Praise for Designing Clinical Research Course

We hear from the overall winners of King’s Health Partners (KHP) Designing Clinical Research 2021 Course.

Clinical research courseDelivered in collaboration with the University of California San Francisco, the Designing Clinical Research Course provides clinical staff with the tools needed to write a robust clinical research protocol – the document that describes how a clinical trial is managed.

The online course workshops are led by professors, academic researchers, and statisticians from across KHP, with participants learning how to:

  • Write a research question and develop a study design;
  • Determine a study sample size;
  • Data analysis and management;
  • Thinking about ethical considerations in research and writing qualitative questionnaires;
  • Master statistical methods.

Following last year’s course, the best research protocols were presented at an event attended by faculty staff and invited experts. Two participants were made overall winners – Laith Alexander, Academic Foundation Doctor, King’s College London (KCL) IOPPN, with his protocol titled ‘Is the serotonin-2A receptor causally involved in the antidepressant response to psilocybin in treatment-resistant depression?’ and Holly Lovell, Lead Research Midwife for the GUARD Trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, with her protocol titled ‘A retrospective cross-sectional study examining the representation of women from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic groups in maternity research’.

We spoke to both winners about their experience on the course and winning the award. Laith Alexander was full of praise for the course, stating:

The Designing Clinical Research course was perfect for me as an early-stage academic clinician, equipping me with skills in developing research questions; designing qualitative and quantitative studies; statistical techniques and power calculations; and research ethics. I developed a randomised controlled trial to address whether the serotonin-2A receptor is causally involved in the antidepressant effects of psilocybin. I presented my protocol to clinicians and researchers at the end of the course, and I was delighted to receive the joint first place award. I’ve been accepted onto an academic clinical fellowship in psychiatry at KCL/South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, where I will take this research forward.

Holly Lovell commented about the benefits of the course for her upcoming research:

Participating in the Designing Clinical Research course was a fantastic opportunity which provided me with pragmatic guidance to develop a study protocol. The discussions and feedback with the staff who facilitated the course, and the other students, enabled me to turn my vague ideas into a feasible protocol. I was both shocked and delighted to win the award, and it has given me confidence in my ideas. I look forward to conducting the study I designed, and using the results as part of an application for a NIHR Clinical Doctorate Research Fellowship which will explore how to facilitate equitable and inclusive recruitment to maternity research.

Liked this article? You can find out more about the benefits of the Designing Clinical Research Course here.