With the aim of promoting and strengthening training in health research in Bangladesh, Dr Md Shajedur Rahman Shawon, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales (Australia), organised and conducted a month-long free online course on basic research methods in health science. The course ended on July 26, 2021.
More than 3,500 participants from all over Bangladesh participated in the course who are interested in research about health science. Using online platforms, the course taught the basic principles of research methods and the first steps in developing a practical research project in health science.
Speaking about the course, Dr Shawon said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for quality health researchers in Bangladesh. I shared my knowledge on topics like research designs, clinical trial, evidence-based medicine, and biostatistics, gained from my training from world-class institutions like Oxford and Karolinska Institute.”
“As a strong believer in open access learning and knowledge sharing, we kept the course free and open for all. This will allow those who cannot afford, or access research methods training to have the opportunity to learn during the lockdown period,” added Dr Shawon.
The course attracted students studying MBBS, microbiology, pharmacology, and other health-related subjects from at least 60 educational institutions. The organiser, Dr Shawon, told the author that he was surprised to have such a huge number of participants.
Several student-led organisations including the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, Bangladesh and Chittagong University Research and Higher Study Society, among others, joined this online learning initiative.
Dr Mizanur Rashid Shuvra from Canada who took a couple of lectures in the course said, “Many people are now talking about the lack of research curriculum in our education system, and we are trying to introduce the basic concepts of research to students.”
More than 95 per cent of participants reported that the course helped them learn the basics of research in health science, while 98 per cent reported that the course significantly improved their interest in research, according to the post-course participants’ survey.