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Report from the 11th ISPAD Science School for Health Professionals


The 11th ISPAD Science School for Health Professionals (SSHP) was conducted in Toronto 31st August to 2nd September 2014. It was attended by 15 international students; 5 from Australia, 2 from USA, 2 from India, and 1 each from Belgium, Canada, Chile, Israel, New Zealand and Poland. There was also a good spread of disciplines including 4 dietitians, 5 diabetes nurse educators, 3 psychologists and 3 social workers.

The faculty this year included; Heather Gilbertson PhD Senior Dietitian from Melbourne, Australia(main convenor);Tim Wysocki PhD Psychologist Florida, USA (co-convenor);Dr Daniele Pacaud MD, FRCPC Paediatric Endocrinologist, Calgary, Canada; Shaun Barrett RN MN CDE Clinical Nurse Specialist, Toronto, Canada; Marie Hallman RN Diabetes Nurse, Gothenburg, Sweden

The program included topics and workshops on the following
Research in children, Critiquing the literature, Research methodology, Study basics, Writing the research question, Grant writing, Applying statistics in research, Questionnaire design, Creating an effective poster, Abstract writing, Common mistakes of beginning researchers

Each student brought their own project idea and research question to the SSHP and worked hard over the three-day program to develop their project idea into a valid proposal. Overall the students evaluated the course highly and reported that their knowledge and confidence in doing research in their workplace was increased. They have also developed good friendships and appreciated the opportunity for international networking with their colleagues that the SSHP provides.
We also managed to see a few of the sights in Toronto including a harbor tour and a view from the CN Tower.

On behalf of the SSHP faculty and students I would like to thank Johnson & Johnson, the ISPAD Committee and KIT for their ongoing support of the Science School which would not be possible without their support. The SSHP is held before the annual ISPAD Conference. Any allied health professional who has been working in the field of paediatric diabetes for over three years and has an interest in doing research is eligible to apply. Check out the ISPAD website for application information   


Dr Heather Gilbertson (PhD)

Senior Dietitian

Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Australia



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