Heuvellandcursus “Writing and publishing scientific papers” for PhD students great success

On 14 and 15 April 2011, the new PhD training course “Writing and publishing scientific papers” was held for the first time at a small lodge in the beautiful Limburg countryside near Maastricht. This is a brief reflection on the “Heuvellandcursus”.

After piloting the course during the 2010 CaRe refresher meeting, for which course leaders Daniel Kotz and Jochen Cals received the CaRe Lecturer of the Year Award, the full two-day course in April 2011 was rapidly sold out after its announcement. 20 PhD students with 7 different nationalities from CaRe-related research institutes all over the country joined.

Participants of the April 2010 Heuvellandcursus with lecturers Daniel Kotz and Jochen Cals, dinner speaker Steven van de Vijver, and editor André Knottnerus

Various topics about the process of writing and publishing scientific papers were addressed during interactive teaching sessions, including tips and tricks for clear and concise writing of a powerful paper; do’s and don’ts of titles, abstracts, tables, figures, and references; planning and collaborating with co-authors and supervisors; and choosing the right journal for submission. Participants’ manuscripts in preparation were used as examples during most of the sessions in order to discuss relevant problems and give concrete feedback.

Special events included a meet-the-editor session with prof. André Knottnerus, editor of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, a walk through the woods, and an inspiring dinner speech by Steven van de Vijver, general practitioner and best-selling book author.

Overall, the course participants were very enthusiastic. All teaching sessions were rated as excellent with grades from 8 to 10. Participants were positive about the interactive nature of the course and found the sessions “very clear and concrete”. Other remarks: “It was ingenious how much important information was discussed in short time”; “Good mixture of theory and practice”; “A lot of tips I did not know”; “I can see they way to improve my draft”; “I wish I had taken it earlier”; “I would recommend to colleagues and friends to take this course”.

Course leaders Kotz and Cals were also very satisfied with the course. Because of the excellent evaluation and the generally huge interest in the topic they have decided to offer the course regularly in the future. The next Heuvellandcursus will be held on 13 and 14 October 2011. Click here for registration and more information.


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