RECON Launch and Research Skills Meeting, January 2019

We cordially invite all collaborators and regional leads to the Student Audit and Research in Surgery (STARSurg) launch of our new project RECON (REspiratory COmplications after AbdomiNal) and Research Skills Workshop at the Royal College of Surgeons, England, 09:00-17:15, Monday 14th January, 2019.

STARSurg has now delivered five national audits of surgical and perioperative practice: STARSurg-1, Determining Surgical Complications in the Overweight (DISCOVER), Outcomes after kidney injury in surgery (OAKS)-1, OAKS-2, and Ileus Management International (IMAGINE). To date, we have engaged 5,400 collaborators in our projects from over 170 centres in the UK and Ireland, with data being collected on more than 20,000 patients. This has resulted in over 80 presentations (at regional, national, and international conferences) and 11 peer-reviewed papers published within high impact journals, including the British Journal of Surgery (BJS), British Journal of Anaesthesia, and Anaesthesia (see

The January meeting will be split into two parts:

(i) A half day interactive STARSurg Research Skills Course, delivered by an expert faculty. Certificates of completion will be provided to all delegates.

(ii) A formal protocol launch for RECON, with an afternoon of plenaries from world-leading academic surgeons and peri-operative physicians.

Tickets ** Free** – refundable deposit

Sign up for this FREE event today! (a deposit of £20 is required, but this is refundable following attendance at the meeting). If you are unable to attend the meeting after booking, refunds will be issued up to 30 days prior to the meeting.


With special thanks to BJS Society

Click here to get your tickets 


Questions about a Regional Lead position? Meet Melika!

Hello, my name is Melika, a recent appointee to this year’s STARSurg Steering Committee. I first joined the collaborative as a data collector for the OAKS 1 project investigating the incidence of acute kidney injury following surgery. The insight gained and valuable learning experiences garnered have meant that I remained involved with the network for my successive medical school years; later undertaking the role of Regional Lead for King’s College London for the OAKS 2 and IMAGINE projects, the latter in partnership with EuroSurg.


I owe much of my knowledge on the foundations required for a successful research initiative, with the potential to derive outcomes and conclusions translatable to clinical practice, to STARSurg. The operational setup of the collaborative instils medical students with the confidence to become involved in research from their early pre-clinical years and subsequently supports their progress into the other avenues of academia including scientific writing, data analysis and the pre-requisites requested for ethical approval. Regional Leads play an important part in delivery of the central plans to local sites and therefore implementation of core stages of the study. Tasks may include recruitment of dedicated collaborators to mini-teams, supporting registration of the study with the audit departments at each Trust and overseeing tasks that would enable amalgamation of high quality data. There are indispensable active learning points for the Regional Lead within each of the aforementioned engagements.


I am now a long-standing advocate of collaborative efforts for advancing research in the field of surgery and see the STARSurg collaboration as a potent front to spearhead progress. With this agenda in mind, I would strongly encourage keen medical students striving to expand their remit in academic medicine, to apply for the Regional Lead position.

Questions about a Regional Lead position? Meet Danny!

Hey everyone, my name’s Danny and I’m part of the STARSurg steering committee. My official role is helping co-ordinate and organise the appointment of regional leads at each medical school – as well as making sure everything runs smoothly for the regional leads throughout the study period – so you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from me. Last year I was a regional lead for Leicester medical school before moving up the STARSurg ladder and we thought it would be useful for you to read my experience of the regional role.

So why be a regional lead? There are many reasons as to why regional lead positions are great. First of all it’s a great opportunity to learn more about audit and research and what happens behind the scenes a little bit in terms of audit registration etc. This is a really useful skill for your future careers in whatever speciality you end up in as audits will definitely form part of your working life. Secondly, STARSurg has a range of other events and courses that you get first dibs on which help you develop your skill set in academic life. Being a lead is also a great opportunity for networking within STARSurg and the wider surgical community which is great for those considering a career in surgery. You’ll make friends and contacts you would have never have met before, and it’s often nice to socialise with fellow members at conferences and events! All regional leads also have the opportunity to apply for the steering committee when applications are available – something again I’d highly recommend.

Perhaps the most rewarding thing about being a regional lead is watching data collection progress successfully and knowing this is from your hard work. In Leicester for the IMAGINE study I co-ordinated roughly 60 students, doctors and consultants across 5 different hospital sites and I found it really rewarding seeing peoples enthusiasm and interest in surgery and academia grow through the efforts I’d put in locally. Often students are keen to be involved in research but don’t have the opportunities – so it’s a nice feeling that you are helping them develop. Being a regional lead does come with challenges but STARSurg are there along the entire journey to make sure you are supported in your role!

If you don’t have any previous experience with STARSurg or with research and audit, don’t worry – these skills can be learnt and I wouldn’t let this discourage you from applying for the regional position. If you have any questions please do get in touch with STARSurg or myself at

STARSurg First Meeting 2018/19


Last Saturday, the new STARsurg Steering committee for the 2018/2019 year met for the first time at the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Birmingham. It was a great opportunity for the new steering committee members to meet the STARsurg alumni, who very generously passed on their expertise and shared their experiences. Our new steering committee is comprised of 12 members including 7 existing members and 5 new additions. This was an extremely productive meeting where the details of our exciting new national collaborative study in perioperative care was discussed. We also discussed the future of STARsurg and the many ways we can continue to support our ever-growing student / trainee collaborators, as well as continue to push the barriers of collaborator research through conducting high quality multi-centre studies.

STARsurg will once again be running its highly popular GRANULE course. This course equips students with the skills to recruit patients for Randomised Control Trials and a mini version will take place at the next National Research Collaborative Meeting 2018 in Manchester.

Registration is free, and tickets are going fast, get yours at:



New Steering Committee for 2018/19 Announced!


Welcome to the new committee

At the end of May, we invited applications for the STARSurg steering committee, receiving over 40 high-quality applications. All applications were marked by six independent committee members and senior advisors, and shortlisted candidates underwent a telephone interview.

STARSurg are delighted to be able to welcome 5 new student committee members to the team. We are all looking forward to having their perspectives and input into the support and development of STARSurg in the future! All the new committee have been involved with STARSurg in the past (either as local leads, and/or collaborators):

  • Melika Akhbari 4th Year Medical Student (current local lead for Kings College London).
  • Danny Baker 4th Year Medical Student (current local lead for the University of Leicester).
  • Rachel Thavayogan 4th Year Medical Student (current local lead for the University of Nottingham).
  • Victoria Murray 3rd Year Medical Student (current local lead for the University of Leeds).
  • Waheed-Ul-Rahman Ahmed 4th Year Medical Student (collaborator for the IMAGINE study).

STARSurg has always been a student-led initiative, with 70% of the steering committee at present being students. Over the 5 years since the collaborative was founded, we have had 28 committee members which have represented 21 medical schools across all of the UK and Ireland. Therefore, it is fair to say that we are a truly national group! With our new members we now have a  committee representing 8 medical schools (Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester, BSMS, Leeds, Exeter, Kings College London & Southampton)

However, there were some excellent candidates this year, and we would like to thank everyone who applied, for the time and effort taken to do so. We are always keen to provide opportunities to progress within STARSurg, irrespective of stage.

Therefore, we would encourage anyone who has not been successful this year (or who may be interested in becoming more involved with STARSurg in the future) to apply for the upcoming STARSurg Regional Lead Position at their medical school, or continue to remain active and involved as a collaborator on future projects. Applications out soon!