Doug Altman Scholarships
Supporting early-mid career researchers and building capacity in Evidence-Based Medicine globally.
What is the Doug Altman Scholarship, who can apply, and how are successful candidates chosen?
With generous funding and support from the McCall MacBain Foundation (MMF), the Doug Altman Scholarship originated in honour of the memory of Doug Altman and the highly influential role he had in changing the landscape of reporting research in EBM.
To be considered for the Doug Altman Scholarship, applicants must have been early career researchers, and as part of their application, they were asked to submit a provocative, bold and constructive abstract that aimed to make research evidence relevant, replicable and accessible to end-users, as outlined in the EBM Manifesto. Submissions needed to describe a problem or novel research findings. We reached out to universities and medical schools across the world, as well as international and national networks such as the Cochrane Collaboration, Students 4 Best Evidence and the National Institute of Health Research. We received a total of 68 entries from 26 different countries around the globe, and each application was reviewed independently by members of the conference steering committee, which included representation from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) and the BMJ.
About Doug Altman
Doug Altman was an internationally acclaimed statistician, who was best known for his profound contribution to improving the quality and reliability of medical research. He was a Professor of Statistics in Medicine and Director of the Centre for Statistics in Medicine at the University of Oxford, and the BMJ’s chief advisor for over 20 years. Doug led the Medical Statistics Group of Cancer Research UK from 1988, and in 2015, he received the BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award. Advocating transparency and accuracy in reporting of health research, Doug founded the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), and the Equator Network.
Find out what our students had to say about their scholarship opportunities:
The experience was wonderful! It was one of the first times in my career that I've been able to meet with like-minded people to discuss issues around EBM, and this conference gave me not only new ideas on how to ensure my research has a real impact, but also led to some new collaborations with people I'd never have met otherwise. Everyone at the conference was incredibly supportive, and the opportunity to write a blog and have it promoted by EBMLive and other groups has been phenomenal. I really do believe that the opportunity to attend EBMLive as a scholar has changed the trajectory of my career and will allow me to continue to work towards improving EBM.
- Doug Altman Scholar, 2019
The EBMLive 2019 meeting was a state-of-the-art event, perfectly organized and planned. The selected themes for each session were characterized by a true connection to current relevant topics in healthcare science and were also distinguished by a high technical level. From the point of view of a scholar, the event was a great success. There were events especially designed to offer early mid-career researchers the opportunity to network and discuss how to innovate. These events allowed us to develop connections enabling the possibility for long-lasting collaborations between scholars and members of the EBMLive faculty.” - Doug Altman Scholar, 2019
Rarely such good opportunities and platforms are provided to people early in their career with scholarships. I would like to sincerely thank the foundation, organisers and the entire team of EBMLive 2019 for their great mentorship, support and scholarship. - Doug Altman Scholar, 2019
I have never been to a conference that contributed more to my future career as a physician/scientist. The other Doug Altman scholars were equally impressive, and I believe the connections I made with them will continue to strengthen as we all mature in our careers. Altogether, my experience as a Doug Altman scholar cannot be equaled and it is all due to the generosity of the McCall McBain foundation. - Doug Altman Scholar, 2019
Meet our 2019 Doug Altman Scholars:
Mr. Kahan was a statistician based at the Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit, Queen Mary University of London from Canada. His main area of research was around trying to improve the statistical methods used in randomised trials. A particular focus was on trying to increase transparency in how trials were analysed.
At EBMLive, Mr. Kahan presented his idea titled, “Unexplained discrepancies between planned and conducted statistical analyses in randomised trials” and wrote a pre-conference blog titled “A proposed framework for the pre-specification of statistical analysis methods in clinical trials (Pre-SPEC)”.
Dr. Bradley was a GP undertaking a PhD on lung cancer diagnosis funded by Cancer Research UK at the University of Leeds. He was passionate about addressing inequalities in health and his clinical work focuses on specialist services for homeless people, asylum seekers and immigrants. Dr. Bradley served on a NICE clinical guideline committee and was an executive committee member of the Fabian Society, a political think tank.
