Competition time for students with Students 4 Best Evidence!

Students 4 Best Evidence are holding a student competition to win free registration to the Cochrane UK and Ireland symposium 2017. 

Each year, Cochrane UK organize an annual symposium for all of their networks, including UK- and Ireland-based Cochrane contributors, researchers, health professionals, students, charities, patient advocates, and other interested groups.

The 2017 symposium will take place at Keble College, Oxford on the 14th and 15th March 2017. The theme is ‘Cochrane: Through the Looking Glass’.

To enter the competition, you must be currently registered as a student in either the UK or Ireland.

The prize includes:

  • Free registration to attend both days of the symposium.
  • Accommodation at Keble College (for the night of the 14th March 2017).
  • Reasonable travel expenses. E.g. Standard class train fare.

Your task…

Your task is to imagine that you are a journalist writing an article to inform your readers about a recent Cochrane Review.You may choose which newspaper or magazine and state which one you have chosen. For example, you may choose to write an article for the Guardian, the Daily Mail, BBC News or Buzzfeed. You will need to write in a style that is appropriate for your readership. However, regardless of who your audience is, maintaining accuracy when writing about the review, and conveying any nuance in its findings, is important.

Think about what your readers will need to know…

For example:

  • What question is the review addressing and why is the review important?
  • What did the review authors do (e.g. how many studies did they include in the review)?
  • What are the main findings?
  • How certain can we be about the findings (e.g. what caveats are there and what is the quality of the evidence?)
  • What are the implications of the review? (e.g. for patients, practitioners, policy-makers, researchers)

The news articles will be assessed on their clarity, accuracy, and ability to engage the reader.

You should aim to write no more than 800 words (and, ideally, no fewer than 600 words).

You can choose to write about one of the below Cochrane Reviews:

Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Begh R, Stead LF, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub3.

Hetrick SE, Cox GR, Witt KG, Bir JJ, Merry SN. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), third-wave CBT and interpersonal therapy (IPT) based interventions for preventing depression in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD003380. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003380.pub4.

Colquitt JL, Loveman E, O’Malley C, Azevedo LB, Mead E, Al-Khudairy L, Ells LJ, Metzendorf MI, Rees K. Diet, physical activity, and behavioural interventions for the treatment of overweight or obesity in preschool children up to the age of 6 years.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012105. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012105.

Mulvaney CA, Smith S, Watson MC, Parkin J, Coupland C, Miller P, Kendrick D, McClintock H. Cycling infrastructure for reducing cycling injuries in cyclists. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD010415. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010415.pub2.

Patterson SM, Cadogan CA, Kerse N, Cardwell CR, Bradley MC, Ryan C, Hughes C. Interventions to improve the appropriate use of polypharmacy for older people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD008165. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008165.pub3.

Alternatively, you may choose your own from the Cochrane Library (ideally a review that has been published within the last few years).

For some inspiration, you can have a look at how Cochrane Reviews have been written about in the news articles below:

BBC News (2016). Vitamin D ‘significantly reduces severe asthma attacks’.

Chivers T (2016). This Is What The Smoking Ban Has Actually Done For Our Health. Buzzfeed News.

Davies M, Chapman S. (2016). Why do some people NEVER get running injuries? And is it worth shelling out on expensive trainers and insoles? Here, experts reveal all… Mail Online.

The deadline for the competition is 31st January 2017. Winners will be notified by February 8th.

Please note that by entering the competition you are agreeing to Students 4 Best Evidence and Cochrane UK publishing your entry.
Please send your entries to Selena at and get in touch if you have any questions.

Good luck!