New Steering Committee

In June, we invited applications for the STARSurg steering committee, receiving over 80 high-quality applications. All applications were triple marked by committee members and senior advisors, and shortlisted candidates underwent a telephone interview.

STARSurg are delighted to be able to welcome six 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! Some of the new committee have been involved with STARSurg in the past (either as local leads, and/or collaborators):

  • Aya Riad, 4th Year Medical Student at Edinburgh University
  • Rohan Rao Gujjuri, Intercalating year at Birmingham University
  • Daoud Chaudhry, Intercalating year at Birmingham University
  • Viktorija Kaminskaite, Intercalating year at Exeter University
  • Shiraz Shafi, 4th Year Medical Student at Dundee University
  • Michal Kawka, 4th Year Medical Student at Imperial College London

STARSurg has always been a student-led initiative, with 63% (n=12) of the steering committee at present being students. Over the 7 years since the collaborative was founded, we have had 44 committee members which have represented 22 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 12 medical schools (Birmingham, BSMS, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Imperial, KCL, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester)

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. When considering the steering committee recruited over the years, we are always keen to provide opportunities to progress within STARSurg, irrespective of stage. While the majority of the current committee have been recruited following experience as a regional lead (median involvement of 13 months, range: 5 – 32 months), there have been 9 members who were recruited directly from being a collaborator (median involvement of 7 months, range: 3 – 18 months).

Therefore, we would encourage anyone who was not 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.

Steering Committee 2020 Applications – NOW OPEN!

Do you want to take a leading role in steering the UK’s leading student research collaborative?

Applications are now open for medical students from the UK to join the STARSurg (Student Audit and Research Society in Surgery) steering committee. Only applicants not entering their final year of study in Autumn 2020 will be considered. A role on the STARSurg Steering Committee provides a great opportunity to take on a more senior role in leading the largest student research network in the UK, which has proved invaluable in future job applications, in particular the Academic Foundation Programme.

This role involves the day-to-day running of STARSurg, yearly meetings, assisting in running events, working with sponsors, managing regional leads and assisting with paper and protocol writing. You will be supported by other students and seniors within the STARSurg network where appropriate. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we envisage the committee taking a slightly different role this academic year as we will not be able to run a project as we normally would. However, we will be focusing on other activities, which will include development of educational content for students and supporting other COVID-19 related research. 

Role specification

Essential

  • Excellent communication and team-working skills
  • A passion for surgery and research
  • Good leadership skills
  • Effective time management
  • Evidence of organisational skills (eg. committee roles at Medical School/other work/past experiences)
  • A desire to develop or refine academic writing skills

Desirable

  • Previous involvement in STARSurg or other collaborative projects.
  • Participation in previous STARSurg activities (Hack Day, GRANULE).
  • Any other research background/projects/awareness
  • Any special skill sets or interests e.g. graphic design, website development, social media, coding experience etc. 

To apply, please fill in the application form which will contain four short questions on this role, answers will be blind triple marked and those shortlisted will have a telephone interview. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: starsurguk@gmail.com

Deadline: Wednesday 24th June 23:59 

Meet the STARSurg Steering Committee

With applications for the new Steering Committee opening, we felt it would be a good opportunity to introduce a couple of us and share some experiences of the values we’ve gained from joining the STARSurg committee.  We are looking for anyone passionate about surgical research to join our STARSurg family, you may be a STARSurg veteran having been involved before as a collaborator trying to push your boundaries, or you may be at the start of your journey, we welcome all! We hope to encourage people with the passion, dedication and drive to question the norm, and help further the boundaries of surgical research and practice. 

Victoria 

I’m a 4th (going into final) year at the University of Leeds. I’m interested in academic general surgery. I joined STARSurg initially as a Regional Lead for the IMAGINE project in 2017 and then progressed onto the Steering Committee the following year. Joining committee has given me the chance to develop countless skills including writing for protocols and papers, delivering oral presentations (which has really helped my confidence), as well as organisational and leadership skills. This is especially so this year, having been fortunate to progress to Student Lead, which gives me a lot more responsibility in taking a leadership role within the committee. 

Sanchita 

I’m a penultimate (going into final) year at Cardiff University, having intercalated last academic year. I’m passionate about research and had the opportunity to get involved with it through STARSurg, first as a collaborator, then Regional Lead and finally Steering Committee. Being on committee, you learn a lot about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into developing and implementing a national study, and learn problem solving skills for the day-to-day challenges that arise, which is invaluable. Being part of the data team, I have been fortunate to learn skills about data management and analysis. Through STARSurg, we not only focus on research but also medical education, and it’s exciting to be able to impact on a national scale. 