Dr. Dagens was studying for an MSc in Evidence-Based Healthcare at the University of Oxford. He was an infectious diseases specialist with the Royal Air Force and was interested in the healthcare of military personnel; both serving and veterans. His work has looked at viral carriage in Royal Marine recruits and chronic tropical illness in forces deployed to South Sudan. Dr. Dagens was working on the taught component of his master’s degree, but hoped to complete a systematic review on the diagnosis of neglected tropical diseases. Ultimately, he aimed to complete a DPhil at the CEBM in Oxford. In addition to his specialty in infection, Drew is interested in the problem of ‘fake news’ in science.
At EBMLive, Dr. Dagens presented his idea titled, “Predator publishing or Fake Science? A Case series of 75 unsolicited emails received from 'predator journals” and wrote a pre-conference blog titled “Predatory publishing or Fake Science?”
Mr. Williams was a final year medical student at The University of Auckland, in New Zealand. He was passionate about perinatal neurodevelopment, having previously completed a BSc in Biomedical Science (neuroscience) and an intercalated BMedSc(Hons) in neonatal medicine. He had developed a keen interest in scientific integrity, particularly in the interplay between the academic ecosystem and research misconduct.
Mr. Williams presented his idea titled, “If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: combating poor scientific practice with a quantitative, open-access research metric” and wrote a pre-conference blog titled “First, do no harm: the promise of new scientific metrics”.
Ms. Rombey was a doctoral student in Theoretical Medicine at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. She held a Master’s degree in Public Health (Management & Leadership) from the University of Sheffield and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Economics from the University of Cologne. Tanja has a keen interest in systematic reviews and their methods as a part of evidence-based medicine, her doctoral thesis was investigating protocols for systematic reviews. It was her aim to become a professor of evidence-based medicine and teach medical students about meaningful research and its use in clinical practice.
At EBMLive, Ms. Rombey presented, “More systematic reviews are being registered in PROSPERO each year, but records are seldom up-to-date” and wrote about this in a pre-conference blog titled “Systematic review protocols and registration: Why? How? What (needs improving)?”.
Christoffer Bjerre Haase
Dr. Haase was a researcher and medical doctor from the University of Copenhagen. Based on the theory of science, philosophy and evidence-based medicine, Christoffer was primarily interested in the inter-relations between the concepts of overdiagnosis and diagnosis/disease and the ways (medical) science and societal discourses influence those concepts. His projects analysed whether medical science, and specifically evidence-based medicine, allows any health risk (e.g. hypertension) and existential condition (e.g. sarcopenia) to become a diagnosis and, also, whether the economic effect of diagnosis changes the diagnosis itself.
At EBMLive, Dr. Haase presented “The lack of ontological awareness in evidence-based medicine allows overdiagnosis” and wrote three blogs about his work, including “The evidence of what?”, “Trustworthy evidence or paid lip service”, and “Shifting to ‘disagree to disagree’ using EBM”.
Mr. Parkes was a research statistician at the University of Manchester in the Research in Osteoarthritis Manchester unit (ROAM), a group specializing in conducting late phase clinical trials of nonpharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis. He was completing a PhD by publication in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which focused on refining the methodology of lateral wedge insole trials. His research interests include chronic disease clinical trials methods, outcome research, and digital epidemiology. He is a keen user of Stata, and increasingly passionate advocate of R and Python for clinical research. He is particularly keen to explore ways of improving transparency, reproducibility, and collaboration in research; specifically, how we change the writing of scientific manuscripts to interweave data, analysis, and write-up.
At EBMLive, Mr. Parkes presented “Papers as living documents: using literate programming to produce fully transparent, reproducible research manuscripts” and he wrote about in a pre-conference blog titled “Show your working: Is the way we write our papers fit for purpose?”.
Mr. Wayant was a dual-degree medical and doctoral student at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. His research explored biases in medical research and how bias and poor methodological/reporting quality may affect study conclusions, interpretations, and applications. Clinically, Mr. Wayant is interested in hematology/oncology.
At EBMLive, Mr. Wayant presented “A review of the magnitude of financial relationships with industry and disclosure practices among clinical practice guideline authors” and wrote about this in a pre-conference blog titled “Financial conflicts of interest in medical research: perspective from an early-career researcher”.