Authors: Inna Lutsenko, MD, twitter @inna_lutsenko

Kyrgyz State Medical Academy after I.K, Akhunbaev, Advanced Training Department

Dr Tom Moullaali, twitter: @tom_moullaali

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh

The ESO Edinburgh Stroke Workshop 2021 was a 3-day course that offered 25 aspiring stroke academics a unique opportunity to shape their research ideas into a robust proposal. This year – as for many scientific events – the workshop took place virtually. This allowed candidates from 15 countries and 3 continents to participate from their offices and homes, avoiding the drawbacks of international travel. Participants were considered according to their CV and letter of motivation, and a letter of support. The faculty aimed to include early-career researchers with the potential to benefit from mentorship from experienced stroke academics from across Europe. The main objective: for each candidate to develop an answerable research question.[1]

Edinburgh 2021 report

Candidate`s perspective: Inna Lutsenko

This year’s workshop took place not in St. Leonard’s hall in Edinburgh, but in virtual setting, which was a new and successful format for the three day intensive training course. Careful moderation by chairs Dr Fergus Doubal and Dr Else Charlotte Sandset allowed participants from different time zones to stay focused on lectures from early morning (in Canada) until late at night (in China).

On day 1, motivational greetings from the faculty provided early inspiration. There was a friendly icebreaker session to encourage participants to open up. After the opening lectures, we were encouraged to present our research ideas verbally. We shared visions of improving stroke care in our countries through research. Open Audience technical support allowed participants to switch into several virtual rooms where they received valuable feedback from faculty members.

On day 2, we were encouraged to refine our proposals by considering ethical and regulatory issues, analytical approaches and effective ways to present our findings. It felt as if we were preparing a real dissertation! The workshop was focused, delivered professionally, and despite the virtual setting, the atmosphere was lively.

On day 3, we gave 3-minute presentations about our proposed research. We applied what we learned: professional appearance and clear delivery, simple and effective slide design, and most important, a well-developed research plan. This required some hard work the night before! As a participant, I want to say thank you to Fergus Doubal, Else Charlotte Sandset, Alastair Webb, William Whiteley, Charlotte Cordonnier, Hanne Christensen and others for the valuable feedback about my research proposal. I will apply this to the next stages of my academic career.

Stimulating, innovative, virtual, effective, positive, close-to-the-participant, interactive, mentally boosting: all these epithets characterise the ESO Edinburgh Stroke Research Workshop 2021. I definitely recommend the course to aspiring stroke researchers – be sure to apply next year!

  1. Inspiring New Researchers in Stroke The ESO Edinburgh Stroke Research Workshop. Kateriine Orav, MD; Tom J. Moullaali, MBBS; Else Charlotte Sandset, MD;Fergus Doubal, MB ChB; William Whiteley, BM BCh. Stroke. 2019;50:00-00. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.026936