Both of us would thoroughly recommend getting involved to anyone that is interested in surgical research. It’s a lovely and supportive committee with people that are incredibly motivated and genuinely care about empowering students to produce evidence based research to improve the care of patients undergoing surgery in an impactful way. 

If anyone would like to get in touch for any more information we are all very happy to receive messages and answer any questions. Please direct them to our email address starsurguk@gmail.com.

Click here for the role description.

APPLY NOW! 

Steering Committee Applications Now OPEN

Do you want to take a leading role in steering the UK’s most successful student collaborative?

Applications are now open for medical students from the UK to join the STARSurg (Student Audit and Research Society in Surgery) steering committee. Only applicants not in their final year at the time of application will be considered. A role on the STARSurg Steering Committee provides a great opportunity to take on a more senior role in leading the largest student research network in the UK, which has proved invaluable in future job applications, in particular the academic foundation programme.

This role involves the day-to-day running of STARSurg, yearly meetings, assisting in running events, working with sponsors, managing the regional leads and assisting with paper and protocol writing. You will be supported by other students and seniors within the STARSurg network where appropriate.

Role specification:

Essential

  • A willingness to work in a team
  • A passion for surgery and research
  • Good leadership skills
  • Effective time management
  • Evidence of organisational skills (eg. Committee roles at Medical School/ other work/ past experiences)
  • Good communication skills, organised
  • A desire to get involved in writing protocols, papers

Desirable

  • Previous collaborator for STARSurg
  • Previous local/regional lead for STARSurg
  • Participation in event days (Hack Day, GRANULE)
  • Any other research background/ projects/ awareness

To apply, please fill in the application form below which will contain three short questions to test your compatibility with this role, answers will be blind triple marked and those shortlisted will have a telephone interview. Most committee members remain on the committee for a range of 1-2 years.

**DEADLINE HAS PASSED, we have now decided on our team for the ongoing year but if you didn’t get a chance to apply next year, please sign up to our mailing list for future opportunities **


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: starsurguk@gmail.com

NRCM 2018 Blogpost

National Research Collaborative Meeting (NRCM) 2018

This December the National Research Collaborative Meeting (NRCM) 2018, celebrated 10 years of collaborative research. This historic conference was hosted by the NORTHWEST research collaborative and STARSurg at Manchester’s Chetham school of music and library.

This pan-specialty conference welcomed over 250 delegates from around the United Kingdom, including consultants, surgical trainees at all levels of training and medical students. This conference provided attendees with the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and leaders in research and gain exposure to the variety of collaboratives represented at this event.

The day consisted of keynote lectures and numerous breakout sessions, all of which catered well to the varying tastes of the attendees. The beauty of this day was that it was easy to remain interested and engaged throughout the day, due to the variety of the talks. From patient led keynotes to focused talks on designing a successful research project, which addressed topics such as: tips for a successful grant application and asking the right research questions in your study. Presentation of trials and national study results, including IMAGINE, highlighted the great leaps being made by research collaboratives, which was truly inspiring to witness.

STARSurg’s next national audit project REspiratory Complications after abdomiNal surgery (RECON) was also officially introduced at the NRCM 2018. (Please visit the RECON page in our project hub for more information on how to get involved with this study).  STARSurg also delivered useful workshops such as ‘Get me an AFP’, a mini ‘GRANULE course’, which were particularly engaging for the medical student attendees of the conference.

NRCM 2018 concluded with an exhilarating debate with Prof Dion Morton arguing that “this house believes that all collaborative research should be published under corporate authorship” and Prof Torkington arguing against.

This conference highlighted to me how much the collaborative research model has revolutionised the surgical research landscape over the last 10 years. What resonated with me the most from this conference is the idea that collaboratives foster a grass roots approach in their operation. Where they empower keen researchers from all levels, even medical students and equip them with the knowledge and skills to help deliver high quality, impactful studies. All with the end goal of improving patient care and the patient experience.

This blog post was written by Rachel Thavayogan, a 4th year medical student and STARSurg committee member from the University of Nottingham Medical School.

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 www.starsurg.org).

Agenda
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.

Sponsors

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 db345@student.le.ac.uk.

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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-research-collaborative-meeting-2018-tickets-44810903619

 

 

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!