Professor Sandy Oliver, Professor of Public Policy at University College London, and specialist in research synthesis, ran a workshop for staff this week in synthesis related to public health and health services research.
Systematic reviews of reliable research evidence are a requirement for evidence informed policy and practice. They are also vital to ensuring that new research builds on the existing research base to avoid duplication and wasting money and resources. Sandy has been engaged in the field as an academic at the Institute of Education, and is well known for her synthesis work on healthy eating in children, public engagement in research, and rigorous synthesis using different types of research to answer practical questions in international development.
The workshop covered a wide range of examples, including micro-financing, household energy, and health promotion. Sandy provided an overview of synthesis approaches, use of conceptual frameworks, and ways to frame questions suitable for reviews.
Within LSTM, the Evidence Synthesis for Global Health Group is helping staff understand how to access information about the best practice in research synthesis to guide their own work, their work with students and in their teaching. Part of this is a series of workshops and seminars from leading experts both in the UK and internationally.
LSTM’s Professor Paul Garner, who is the Coordinating Editor for CDIG and the Programme Director of the Effective Health Care Research Consortium (EHCRC), is directing the group within LSTM. He said: “Professor Oliver is internationally recognised as a leader in her field and it is great that Sandy found the time to provide this seminar. I was delighted to see so many staff take part in her workshop. Evidence synthesis is about collaboration and sharing best practice across the global healthcare sector. Our portfolio of training for staff will help to ensure that LSTM retains and further develops its reputation as a global leader in high quality research synthesis methods.”
The Evidence Synthesis for Global Health Group have one other workshop this term on 14 May at 2 pm. Liz Wager, editor and professional trainer in scientific writing, will run a workshop on academic writing, suitable for senior staff through to post-doctoral scientists. The session will cover the importance of identifying readers’ needs; writing styles for academic journals; adapting your style for different audiences; understanding readability; and how to translate science into plain language. Registration details will be circulated next week.
The programme of forthcoming training is available here.