Georgia Richards and Peter Gill: Early career researchers at EBMLive 2019

Only days remain until the annual EBMLive conference in Oxford. Georgia Richards and Peter Gill provide an update on the inaugural Doug Altman Scholarship and initiative to build capacity for future leaders in evidence based medicine

The announcement of the Doug Altman Scholarship in February 2019 sparked the eager minds of the next generation of leaders in medical research. The scholarship seeks to commemorate Doug Altman’s contributions to evidence based medicine (EBM) and to inspire early career researchers to continue Altman’s work. 

The generous support from the McCall MacBain Foundation and the high quality of entries from 26 different countries across the globe allowed us to expand the number of scholarships. We awarded the top eight submissions with Doug Altman Scholarships and six submissions were awarded our inaugural Building Capacity Bursary to attend and present at EBMLive (see below). 

2019 Doug Altman Scholars 

Logan Williams, New Zealand
Stephen Bradley, United Kingdom
Cole Wayant, United States of America
Tanja Rombey, Germany
Andrew Dagens, United Kingdom
Christoffee Bjerre Haase, Denmark
Brennan Kahan, United Kingdom
Matthew Parkes, United Kingdom

See their biographies here.

2019 Building Capacity Bursaries 

Augusto Cesar Soares dos Santos Junior, Brazil
Tatiane Ribeiro, Brazil
Shabana Ali, India
Raymond Okechukwu, Nigeria
Yasmin Elsobky, Egypt
Daniel Umpierre, Brazil 

See their biographies here.

Core to the mission of EBMLive and the evidence based medicine manifesto is building capacity for the next generation of leaders. As fellow early career researchers, we have built on previous work to develop the Future Leaders Initiative with the aim of creating an environment and conference that appeals to early-mid career researchers. 

As part of this initiative, we have provided a platform for the Doug Altman Scholars and Building Capacity Bursary awardees to write blogs on issues that are pertinent to medical research and early career researchers. The blogs discuss topics including the future of distance learning, predatory publishing, systematic review registries, and challenges in new anti-cancer drugs. A potential solution is proposed for improving the issue and impact of scientific metrics on one’s career, while another discusses the controversies of “confluences” of interests and the stance early to mid career physician-researchers can take to be “conflict-free.” Two blogs discuss the issue of publishing in journals and propose potential short and long term solutions, along with a new way of generating transparent and reproducible manuscripts using “Literate Programming” where algorithms interweave text and code. The blogs innovatively speak to the issues raised in the EBM manifesto with the aim of improving the quality and integrity of research. 

The awardees will be discussing and debating these topics during dedicated sessions at EBMLive. Beyond networking, listening to inspirational leaders in EBM, and exploring the city of Oxford, we have revamped the programme to include several events focused on early-mid career researchers. These include a pre-conference icebreaker called Evidence in the Pub, a breakfast session on leadership, and a breakfast session on career journeys. There are dedicated sessions for presentations from the eight Doug Altman Scholars who will propose creative, innovative, and unique ideas to address issues of research quality and integrity. Lastly, three minute rapid fire presentations by the Building Capacity Bursary recipients and early-mid career researchers will propose ideas on how to address research quality and integrity.

It is not too late to register and attend EBMLive 2019. Students and early career researchers are eligible for registering at the reduced rate of £155 for the full three days. Visit for more details.

And . . . stay tuned for the announcement of the 2019 Doug Altman Award, which will be presented at the close of EBMLive on Wednesday 17 July 2019. 

Georgia C Richards is reading for the degree of doctor of philosophy in primary healthcare/pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Oxford.


Peter J Gill is a general pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto, honorary fellow at the Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine.

Competing interests: GCR is funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research Doctoral Studentship, the Naji Foundation, and the Rotary Foundation. PJG is on the CMAJ editorial advisory board and on the institute advisory board for the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) where he has expenses reimbursed to attend meetings. PJG is on the editorial board of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. GCR and PJG are members of the 2019 EBMLive steering committee and the Future Leaders Initiative committee. The BMJ co-lead the EBMLive conference with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and staff at The BMJ helped in the selection of scholars.