Offaly school shortlisted in national clinical trials competition

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Offaly school shortlisted in national clinical trials competition

Offaly school shortlisted in national clinical trials competition

Three primary schools from Dublin, Offaly and Cork have been shortlisted to showcase their randomised clinical trials at NUI Galway on Friday, May 17, when the overall winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2019.

Now in its fourth year, the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition aims to educate students about why we need randomised trials to improve healthcare nationally and globally. 

Primary schools around the country were invited to create their very own fun randomised clinical trial earlier this year. The competition is run by the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TRMN) at NUI Galway, to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy.

Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada NS, Tullamore, Co. Offaly with teacher Aoife Ní Fhlannagáin were shortlisted for their trial, ‘Does listening to the same music while studying for and completing a test improve your scores?’

You can watch a video of their trial here.

Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Programme Manager at NUI Galway, said: “This initiative has really captured the children’s imagination and creativity, but I also think we can learn so much from their approach. Trials can be complex and challenging for people to understand, and yet here we have children rising to this challenge so well. START is about breaking down the barriers in the understanding of trials, and helping understand the power trials have to improve healthcare for all.”

Speaking about the competition entries, Dr Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “The ingenuity and approach that young people have taken to designing their own trials to inform decision-making is incredible. I hope that as they talk about what they have done, at home and with friends, that it helps demystify the idea of clinical research and encourage more people to ask about what trials are available to them in relation to their own healthcare.”

The three shortlisted schools were selected by judges: Teacher, Aisling Murray, Kinvara National School and last year’s winning class teacher; Dr Andrew Oxman, Research Director, Global Health Unit, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; and Ms Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. 

To learn more about the HRB-TMRN START competition visit: www.hrb-tmrn.ie or follow on Twitter @hrbtmrn and Facebook at START competition.