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Joint Faculty of Surgical Trainers & ASME Research Grants

The Faculty of Surgical Trainers (FST) and the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) have come together in a ground-breaking partnership to launch a series of research grants to promote research in this vital area. 

These grants, of up to £3,000, can be used to support either a research study or evaluation of a teaching innovation in any field of surgical education and training.

Successful applicants will be able to present their work at both the FST annual conference and the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting.

What is the purpose of the grant?

The small research grants are intended to support evaluation or research into surgical education and training. Projects should either lead directly to improvements in surgical training practice or increase our understanding of an aspect of surgical training. There are no specific themes for this call, and all applications will be considered on their merits.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 15 May 2019

For more information on the grants, visit the ASME page here

Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the following recipients of the joint ASME / Faculty of Surgical Trainers Research Grants:

NameJob TitleResearch TitleOverview

Arpan Tahim

ST5 doctoral student with the Institute of Education Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, London Deanery

Understanding Workplace-Based Assessment – How Surgeons Learn through the Use of Workplace-Based Assessment during Specialist Training

Study investigating how surgeons in training learn through workplace-based assessment (WBA). The study will be conducted through UCL Institute of Education and aims to better understand the complex social-interactional processes that occur during WBAs and the learning that subsequently results from them. It will involve audiovisual analysis of the in-situ WBAs, which surgeons in training undergo, triangulated with data derived from completed assessment proformas and participant interviews.

Joshil Lodhia 

Cardiothoracic Trainee, Leeds General Infirmary

Quantitative motion analysis of surgical skills to assess improvement in trainees’ performance following deliberate practice


Surgical training in previous decades was dependant on speed of operating and obtaining a high volume of operative cases. Due to the European Working Time Directive and the need to ensure highest standards, trainees are no longer able to obtain this volume. Training in the art of surgery needs to become more explicit. This study aims to assess the fine movements of surgery with the use of magnetic sensors. This will allow both trainers and trainees to ensure the subtleties of surgery can be developed in a safe environment outside theatres before ensuring a high level of skill. 


Paul Sutton

Specialty Registrar and Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool

Exploring clinical decision making amongst surgical trainees in a simulated environment

Clinical decision making is a relatively poorly understood non-technical skill, but one which is essential to surgeons both in and out of the operating theatre. We have planned an exploratory pilot study to help better understand clinical decision making in an acute clinical setting, specifically the assessment and management of the critically ill surgical patient. The study utilises a simulated scenario, after which the participant watches the video with the investigator and the performance is evaluated using teach-back interviewing. The transcripts of these interviews will be thematically analysed using standardised techniques to explore behaviourism with respect to decision making.

Sotiris Papaspyros

ST7 Cardiothoracic trainee, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Reliability of low fidelity simulation models in acquisition of basic surgical skills outside the operating room. The role of deliberate practice

Surgical training has evolved to conform with several limitations: Shorter work-week for residents, increasing complexity of cases, emphasis on operating room efficiency and mitigation of medical errors.

Acquisition of basic surgical skills can take place outside the operating room on low-fidelity, readily available simulation materials (bananas, potatoes, poached eggs).

Deliberate practice can provide the educational framework to achieve competence in surgical tasks (needle rotation, economy of movement, pace).

We aim to provide evidence that low-fidelity simulation models and deliberate practice can, reliably and consistently, be used to teach novice aspiring surgeons basic surgical skills outside the operating room.

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