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Five reasons why you should apply for the Designing Clinical Research course

If you’re a clinically qualified medical trainee, nurse, dentist, dental qualified staff, pharmacist, allied healthcare professional or healthcare scientist looking to enhance your skills in clinical research – we’ve got just the opportunity for you! Don’t miss out – you’ll need to apply by Friday 30 September, 12pm.  

King’s Health Partners hosts the Designing Clinical Research (DCR) course in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco. Over a period of three months, you’ll gain the vital tools needed to write a robust clinical research protocol - the document that describes how a clinical trial is managed. 

Here are five reasons why you should apply:

1. You’ll become adept at clinical research

The DCR course gives you the skills you need to run a clinical trial; from writing a research question, developing a study design, determining a study sample size, data analysis, management, thinking about ethical considerations in research, writing qualitative questionnaires, and mastering statistical methods. 

2. You’ll learn from leading specialists

The DCR workshops are led by professors, academic researchers, and statisticians from across King’s Health Partners.

Holly Lovell, Lead Research Midwife for the ursodeoxycholic acid vs metformin in gestational diabetes mellitus (GUARD) Trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, was one of last year’s winners. She was full of praise for the course:

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.

3. You’ll learn how to peer-review

A key aspect of any research is peer-review. The DCR course will give you the tools you need to constructively critique co-learners’ work and understand colleagues’ feedback on your own. 

4. You’ll improve your presentation and networking skills

Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll be asked to present your research idea to the course leaders. Those with the best pitches will be selected to present at an event attended by faculty and experts – opening you up to wider opportunities within the research community. 

5. You’ll participate both in person and online 

Now more than ever, having the flexibility to study in your own time is vital. The DCR course will take place face to face giving you the opportunity to engage meaningfully with leading specialists, alongside independent online learning which can be completed online at your own pace, in your own time, in a way that suits you.

Laith Alexander, Academic Foundation Doctor, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, was one of last year’s winners. He reflected on the course and its benefits: 

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. 

What you need to know about the course before applying: 

  • You will need to be available to attend a compulsory 90-minute introductory session on Monday 31 October.
  • Throughout the course you will attend a weekly group session on Microsoft Teams, alongside the online learning you complete in your own time.

To register your interest, you need to send the following information to Joyce Matovu, Education Academy Business Support Officer, at by 12pm on Friday 30 September: 

  • A brief statement explaining why you want to participate in the course (one page maximum);
  • A one-page CV; and
  • A brief supporting statement and signature from your academic supervisor.

You will be notified whether your application has been successful week commencing 3 October. For more details about the course and how to apply, view our course flyer.

Liked this article? Read more about last year’s winners and their experiences on the course.