Masterclass in Scientific Writing 2019 – an amazing journey

Masterclass in Scientific Writing 2019 – an amazing journey

  • Issue 80

Flavia Pirovano for Masterclass Team

From 15-17 October, 2019, the Masterclass in Scientific Writing was held by ESA in Belgrade, Serbia. In this article we would like to tell you what happened during that eventful week and some of the lessons that our attendees took home with them.

1 – John Carpenter, a superhero speaker

Belgrade is a stunning city. A confluence of Balkan, Russian and West European vibes, it offers to its visitors history and art in places like the Nicola Tesla Museum, the Belgrade Fortress and the Suma church. Sadly, our main speaker John Carpenter couldn’t enjoy much of this beauty as his arrival was quite eventful. Mr. Carpenter suffered a delay of two hour in London which caused him to miss his connection in Frankfurt and was obliged to connection through Moscow arriving to Belgrade barely two hours before the start of the Masterclass, after a long night of travelling.

Despite of all that, at 9am Mr. Carpenter started his Masterclass full of energy. When attendees asked him where he finds all this energy, he said: “I agreed to come as a speaker, I could not let you all down!”. This little story shows the commitment of our speaker, and it was clearly noted in the evaluation made by the attendees: 99.2% was the score given to the lectures and exercise. At this point we must also mention our local host, Vojislava Neskovic and her efforts and commitment: she received an average of 100% in the evaluation.

This commitment was also on display from the ESA staff, who came earlier to verify if everything was in place for our attendees: the meeting room, lunches and the learning material like slides, exercises and more. Everything was thoroughly checked to offer an individualised experience. As happens in ESA, we wanted to reduce our meeting’s carbon print, and we offered each participant a choice between paper or electronic version for their learning material.

2 – An event that will affect your practice

The Masterclass in Scientific Writing is designed to offer attendees the best quality lectures for a very convenient price. The goal is to enhance Scientific Writing across Europe for anaesthesiologists who want to start a career in clinical trials, or research in general. The sponsor being ESA, the lectures are oriented to Anaesthesia practice, and offer a wide range of examples coming from this specific field.

The exercises are designed to be easily handled by the participant while also being challenging. And believe me, I tried it myself: as a non-anaesthesiologist, I was able to participate to the Masterclass. Even if I didn’t have all the scientific background, this course helped me to know and understand the structure of a scientific article, and how it should be written.

Starting from an imaginary protocol, the attendees had the opportunity to design the following points: title, introduction, abstract, methodology, results and conclusion, according to the most prestigious guidelines in Scientific Writing: STROBES, CONSORT etc. All these guidelines have been explained and used as a model to achieve an excellent scientific article.

Special attention was put on the relation between the editor and the author. How should I write a letter? What is the editor’s role? Which journal should I choose? Everything was explained to help doctors understand the mechanisms of the scientific editorial world.

Ethical and normative points were also discussed: the Helsinki Declaration and ICH – Good Clinical Practices have been shown to point out the importance of respecting rules, norms, ethics and laws.

If you want to direct your practice towards research, this introductory course will prove useful.

3 – An interesting networking place

Our Masterclass was not only about the lectures. It is also the place where you can meet fellow anaesthesiologists who share your interests. Meeting our speakers and interacting with them during spare time may increase your network and offer you new working opportunities. ESA staff were also there to answer your questions on ESA Clinical Trial Network or other ESA activities. Our dinner night was designed to provide opportunities to talk about your projects with enthusiastic people.

ESA Scientific Masterclass is then a place to express your passion for your work.

4 – Basic data about the Masterclass

October 19’s session was smaller than the previous ones. It offered the possibility to 10 doctors from 5 different countries (1 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1 from Republic of North Macedonia, 1 from Lithuania, 1 from Switzerland and 6 from Serbia) to follow the program.

The venue was 88 Rooms Hotel, in the centre of Belgrade. The hotel had a beautiful rooftop restaurant for the lunches, where attendees could enjoy a hot and cold buffet containing salads, soups, meats, fishes, vegetables and desserts.

With 93.3 % of satisfaction rate for the organisation of the Masterclass and an average of 99.2 % satisfaction for our programme, we can definitely say that our Masterclass in Scientific Writing was a success !

5 – What do they say about us?

Here is a selection of comments we received on our feedback forms:

“I am very very pleased to attend this course and for opportunity to have this course in Belgrade. That was convenient and cheap. It will for sure influence my future career a lot! Thanks a lot organisers!”

“Very Helpful“

“Excellent Speaker”

“The course is excellent opportunity to improve skills for writing papers and publications”

As a small conclusion, ESA would like to thank again the speaker Mr. John Carpenter, our host Dr. Vojislava Neskovic and all our Masterclass graduates, who did a fantastic work during these intense three days. We are allooking forward to next year’s Masterclass!