Skip to content
Home » DECIPHer 2023 short courses – how did we do?

DECIPHer 2023 short courses – how did we do?

  • Blog

A key element of DECIPHer’s methods research programme is our suite of short courses that provide training on methods for public health intervention science, covering intervention development, evaluation and adaptation. Each year we deliver a one-week summer course that covers an introduction to a variety of methods and principles. This is followed later in the year with individual one-day courses which take a deeper dive on particular methods. We also deliver bespoke versions of these courses to research and practitioner groups across the UK and internationally. This year has been particularly busy with short course delivery, and here our short course lead Jemma Hawkins reflects on how things have gone. 

2023 has seen the full return to in-person delivery for our Cardiff-based courses, with our one-week summer course taking place in-person for the first time since 2019. It was brilliant to be able to meet course delegates face to face and have the opportunity to get to know them between sessions and in the social events running throughout the week. For the first time we hosted the course in DECIPHer’s new location, Cardiff University’s Social Science Research Park. The building was very popular with course attendees, with the lunchtime table tennis games being a particular highlight! In total 31 people attended the course, representing 13 different fields, and from many different places across the UK as well as internationally.

The course received the most positive feedback to date, with one delegate commenting: This has been a brilliant learning experience. The whole week was so well thought through. The length of lectures, break times and social events created an informative, supportive and friendly environment”. You can read more about this course in a separate blog from DECIPHer research associate Sam Garay:

More recently, we delivered our three specialist one-day courses on Feasibility Studies, Process Evaluation and Adapting Interventions to New Contexts, which deliver a more in-depth look at specific methods based on methodological guidance DECIPHer has led or been involved with. These courses are a key way through which our methodological innovations, developed in Wales, become diffused to other national and international contexts. For example, this year the courses attracted an international audience, including a group from Peru that we are collaborating with, who will be using DECIPHer developed methods for adapting interventions to transfer a dementia support intervention from the US into the Peruvian context.  More on that here: IMPACT: Innovations using Mhealth for People with dementiA and Co-morbidiTies.

A tailored approach

We’ve also been quite busy with bespoke courses this year, with three having taken place so far, and two more to come later in the year. First up was a one-day online course on process evaluation delivered to government employees in the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). The course content was adapted to the organisation’s area of work and to incorporate their own internal methodological guides. The course was incredibly popular within the organisation, with 55 employees expressing an interest in attending. 

Following this, we delivered a three-day in-person course to staff at Ulster University in Belfast which focused on introducing different methods used for developing, evaluating, adapting, and implementing complex interventions. The course was hosted by Professor Laurence Taggart, who had previously attended our summer course in Cardiff. Reflecting on the course, he said:  

“We had nearly forty PhD researchers, early career researchers and university Lecturers/Professors attend this course. Feedback was outstanding from all. The relevance of the content, the expertise of the staff delivering the course, the real-life research examples used to support the theory / methodology, the interactive sessions, and the space and time to talk to the DECIPHer staff was amazing. There was a great buzz in the air each day. I would highly recommend other universities to consider inviting the DECIPHer staff to deliver this course.” 

Hello world!

Over the last three years we have been working with colleagues at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden to deliver a longer version of our summer short course to doctoral candidates in the Healthcare Sciences school as part of the catalogue of credit-bearing doctoral training courses on offer. In May and June this year we delivered the course for the third time to fifteen new students over a period of three weeks, including a combination of online, pre-recorded and in-person lectures and discussion groups. This course developed following the lead in Stockholm attending our Cardiff-based summer course and wanting to offer something similar to doctoral students in their department, and since its inception has led to new international doctoral collaborations between DECIPHer and several Scandinavian universities.  

Then finally in August we delivered another bespoke online Process Evaluation course, this time to staff at Monash University in Australia. This was delivered to a group of colleagues in the Central Clinical School, who identified DECIPHer as an internationally recognised provider of content in this area. The course was delivered overnight by UK colleagues, owing to the time difference, to a very friendly and engaged group. Course feedback was very positive and we also learned a lot about ways of working in the health sector in Australia. This was a great opportunity to build new connections and networks. Watch this space for future blogs and reflections on both our courses in Cardiff and bespoke offerings, and keep an eye on our short courses page for information on the dates of next year’s courses.

Details for upcoming DECIPHer short courses can be found here: Short courses – DECIPHer.

Sign up to our mailing list to receive course alerts.