GP and University of Leeds CanTest researcher Stephen Bradley has been awarded the inaugural ‘Doug Altman Award’ at the EBMLive 2019 conference. Stephen explains more about the award and what this means for his research.
“Doug Altman, who died in 2018, was the statistical editor of the BMJ and a hero of the movement to improve the quality of medical research. Doug is also remembered for the encouragement and mentorship he gave to researchers at the start of their careers.
This year, the EBMLive (Evidence Based Medicine) conference offered scholarships for early career researchers in his honour. Eight ‘Doug Altman Scholars’, including myself, were selected after submitting abstracts addressing the theme of ‘the scandal of poor medical research’. A further six Building Capacity Bursaries were awarded to colleagues from Brazil, Egypt, India and Nigeria. Thanks to generous support from the McCall MacBain foundation we were funded to attend and present at the conference in Oxford, which ran from 15th to 17th July.
The conference was a truly transformative experience and opened my eyes to what we can do to improve the openness and integrity of research so that it actually benefits patients. For the lucky 14 scholarship and bursary winners the experience was particularly special. An excellent programme of events aimed at early career researchers was included, along with the opportunity to explore research and ideas from across the globe. Many of us left the conference feeling we had created an international network of like-minded collaborators.
At the close of the conference I was honoured to be chosen from the eight scholarship winners to be awarded the Doug Altman Award, which was presented by Sue Altman. My presentation was a call to create and campaign for a small list of objectives to improve research quality. Winning this award has inspired me to push on with the proposal I presented at the conference, in collaboration with many of the people I met at EBMLive.
In terms of my CanTest research, the conference has given me plenty to consider in how I can improve the quality of my work and how it is reported.
Attending EBMLive was a true privilege and I would have no hesitation at all in recommending the conference and the Doug Altman Scholarship to anyone interested in attending for 2020.
I would like to thank Georgia Richards and Peter Gill for creating the Doug Altman Scholarship & Building Capacity Bursaries, the McCall MacBain Foundation for their generous support, Sue Altman, Ruth Davis from the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and the many other people who helped organise the conference.”