9th ISPAD Science School for Health Professionals in Istanbul, Turkey

It has become a tradition for dietitians, nurses, psychologists and social workers to meet before the annual ISPAD meeting to attend the ISPAD Science School for Health Professionals (SSHP). This is an international 3-day workshop providing some understanding of cutting-edge research methodologies in pediatric diabetes.
The SSHP is designed for people that have no experience of research and aims to develop and train research skills. It offers a platform fParticipants of the 9th ISPAD SSHPor constructive discussions about own research projects with a special focus on developing a supportive global research network.

On October 7th to October 9th 2012 it was their time again. Students and faculties from around the world met for the 9th ISPAD Science School in Istanbul and were very excited regarding the upcoming days, meeting the participants from other continents, visiting the beautiful city and particularly attending the Science School and the following ISPAD meeting.

From total of 47 applicants a group of 15 had to be selected. Very dedicated and motivated students arrived from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Liberia, Peru, Scotland, The Netherlands and the US. Their curriculum included the following topics:
•      Basic Ethics and Protection of Research Participants
•      Research: Getting started
•      Writing the research question
•      Study types and Study tools
•      Research methodology
•      Questionnaire design
•      Applying statistics in research
•      Priorities in Research Grant writing
•      Abstract writing
•      Creating an effective poster

The programme was split into theoretical lectures and interactive practical sessions. In addition the students had to think about and to work on a pediatric diabetes research project which they want to complete and to carry out after the Sciences School in their home hospital or clinic. At the end of the training, students were able to report to and to discuss with all participants and faculties what study design is appropriate for their research question and the methods or measures they want to use. In addition, two students spontaneously suggested discussing their poster, which they prepared and brought along for the current ISPAD meeting.

The final feedback from the delegates confirmed the principal interest and motivation of health professionals to learn and understand more about research. Clearly they wish to be actively involved in science as well as to build networks with other dedicated people on all issues of pediatric diabetology. Furthermore the social programme, offering insight into some cultural and food highlights, as well as the special traffic situation of Istanbul, complimented a highly successful and rewarding event.

On behalf of the students and the faculties (Barbara J. Anderson – convener, Heather Gilberson, Lori Laffel, Tim Wysocki and myself) in 2012 I would like to thank the ISPAD for the great opportunity and Johnson & Johnson for the generous financial support of the 9th SSHP that provided students to improve their knowledge in basic research methodology and to develop a supportive global research network.

Dr. Bärbel Aschemeier
ISPAD Science School Convener in 2012