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Closing the course in scientific research design and data analysis

On 07 January 2018, the course in scientific research design and data analysis organized by Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan in Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU) came to an end. The course commenced on 25 December 2017 and received 101 trainees being research students and researchers who came from universities, hospitals and research institutes in 34 provinces and cities in Vietnam. The trainees involved in the course expressed their needs for consolidating the knowledge of data analysis and for improving the scientific research capacity in their careers.

Designed as a workshop, the course introduced the trainees to basic concepts of scientific research, models of scientific research and data analysis. The trainees were introduced to the issues in relation to research questions, research design, data collection and basic statistical methods. Application of data modeling methods which were used as case studies in TDTU was emphasized during the course.

About Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan:

Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan has had a long history of experience in developing prognostic models and is the author of the Garvan fracture risk calculation model. He has assisted national research students in developing prognostic models of death in intensive care units in hospitals. He is currently Professor of Pretreative Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia; Professor of Epidemiology and Statistics at the University of Notre Dame, Australia and Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Prof. Tuan serves as the Vice President of TDTU's Board of Science and Training and, at the same time, Senior Advisor on Science in TDTU and Leader of TDTU's Bone and Muscle Research Group.

Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan's sharing about the course:

Today was the last day of the 2017 workshop. The course lasted 12 days, of which 6 days were designed for research design and data analysis and the remaining 6 days for scientific presentation, writing and publication. Three trainers were extremely exhausted. In return, the enthusiasm expressed by more than 100 trainees who came from 30 provinces and cities was a crucial motivation for completing the course and for preparing another course next year.

With 12 days of work and 36 lectures, I believe that the trainees have acquired an amount of necessary knowledge and skill. At the beginning of the course, only 20% of the trainees satisfied requirements of knowledge and skill in relation to research methodology. By contrast, more than 80% of the trainees met all requirements at the end of the course. A "pie chart" indicated that the majority of the trainees has improved their knowledge and skill, with one exception that failed to respond to post-tests. The trainees also learned how to identify dubious scientific journals from respected scientific ones. The trainees received a list of respected scientific journals so that they are able to provide advice on differentiating respected scientific journals from dubious scientific ones. In addition, the trainees have learnt to recognize the difference in editorial requirements between Vietnamese national journals and international peer-reviewed journals.

Some of trainees shared their thoughts that the course "opened their eyes" in the fields of research questions, choice of research models, statistical models, the meaning of P values and hypothesis testing, etc. The trainees built their capacity for developing scientific charts and constructing proper manuscript titles. Some aspects introduced in the course, although being totally ignored, really matter to scientific researchers. The trainees were trained to identify 20 common mistakes and omission in data analysis and presentation that might be their own mistakes.

Necessary lessons and experience were shared during the 12 day course. By this occasion, I would like to sincerely thank all trainees for patience with waking up early in the morning and your participation in discussion and lesson sharing in the entire course. Your participation and contributions were substantial elements of the success of the course. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU) for organizing the course in a dedicated and professional manner. Facilities, the course room, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee, printed materials and reference books were all carefully considered. I have organized many courses similar to this throughout the country, but there is nothing exactly like or as good as this course (I told the truth, not to say so to flatter my own fellows). Finally, I respectfully thank my colleagues, Dr. Tran Son Thach and Dr. Ha Tan Duc for presentation and participation. The course could not be possible without their contributions. Once again, thank you very much everybody!

Some course photographs:

Ph.D. Tran Trong Dao, Vice Rector of TDTU, welcomed the trainees and opened the course


Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan delivered the course lectures


Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan presented the trainees with the certificates of completion


The trainees received the certificates of completion


All trainees posed for a group photograph