Published: Tuesday 27 February 2018

The annual Edinburgh Stroke Winter School helps new or aspiring clinical academics to develop answerable research questions that could be investigated through a stroke-related PhD or MD project.

This training is an important step toward attendees becoming specialist stroke doctors, who conduct research (a clinical stroke researcher) and in time, could potentially become stroke leaders of the future.

What happened at this year’s Winter School?

Twenty-one trainees took part from across 11 countries, in a jam-packed programme delivered by a wide range of experts in the field of stroke research, publication and communication.

On day one trainees were first told about the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) technique to design a research study, and were asked about the worth of doing observational research. They were then guided through the steps of planning a clinical trial, given examples of bad studies and mistakes to avoid, and shown how to present their research data.

Day two covered the practical aspects of designing a project, what makes a good research article, how to perform a systematic review of existing research, and how to communicate research effectively to a variety of audiences.

On the final day, trainees were mentored through critiquing each other’s ideas for stroke grant applications, and taken through the challenges of drugs and devices studies.  The Stroke Association were also on hand to talk about both the practicalities of patient involvement in research, and future opportunities for stroke research funding.

Tell me more

The Edinburgh Winter School is a three-day course which concentrates on the first three steps of developing a research project:

  • defining the research question
  • choosing the best design
  • presentation to potential funders and collaborators

Once the course is completed, trainees are encouraged to apply for funding with any one of the stroke research centres around the UK.

The Winter School is supported by The Stroke Association and endorsed by the European Stroke Organisation (ESO).

Visit the University of Edinburgh website for more information, including costs of attending and how to apply for a place at the next  Edinburgh Winter School in 2019. You can also view feedback from previous Winter Schools.

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