Posted by Froeks Kamminga (Methods Liaison Officer) on 14 January 2020
The Thomas C Chalmers MD Award Committee 2019 (Co-Chaired by Ian Saldanha and Matt Page with full committee membership at the end of the post) wishes to extend its congratulations to this year’s winner for best Poster presentation, Rui Wang.
Background to the Thomas C Chalmers Award
The Thomas C Chalmers Award is awarded to the principal author of the best Oral and the best Poster presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews.
Tom Chalmers (1917-1995) was an outspoken advocate of randomised trials, whether at the bedside, at professional meetings, in class or in situations pertaining to his own life. His creativity spanned his entire career, influencing clinicians and methodologists alike. In arguably his most important work, Tom and his colleagues showed that, had information from RCTs been systematically and cumulatively synthesised, important treatments such as thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction would have been recognised as useful much earlier.
In 2019, the Virtual Colloquium made the process a bit different to previous years, but the Committee had the pleasure to assess and score an interesting range of oral presentations and posters.
2019 Poster presentation winner - Rui Wang
Froeks Kamminga, Methods Liaison Officer in the Editorial and Methods Department, caught up with best Poster presentation winner Rui Wang to find out a little more about him and ask what winning the award meant to him.
Rui is a research fellow from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He works as a methodologist in the Evidence-based Women’ Health Care Research Group. He started his career as a gynaecologist and subsequently undertook training in epidemiology and shifted his career into clinical research and research methodology. He was awarded a PhD on evidence synthesis in November 2019. His methodology interests are randomised controlled trials and evidence synthesis methods, while his main clinical research interest is women’s health.
When asked why he entered the competition, he had a well considered answer: "You may agree with me that research on methodology seems to be less acknowledged and more difficult to engage the audience than clinical research. I think this competition is an excellent opportunity for all early career researchers to share their research on methodology and engage with a wider community. By entering the competition, I’m also committed to do my best to prepare my presentation."
In terms of what the award means to him personally, Rui regards Chalmers as an inspiring pioneer in evidence-based medicine and considers it a great honour to receive the award named after him, also on behalf of his co-authors. He is motivated to continue his research to improve research quality in evidence-based medicine. He makes it clear it was not just his work that got him the award. He makes a point of thanking his co-authors, especially Lene Seidler from the University of Sydney, for their help for preparing the presentation.
As for the impact of the award on his work, he stated: "This was the first time I attended the Cochrane Colloquium, but I felt very welcomed by the community. I am grateful for all the congratulatory messages from old and new friends on social media, by email or in person, and I have also received some great suggestions and feedback on my presentation from the Cochrane community, despite it being a virtual colloquium. I really appreciate the opportunity to network and establish future collaborations. I would like to thank the Cochrane team, especially the Cochrane Chile team, for their efforts to organise such an amazing virtual event."
Lastly, he has some great advice for researchers considering entering for the award in 2020: "There was a famous quote “A conference poster should be readable in 3 minutes, from 3 metres away, after 3 beers.” I think the idea is that delivering a clear and concise message is important for poster presentations, as in most cases a reader would have to spend maybe less than 1 minute on a poster. Therefore, it would be worth highlighting the key message by visualising the data so that the audience can be easily engaged during the presentation. We should also embrace diversity in poster designs and therefore you may get inspired by the #betterposter design. All the best!"
You can find Rui's Poster here:
What does it take?
To be considered eligible, the first author must be an early career investigator, principal author and the presenter at the Colloquium. Eligible oral and poster presentations must demonstrate originality of thought, high quality science, relevance for the advancement of the science of systematic reviews and clarity of presentation.
Could it be you next year?
For further information on other prizes which are awarded at the Colloquium, please visit https://colloquium2019.cochrane.org/prizes-and-awards
Thomas C Chalmers MD Award – Committee 2019
- Matthew Page (Bias MG Convenor, Statistics MG, Cochrane Australia)
- Ian Saldanha (Cochrane US)
- Miranda Cumpston (Cochrane Handbook editor)
- Ruth Garside (QI MG and Information Retrieval MG)
- Lotty Hooft (Screening and Diagnosis MG)
- Karsten Juhl Jørgensen (Cochrane Nordic, Director)
- Mala Mann (Information Retrieval MG)
- Sarah Nevitt (Statistician, CMI and Statistics MG)
- Jelena Savovic (Bias MG)
- Adrienne Stevens (Rapid Reviews MG Co-convenor, Screening and Diagnosis MG member)
- Susan Wieland (Information Retrieval MG)
- Richard Kirubakaran (Statistics MG)
- Joey Kwong (Adverse Effects MG)
- Mark Simmonds (Statistics MG)