Last week, STREAM trial investigators from 10 sites in seven countries attended a workshop in London to identify secondary research questions from STREAM Stage 1 and strengthen their capacity to independently conduct research. Participants were trained and mentored by Vital Strategies and technical partners from The Union, the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London (MRC), the University of California San Francisco, and Wits Health Consortium.

Principal Investigators of STREAM trial at St. Peter’s, Ethiopia and IPCD, Moldova, Dr. Daniel Meressa Kokebu (left) and Dr. Elena Tudor (third from left), respectively, work with MRC Statistician Lindsay Thompson (second from left) and Dr. Sarah Meredith (right) on their research question.

Over the course of the three-day workshop, STREAM investigators learned about all aspects of the research process – from selection of a research question to preparing a manuscript for publication. They participated in a series of sessions dedicated to refining their proposed research questions, learning about study design, statistical methods, and the ethical principles of research, and developing their analysis plans. The interactive nature of the workshop provided a unique opportunity for them to apply what they learned.

STREAM Investigators Drs. Joanitah Nalunjogi, Daniel Meressa Kokebu, Dat Phan Dong, and Mekonnen Teferi (left to right) mark their selection of their research questions.

Participants agreed that the workshop was essential for developing research questions and capacity building. Dr. Bazra Tsogt, Trial Manager for STREAM in Mongolia stated, “This is a very good capacity building training especially for non-English-speaking researchers.  All major journals publish in English, so this was very informative to build a step-by-step understanding of how to conduct research and publish in English.  I plan on sharing what I’ve learned with the trial staff [in Mongolia]. I really appreciate the capacity building model that STREAM has taken with its sites.”

Professor Nunn works with Dr. Narendran Gopalan and Dr. Rajeshkumar Solanki, Principal Investigators from the Chennai and Ahmedabad STREAM trial sites, respectively.

By the end of the final workshop session, seven secondary research questions were identified, and investigators were enthusiastic to continue their work.