WHO Cochrane Cornell Summer Institute, Schedule

The 2021 Summer Institute will be offered in a virtual format, combining live and recorded sessions in two phases, distributed over about 15 weeks. The first phase will start on April 12 through the week of May 31 and will require a commitment of about 4 hours per week. The second phase of the Institute, which extends from the week of July 5 through the week of August 2 and will require a commitment of about 8 hours per week.

The 2021 Institute will follow a typical weekly schedule, and will operate in 2 phases. The first phase, running from Monday April 12, 2021 through Friday June 4, 2021, will follow a format that requires about 4 hours of participant time weekly, taking a distributed approach to learning the material and allowing participants to fit the Institute around existing commitments. The second phase, running from Monday July 5, 2021 through Friday August 6, 2021 will follow a format that requires about 8 hours of participant time weekly, which will mean that participants find release time from their current commitments to make significant progress on their reviews.

Institute Phase I (8 weeks): From April 12, 2021 through June 4, 2021, participants should plan on spending about 4-5 hours per week actively engaged in the Institute. Each week the plan will follow a similar format, as described below:

  • First hour each week: Online pre-recorded video will introduce the week’s topics/questions
  • Second hour each week: Discussion of the weekly topic(s) through synchronous sessions with Institute faculty members
  • Third hour each week: Office hour(s) with TA, statistical consultants and systematic review librarian, attending in review team groups and focused on applying the week’s topic to the review topic
  • Fourth hour each week: Discussion of questions arising in the review teams, submitted by the review teams to the faculty
  • Additional preparation each week: Complete assigned readings; spend time working with the review team and the faculty mentor(s) of the review to make progress on the review

Institute Phase II (5 weeks): From July 5, 2021 through August 6, 2021, participants should plan on spending about 8-10 hours per week actively engaged in the Institute. Each week the plan will follow a similar format, as described below:

  • 1 hours each week: Complete readings and review materials, view an online pre-recorded session that will introduce the week’s topics/questions (asynchronous session to be completed by participants at whatever time is convenient)
  • 2 hours each week: View recorded plenary session presentation and attend live discussion of the topic(s) by joining synchronous sessions with Institute faculty members (offered twice/week at different times to accommodate multiple time zones)
  • 3 hours each week: Attend office hours with TA, meetings with statistical consultants and meeting with systematic review librarian, attending in review team groups and focused on applying the week’s topic to the review topic (offered at different times to accommodate multiple time zones)
  • 1 hour each week: Join synchronous sessions to discuss questions arising in the review teams, submitted by the review teams to the faculty (offered twice/week at different times to accommodate multiple time zones)
  • Additional preparation each week: Complete assigned readings; spend additional time working with the review team and the faculty mentor(s) of the review to make progress on the review

Topics to be covered in weekly sessions will provide opportunities for hands-on, small-group, interactive learning directly relevant to each review topic. The sessions are flexible to meet needs of the participants. Topics of the sessions include the following:

  • RevMan introduction
  • RevMan advanced
  • GRADE introduction
  • GRADE advanced
  • PICO and development of the question, logic models
  • Protocol Development and Registration
  • Summary of Findings Table, Introduction
  • Summary of Findings Table, Advanced
  • Epidemiology methods: effect estimates and understanding risk of bias
  • Library: search strategies/implementation
  • Library: resources in Cochrane groups
  • Library: resources at Cornell University
  • Statistical methods: meta-analysis introduction
  • Statistical methods: forest plot and heterogeneity
  • Statistical methods: random effects/fixed effects
  • Statistical methods: cluster randomized studies and meta-analysis
  • Non-randomized studies in Cochrane reviews

Weekly agenda across Phase I (8 weeks) and Phase II (5 weeks)
Phase I begins April 12, 2021 (week 1 to week 8)
 

Week 1: Introduction to conducting systematic reviews

[review stage: background and review/protocol development]

  • Cochrane history, WHO guideline development and interaction with Cochrane review groups
  • Methods focus: Protocol development, including development of the question and PICO

Week 2: Protocol development/registration

[review stage: background and review/protocol development]

