  • Science communication


  • PhD in Education and Psychology, 2018

    Queen's University Belfast

  • MSc in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2013

    Queen’s University Belfast

  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology, 2009

    University of Ulster, Coleraine


Relevant Skills



Information Retrieval





Current and most previous experience


Founder and Co-convenor

Information Retrieval Methods (IRM) Group

Nov 2018 – Present Internationally
In addition to supporting the work of Campbell Collaboration review authors, the IRM Group develop methodology and documentation to ensure the high quality and reproducibility of searches for Campbell Collaboration reviews. The group explore innovative methods to search for and identify studies for reviews across disciplines.

Founder and Editor

Meta-Evidence Blog

Nov 2018 – Present Internationally
The meta-evidence blog has received over 50,000 visitors from all over the world. The Campbell UK and Ireland team interview experts on evidence synthesis and provide top-tips for those who wish to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods Editor

Campbell Education Coordinating Group

Sep 2018 – Present Internationally
Methods Editors provide reviewers, editorial teams and trainers with advice on locating studies, assessing study quality, integrating study outcomes, and interpreting the results.

Research Fellow

Campbell UK and Ireland

Nov 2017 – Present Queen's University Belfast
Campbell UK & Ireland is a national centre of the Campbell Collaboration. It’s role is to promote the work of the Campbell Collaboration across the UK and Ireland. The primary focus of this work is to encourage the greater production and use of Campbell Reviews nationally. Responsibilities include:

  • Project leadership
  • Seeking funding to support research
  • Teaching

Information Retrieval Specialist

Campbell Education Coordinating Group

Nov 2017 – Present Internationally
The Education Coordinating Group (ECG) is an international network that includes scholars, policymakers, practitioners and funders interested in evidence-based practice and systematic reviews. The ECG focuses on disciplines such as compulsory school-aged education, special education, adult/professional education, early childhood education, higher education, speech-language pathology, disability and literacy.

Systematic Reviewer

Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd

Mar 2017 – Sep 2017 York, United Kingdom
Kleijnen Systematic Reviews (KSR) Ltd is an independent research company that produces and disseminates systematic reviews, cost effectiveness analyses and health technology assessments of research evidence in health care. KSR works for a variety of commissioners, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, similar institutes in Europe, and for pharmaceutical companies. Responsibilities included:

  • Data extraction
  • Statistical analysis
  • Report writing
  • Writing critical appraisals for KSR Evidence.

Professional Development

Network Meta-Analysis

A workshop on network meta-anaylsis with world leading methodologist Professor Pigott.

Meta-Analyses in R

A three-day workshop on conducting Meta-Analyses in R using the metafor package. The workshop was facilitated by the author of the package and covered everything from effect size calculations to network meta-analysis.

Recent Posts

What’s fruit got to do with meta-analysis?

So far on the meta-evidence blog, we have introduced readers to some of those tricky issues that we run into when synthesising evidence …

Systematic review, Meta-analysis, and R.

Systematic review, Meta-analysis, and R. What is R? R is both a software environment and programming language which is free for all …

Network Meta-analysis

Today on the Meta-Evidence blog, we present a general overview of Network meta-analysis (network MA) alongside a research question on …


A small selection of current projects


Search Methods

Updating Methodological expectations of Campbell reviews search strategies.

Network Meta-Analysis

Accommodation-based interventions for individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness: a network meta-analysis.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Universal Preschool‐ and School‐based Education Programmes for Reducing Ethnic Prejudice and Promoting Respect for Diversity among …

Upcoming Talks


  • 8 Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT9 6AX
  • Monday to Friday 07:00 to 15:00
  • DM Me
  • Skype Me