Newsletter @HSRN_UK, September 2016


Advanced Search Techniques for Systematic Reviews, Health Technology Assessment and Guideline Development Training Day, University of York
Date: 4th October 2016

Extensive literature searches are the foundation of high quality systematic reviews, health technology assessment (HTA), guideline development and other major projects. Conducting searches to retrieve research evidence from databases and other resources requires a range of knowledge and skills.
The workshop will be facilitated by information specialists experienced in literature searching to inform systematic reviews and HTAs and in conducting research into the evidence base for information retrieval. It will provide opportunities to learn new techniques, to discuss best approaches, to share insights and to assess variations in current best practice. Participants are encouraged to suggest topics / issues in advance for discussion during the workshop.

The workshop will provide participants with opportunities:

  • To learn about advanced search techniques in resources such as MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, LILACS and The Cochrane Library;
  • To share experiences of searching resources to inform systematic reviews, HTAs, guidelines and other major projects;
  • To discuss approaches for key aspects of evidence retrieval including search term identification, peer review of strategies and updating searches;
  • To identify the potential for incorporating information-retrieval-based research projects into routine information retrieval activities and carry out information audits;
  • To network with experienced information specialists.

Visit the our website for more details.

Advanced Search Strategy Design for Complex Topics: Strategy Development, Text Analytics and Text Mining Training Day, University of York
Date: 5th October 2016
As the volume of published research grows it is becoming more challenging to identify efficiently studies performed according to specific methods or relating to broad topics. As well as increasing volumes of research, many research topics are complex and challenging to capture in search strategies.
This training event will address the challenges of developing search strategies to capture complex topics in large bibliographic databases using different conceptual combinations and search techniques. The training event will also introduce textual analytic and text mining techniques to demonstrate their potential for strategy design and testing. Participants will undertake exercises using open source visualisation tools to investigate terms within sets of records. By the end of the training day, participants will have:

  • An awareness of how to approach complex search strategy design;
  • An awareness of the approaches typically used in textual analytics and text mining applications;
  • An understanding of the opportunities for using textual analytics and text mining approaches to develop strategies in complex or hard to define questions.

Click here for more details on this course.

Software to Support the Systematic Review Process (6th and 7th October 2016), University of York
Dates: 6th and 7th October 2016
Systematic reviews can be time consuming, logistically challenging and labour intensive. These and other challenges have led to the development of various special-purpose software tools to support the systematic review production process. Such tools extend beyond the scope of more established general-purpose systems (e.g. reference managers, word processors and spreadsheet packages), which are already in wide use and, instead, aim to provide tailored support for particular review activities or the whole systematic review production process.
These two linked workshops will provide an opportunity to learn about special-purpose software tools currently available to support systematic reviews and to share experiences of using software in practice. The workshop will be led by Dr Chris Marshall, the editor and developer of a community-driven web-based catalogue of systematic review tools, the Systematic Review Toolbox.
By the end of the workshops, participants will:

  • Be aware of different types of software tools currently available to support systematic reviews and the tasks within a systematic review;
  • Understand the differences between selected systematic review management packages;
  • Know where to seek current information on software tools for systematic reviews.

Click here to learn more about this course.

WORKSHOP:  Using Discrete Choice Experiments in Health Economics: Theoretical and Practical Issues. Banff, AB Canada
6 – 8th February 2017
Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen & O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary are running this popular workshop, which will explore a technique adopted by and further developed in health economics over the past decade is the discrete choice experiment (DCE) approach.
Given the increasing important put on patient centred care, and the recognised importance of valuing patient experiences in the delivery of health care, the application of DCEs in health is likely to increase.
This workshop teaches participants about how using DCEs in health can evaluate how patients value the costs, benefits and risks of health care.
Aims of the Workshop:

  1. Background information about the theoretical basis for, and development and application of DCEs in health economics.
  2. Hands on experience of the design of DCEs, data input, analysis and interpretation.
  3. An update on methodological issues raised in the application of DCEs.

Who Should Attend:
This workshop is aimed at those interested in the application of DCEs in health economics and will focus on the practical and theoretical issues raised when applying the technique. The workshop will include group work sessions. No knowledge of economics or DCEs is assumed.
A limited number of places are available, if you are interested in attending this workshop, please click here for further information and registration details.


Alzheimer Society Implementation Research Grants
Moving research into the real world; £400,000 research grants available to help close the gap between dementia research and practice.
Alzheimer’s Society uses the Implementation grant scheme to move tested, evidence based interventions into the real world setting, translating research into practice. By doing this the Society aims to maximise the benefits of research outputs for people affected by dementia more rapidly. Evidence-based interventions supported through the implementation grant scheme will have potential to be delivered within the real world in a sustainable way.
Applicants can apply for grants of up to £400,000 over 36 months that will either:

  1. enable the scale-up of evidence based interventions that have been shown to improve care and are ready to be implemented at a larger scale, or;
  2. lay the foundations for the scale-up of evidence based interventions; testing the feasibility of bringing dementia research knowledge into the real world.

