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Doctoral students from around the SPCR organised the first of an ongoing series of PhD training days on 21 February.

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The brainchild of DPhil student Charlotte Albury and former trainee Ben Fletcher, the focus of the training days is “To give students the opportunity for specific skills training from experts within the SPCR. We hope to provide them with the opportunity to meet others interested in similar research topics and to present their work.” said Charlotte. The training will complement the annual SPCR trainee meeting held in September each year.

The series started at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, with around 30 students attending the ‘Randomised Controlled Trials in primary care’ themed talks. Bethany Bareham, from Newcastle University, said the day gave an in-depth overview of RCTs from experts working on different aspects. “The session was fantastic and genuinely engaging. It was great to hear how qualitative research can be of value to many aspects of the RCTs, and all of the work that goes on in the background more generally when conducting them. It was comparable to sessions that charge a lot of money, and I think it is great that that training was provided free of charge to students of member institutes. It was also fantastic to meet more students interested in primary care and other areas that link to our own research interests. All of the talks were fantastic and well pitched, the students presented really well put together 3MT’s and the networking event was really effective and well thought out. Thanks to the SPCR for supporting these events!”

The next session on the theme of patient and public involvement in research will be held at Newcastle University.