03 September 2019 | Story Charlene Stanley | Photo Katleho Mbele
UFS-UCT workshop
Attendees at the successful inaugural UFS-UCT medical research training workshops.

“A pioneering training session.”
“Excellent attention to my specific challenges.”
“Research as a whole makes so much more sense now.”

These are some of the responses by attendees after first-of-its-kind workshops for supervisors and MMed students in the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences, recently held at the FARMOVS Clinical Research Facility on the Bloemfontein campus.

UCT trainers

The workshops were presented by two medical research experts from the University of Cape Town (UCT), Prof Delva Shamley and Ms Annemie Steward. 
The two facilitators went through the research process with attendees and helped to refine individual research questions.
“There was a fantastic turnout by our students and great engagement from them,” says Dr Claire Barrett, Clinical Research Director from the School of Clinical Medicine, who initiated the training.

Training research supervisors

Two “train-the-trainer” workshops were also presented to MMed research supervisors at the School of Clinical Medicine. 
“The mandatory research component in our MMed studies was only implemented in 2012 and is applicable to all medical schools in South Africa. This means many supervisors don’t really have a research background themselves,” Dr Barrett explains. “These workshops gave them the tools to effectively guide students through the research process.”  

Inter-institutional effort

The invitation was also extended to supervisors from the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT).
Dr Barrett is hoping to have similar inter-institutional sessions at least once every three months.

She notes that these introductory workshops would not have been possible without the support of the Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, Prof Nathaniel Mofolo, and FARMOVS.

“We have a valuable mutually beneficial relationship with the Faculty of Health Sciences, whose clinical expertise is often put to great use in drug development trials,” says Dr Michelle Middle, CMO of FARMOVS, who hosted the workshop. 
“Medical research is something we’re passionate about – so it was a great privilege to contribute to the success of these groundbreaking workshops.” 

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