A webinar is being held to provide information about the application process and requirements on Friday 26th August 2016 at 13:00, or Tuesday 6 September 2016 at 12:00.

Application deadline: midday (12pm) Friday 14th October.

Other open grant calls include:

  • Clinician and healthcare professional fellowships, up to £225,000 apply by 23 September
  • Junior fellowships, up to £225,000 apply by 23 September
  • Senior fellowships, up to £400,000  apply by 23 September
  • PhD studentships, up to £85,000, apply by 23 September
  • Dissemination grants, £2500, apply by 30 September

More information can be found here.

For any further questions, or to sign up for a webinar please contact:

Department of Health Policy Research Programme: Invitation for Applications
The Policy Research Programme (PRP) is a national programme of research dedicated to providing an evidence base for policy-making in the Department of Health (DH). It provides information to the Secretary of State for Health and his Ministers directly and through policy directorates in the Department, and covers all aspects of the Department’s policy-making activity.
Applications will be considered from other UK countries provided they address the priority areas in a way that is relevant to the needs of the Department of Health (England) and meet all other selection criteria.
The following areas within the Policy Research Programme are inviting applications:

Research call on Operational Research for Infectious Disease 
Proposals are invited for responsive operational research to inform health protection policies.
The work programme will need to be flexible to follow the priorities of DH but would typically cover the following areas:

  • Strategic aspects of immunisation programmes and their effectiveness and cost effectiveness
  • Aspects of disease modelling concerned with strategic issues of immunisation
  • Logistics, communications and supply issues in particular for immunisation programmes and Emergency Preparedness
  • Risk assessment and management for Emergency Preparedness planning.

Research Specification Document
How to apply 

Deadline for receipt of stage 1 outline applications: 1pm 11 October 2016
Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017.

Vaccine evaluation research 
Outline Proposals are invited to evaluate vaccines for the national vaccination and immunisation programme, to inform policy and decision making including cost effectiveness, safety and schedules.

Research Specification Document
How to apply

Deadline for receipt of stage 1 outline applications: 1pm 11 October 2016
Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017.

vCJD research to inform health protection policy and measures
Outline proposals are invited to undertake research to inform understanding of vCJD infection in the following areas:

  • Prevalence of pre-clinical vCJD infection in the UK population, including interpretation of existing prevalence studies
  • Variations in estimated prevalence and actual cases of vCJD
  • The natural course of vCJD infection, including variations in host/agent interaction
  • Risk management and health protection measures, including the ability of pre-clinical infection to transmit
  • Development of a specific and sensitive test which is able to detect pre-clinical levels of infection in blood or non-blood, which can be scaled to process large numbers of samples
  • Development of decontamination technologies for re-usable medical instruments.

Research Specification Document
How to apply
Deadline for receipt of stage 1 outline applications: 1pm 11 October 2016
Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017.

Benefits of General Practices offering patients access to test results
Proposals are invited for a single research project to inform policy and practice, for patients in general practice having access to results of their medical tests. This is a significant opportunity to inform policy in an area of increasing importance for patients and the NHS.

Research Specification Document
How to apply

Deadline for receipt of stage 1 outline applications: 1pm 11 October 2016
Notification of outcome: Mid May 2017.

The application processes are two-stage. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their stage 1 application approximately nine weeks after the submission date. Researchers with applications shortlisted at stage 1 will be invited to submit a stage 2 application.


Vacancy: Dean of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). University of Sheffield
The Dean will be expected to maintain, develop and contribute significantly to ScHARR’s outstanding reputation for research, teaching and knowledge transfer activities and to provide strong strategic and academic leadership for the next phase of the School’s future; leading the School to ensure it achieves the highest possible standards of excellence in all its activities.

This post requires someone with proactive vision and leadership in strategic and cultural development projects within the School, who can provide input to strategic discussions within the Faculty Executive Board. The Dean will be able to manage change and empower and delegate to others in order to deliver the agreed School strategy.

As the Head of Department, the Dean and will lead an Executive Committee, which in accordance with internal governance processes will act as a decision making body for relevant strategic and operational matters, in addition to determining and being responsible for the School’s contribution to the Faculty and University strategic plans.

The Dean will be supported by the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the School Executive Committee, the Faculty Executive Board and colleagues within the School, Faculty and Professional Services.
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
Department: School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)

For more details and to apply, visit the website of the University of Sheffield.

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