We are currently undertaking a study to inform the development of the Essential Research Skills Training Curriculum. This project developed as a collaboration between the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR) and The Global Health Network (TGHN). The aim of this project is to identify what constitutes the minimum set of skills, knowledge and key principles that would enable those without previous experience in research to undertake high-quality health research.
We designed a four stage approach to establishing this evidence-led curriculum, as illustrated in further detail in the infographic below.
Stage 1 – Gap analysis
We conducted a review of the responses from research training needs surveys and the feedback from research training workshops and eLearning collected by The Global Health Network from 2017 to 2019. We analysed the responses of 7167 participants from 153 countries across the globe. This provided us with a range of research skills topics and themes that generated 98 research training themes.
Stage 2 – Delphi study - round 1 survey
The panel for this Delphi study is formed by both experts and stakeholders in health research and health research training with heterogeneous expertise and from diverse geographical regions. We aim to include the views of researchers, research participants, research training facilitators, members of research advisory committees, research funders, authors of peer-reviewed research training papers, authors of research training books/programmes, journal editors, research policy makers and regulators.
This first Delphi survey offered an opportunity for panellists to indicate which of these 98 themes they considered essential to be included in the Essential Research Skills Training Curriculum and to suggest any missing themes. Themes were scored on two dimensions: [a] relevance (should we include this category / skill at all?) and [b] clarity of each statement.
Round 1 delphi survey results:
- The panel team reached consensus on 43 themes to be included in the Essential Research Skills Training Curriculum.
- No consensus was reached for any theme to be excluded from the Essential Research Skills Training Curriculum.
- The remaining 55 themes will be re-evaluated in survey round 2 alongside 8 themes indicated as unclear in round 1 and 10 new themes generated by panellists in round 1.
Stage 3 - Delphi study - round 2 survey
The Delphi round 2 survey was launched on 14 July 2020. Round 2 will re-evaluate the remaining 55 themes alongside 8 themes indicated as unclear in the first round and 10 new themes generated by panellists in round 1.
Stage 4 - Workshop
The final stage in the process seeks to ratify and validate the proposed Essential Research Skills Training Curriculum through a WHO-TDR-led workshop.