  • The basics of the review protocol; logic models, including logic models to support public health reviews (process oriented) and reviews of infectious disease (biologically oriented), etc.
  • Groups present their review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: Protocol development and registration for different review types; Logic models to support all steps in the review; Building a strong foundation for the review

Week 3: Critical role of library support and searching for studies

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • The basics of searching for studies and working with information specialists 
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: constructing a search, practice applying a search strategy and working with online databases, working with Cochrane groups to complete a search

Week 4: Criteria for including studies in the reviews and introduction to study quality and risk of bias

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Selecting studies to include in the review, and extracting data from studies
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: screening studies, extracting data

Week 5: Study quality and the risk of bias

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Understanding bias and how to assess risk of bias in included studies, focused on randomized trial study design
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: understanding sources of bias in randomized controlled trials

Week 6: Analyzing data extracted from the studies

[review stage: analyzing extracted data and undertaking the meta-analysis]

  • Effect measures, analyzing different data types, introduction to meta-analysis, heterogeneity among included studies
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: constructing a search, practice applying a search strategy and working with online databases, working with Cochrane groups to complete a search, introduction to GRADE

Week 7: Interpreting the findings of the analysis and the summary of findings table

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Interpreting the review findings, and introduction to using GRADE to report certainty of the evidence
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: constructing a search, practice applying a search strategy and working with online databases, working with Cochrane groups to complete a search, introduction to GRADE

Week 8: Reporting the review findings

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Creating the Summary of Findgins table, writing a review, different summary formats used in Cochrane reviews
  • Group presentations of review topics in pre-recorded short videos that will be discussed by faculty and participants in synchronous sessions
  • Methods focus: constructing a search, practice applying a search strategy and working with online databases, working with Cochrane groups to complete a search, introduction to GRADE

 

Phase II, begins week of July 5, 2021 (week 9 to week 13)

 

Week 9: Criteria for including studies in the review

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Plenary session on integration of equity into Cochrane reviews of nutrition and nutrition-sensitive interventions
  • Methods focus: Data extraction forms and applying inclusion criteria; data extraction by comparison and outcome; Search syntax and translating searches from PubMed to other databases
  • Group presentations on progress/plans forward with input and guidance from faculty

Week 10: Collecting data from published studies, including extraction and risk of bias tools

[review stage: selecting studies and collecting data]

  • Plenary sessions on models and methods available for nutrition evidence
  • Methods focus: Searching for clinical trials; Tackling the gray literature; Introduction to RevMan for data entry, the characteristics of studies table, and the excluded studies table; Statistical approaches–effect sizes and summary statistics for categorical and continuous outcomes
  • Group presentations on progress/plans forward with input and guidance from faculty

Week 11: Statistical support for review success

[review stage: analyzing extracted data and undertaking the meta-analysis]

  • Plenary session on understanding sources of bias in individual studies
  • Methods focus: definitions of bias, assessing risk of bias in included studies, library and statistical topics
  • Group presentations on progress/plans forward with input and guidance from faculty

Week 12: Analyzing extracted data

[review stage: analyzing extracted data and undertaking the meta-analysis]

  • Plenary session on plain language communications
  • Methods focus: creating risk of bias tables and figures. Understanding assessment of overall risk of bias; Statistics topic—fixed and random effect models, heterogeneity and subgroup analysis
  • Group presentations on progress/plans forward with input and guidance from faculty

Week 13: Presenting results

[review stage: presenting results, summary of findings table, interpreting results and drawing conclusions]

  • Plenary sessions: Using GRADE; GRADE and the Summary of Findings Table
  • Methods focus: data analysis and construction and interpretation of forest plots; risk of bias tools; how to use non-randomized studies in a review; RevMan advanced methods, getting to the finish line with your review; the publication process in Cochrane reviews; applying GRADE to your review
  • Group presentations on progress/plans forward with input and guidance from faculty

WHO Cochrane Cornell Summer Institute, Contact Information

Patricia A. Cassano, PhD
Professor & Director, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College
127 Savage Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
+1 607.255.8001 (phone), +1 607.255.2691 (fax)
E-mail:  summerinstitute@cornell.edu

Please visit our registration page for details on how to apply.